Student insights: Moa Schafer

Picture of Moa Schafer in academic dress


Hilary Term is action-packed for our taught master's students. As well as option papers, assignments and preparations for their theses, they are also making the most of the wider opportunities of the University and city. We caught up with Moa Schafer on the MSc in EBSIPE to find out what brought her to Oxford, and how she's finding life here.

Why Oxford?
I came to Oxford for a number of reasons. One aspect, in particular, that drew me to the Department of Social Policy and Intervention (DSPI) at Oxford was the strong commitment of the Department to conduct research that has a real-world impact, which informs both policy and practice. Investigating research questions that seek to address pressing social and psychosocial challenges has always been important to me. The Department’s emphasis on delivering actionable evidence that can help provide solutions to social and public health problems therefore closely aligned with my aspiration to initiate positive social change. The academics and researchers of the Department were also another reason for coming to Oxford. I was aware that pursuing this course at the DSPI would offer me a truly unique opportunity to learn from world-leading academics who are experts in their field.
What drives your interest in social policy?
My academic and professional endeavours are driven by a desire to initiate positive social change. Having grown up in several different countries, I have always sought to understand how social and public health challenges, faced by people across the world, can be best addressed. Through various research projects and internships, I have had the opportunity to engage more closely with a number of different social issues, which have amplified my interests in this area even further.
What were the highlights of your first term on the course?
In addition to the content of the course itself – which I am loving so far – I would have to say the people in the Department and the individuals in my MSc cohort. Everyone in the Department has been incredibly welcoming right from the start and there is a very strong sense of community. The diverse group of students that are part of my MSc course means that I have been able to learn a lot from my classmates and it has also made for really interesting discussions both during lectures as well as outside of class. The interdisciplinary nature of the Department and the wide range of experiences that people bring to the course also makes for a truly unique learning environment that is always very engaging.

How are you finding Oxford as a city?
Oxford is also such a vibrant place to live. There is always something going on within the community – from a countless number of university societies, a multitude of different sports teams, and a wide range of college events, there is so much you can get involved in. On top of that, Oxford is a beautiful city. It truly is stunning and I often find myself in awe of the beautiful architecture of the University buildings, libraries, and colleges. I keep on finding new favourite spots around the city to catch up with friends and to study.