Spain, BA (Hons) History of Art
“You’ve got Headington campus and JHB is just an incredible place to work in and spend your afternoon in the library. It’s a comfortable building, it has lights, you just want to work, it has a work atmosphere. It has brilliant resources, the teachers I’ve had have all been wonderful”
What is your name, course and nationality?
My name is Lucia Alonso-Lasheras, I’m studying Art History in third year.
My course is mostly coursework based. I did have one exam last year and I have another one this year. Covid changed everything, but I think the teachers managed well and came up with solutions to make it easier on us. For example, changing the assignments from exams to coursework. Also, doing things like pre-recorded lectures. We had one teacher who would prepare slides with audios and we’d listen to those and that would be really helpful.
What led you to choose your course?
I’ve always loved history of art since I was 16 and I started studying in Spain, in a university in Spain, and I just didn’t like how the teaching was, the method of teaching, it was a lot of theory. You just had to study a lot of theory and then just spit it out in an exam, it just wasn’t practical really. I just love the way it’s taught over here in Brookes. My university in Spain was all exam based, over here I love delving into all this research and having this amazing library where you can get loads of books. It’s just a different approach to learning, a lot more skill based, and putting things into practice and I’ve really enjoyed that.
Last year we had a module on curating, so as a group we made an exhibition and we actually had proper works of art from a collection that Brookes has on one of the campuses. We actually got to put up a real exhibition with real labels and think about all these practical things which I think are really useful for the future.
How do you feel about Oxford Brookes?
I really like it. You’ve got Headington campus and JHB is just an incredible place to work in and spend your afternoon in the library. It’s a comfortable building, it has lights, you just want to work, it has a work atmosphere. It has brilliant resources, the teachers I’ve had have all been wonderful, the art history team is fantastic. They really help you, they’re interested in your work. If you put in work they’re going to also put in effort to help you.
How did you find meeting people and making friends?
I mainly made friends from my accommodation, I stayed at Parade Green. I was very lucky because the people in my flat I got on with very well. The university did offer programmes to meet people online [during Covid] but I didn’t really give them an opportunity. I didn’t think that was the best way to meet people. Another thing that was helpful was, obviously there were a lot of societies cancelled because of Covid, I initially wanted to go into the Musical Theatre society. I couldn’t do that - because of Covid regulations we were not allowed. But I was able to do the Latin society and that was really nice. We had some meetings under the marquee when that was allowed and had dinner. I think Brookes did the catering and it was so nice. I have a friend who is trying to start up a Spanish society so that might be helpful for future Spanish students.
How have you found living in Oxford?
For a student, I think it’s all you could wish for. It’s basically like a city, it’s so hard making that transition from going from your parents house to studying by yourself and being somewhere in a city by yourself. Oxford has all the elements of a city just made a little bit smaller. So it’s manageable for you as a young adult. I just think it’s the best way to go through that transition, and you're so close to London. Whenever we felt like we needed something more we’d go to London, and then we’d realise ‘oh this is such a big city, we want to go back to Oxford now’.
What are your future plans once you’ve graduated, what will you look to do next?
Living in Oxford and being so close to London has made me quite fascinated by London. Next year I definitely want to do a master’s or start working. I’ll be coming back and forth because I’ll have people here that I know, I’ll be coming back to Oxford. I want to do something related with galleries or auction houses, one of those two.