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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Jacob Moldover ‘24 travels across the pond for enriching year at Oxford

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Jacob Moldover ’24 discovered a love for rowing during his junior year abroad. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Moldover ’24)

Junior year for Jacob Moldover ‘24 was spent surrounded by historic buildings, one-on-one teaching experiences and a centuries-old rowing team.

Moldover spent the last two semesters studying abroad at Oxford University, an experience that he considers to be quite formative in his life. 

“I think I grew a lot as a student,” Moldover said. “But I also think that I just gained so much as a person from all the experiences traveling, all the people that I met.”

Moldover studied political theory and philosophy at Oxford’s Hertford College, wanting a change of scenery and a once-in-a-lifetime academic experience. 

“I wanted to study abroad in general because I wanted to have other kind of experiences, other cultural experiences, other international experiences [and] the chance to travel,” Moldover said. “I was really interested in just exploring different academic opportunities and seeing if I could study some particular subjects within philosophy and political theory at the highest levels possible.”

While at Oxford, Moldover was introduced to the “tutorial system” of learning, a teaching philosophy that uses intimate, one-on-one discussion between professor and student. According to Moldover, this form of learning pushes students to become stronger academic thinkers and writers and allows students to develop strong relationships with professors.

“The idea is that the students are doing lots of independent study during the week, and then they come in for a one-hour individual or small group tutorial with a professor once a week or every other week,” Moldover explained.

“It’s this very independent model,” he continued. “I had a lot of control over my time, but I had a lot of things to do with my time. It’s nice only having an hour of class per week sometimes, but also, I was genuinely working all day, writing essays about political theory.” 

Owen McLeod, associate professor of philosophy, wrote Moldover’s letter of recommendation for the program and felt that this unique academic system offered at Oxford would be ideal for him.

“Jacob is passionate about philosophy and philosophical discussion,” McLeod wrote in an email. “It seemed to me that the ‘tutorial’ system at Oxford, in which the student has weekly one-on-one meetings with their professor to talk about the student’s written work, would be perfect for Jacob.”

“I thought it would be great for him to spend a year at Oxford, home to one of the world’s vibrant and prestigious philosophical communities,” McLeod wrote.

In addition to the unique academic experience, Oxford’s architecture also drew Moldover to the university. 

“I got dropped off from the bus from the airport late at night in front of Christ Church, which is one of the giant buildings in Oxford,” Moldover said. “I was just instantly kind of marveled by just the scale of the buildings, and my first day there I just walked around the entire city and just looked at these gorgeous centuries-old buildings.” 

“When I was walking up stairs in buildings, there were grooves worn in them … that were older than [the United States]. That is psychologically interesting, like you feel like you’re part of this huge story and tradition of this university,” Moldover continued. 

Moldover also ventured into the world of competitive rowing while studying at Oxford, and he feels that this was also a landmark element of his abroad experience.

“I developed a love of rowing. I got the chance to row for Hertford College in the two big student regattas,” Moldover said. “My boat won blades for the first time since 2008 … Basically my boat was so successful in the last regatta that … there’s a commemorative blade that’s put in the college that has all our names written on it.”

Moldover believes that students should take opportunities to study abroad as he did.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity,” Moldover said. “There is no other time in your life when you can very easily with no consequences go and live in another country for six months or a full year.” 

Disclaimer: Business Manager Jacob Moldover did not contribute writing or reporting.

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Natalia Ferruggia, Culture Editor

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