Eden’s Story

February 13, 2017 - 5 minutes read

One of last year’s summer school students shares her experience!

Why I went to a summer school

I chose to participate in the Oxbridge International Summer School programme because I was looking for a chance to both experience university life and meet new people with similar interests to me. I had never participated in an overnight camp before, so I looked into the accommodation and activities offered to decide whether or not I would be comfortable staying at the summer school for two weeks. When choosing a summer course, I was waiting for my GCSE results and therefore looking for some academic engagement to break up the long summer. I was therefore hoping to find a course that had a lot of academic focus; in my case, this would be English Literature. As I hoped to study English Literature at university, I made sure that the program would give me an insight into my subject beyond my school curriculum. However, it was still summer, and therefore I also felt that it was important that the programme was fun! I was particularly keen to participate in the summer school after I saw that it was international; I thought it would be brilliant to meet people from all over the world who also care about academia and learning. This was the case, and I now have friends in Dubai, Hong Kong, Canada and even the British Virgin Islands.

How I spent my time at the summer school

I felt at home during the summer school. The team offered to take anyone that wished to run in the mornings out to University Parks, and after breakfast you were then allowed to walk independently to your class, with the others that were in your group. The English Literature group was small; there were five of us. Often we would go and get coffee before heading to the Turl Street Kitchen, where some of our lessons were held. Afterwards, we would have free time until the afternoon, and everyone would usually meet up in Oxford and get lunch. We would head back to sign in at around 1:30, and then we had independent study time for about two hours, in which you would be expected to complete any work set for you by your tutors. This work could be done either in your room or with others in the common room, where it was almost always quite as everyone silently worked. After independent study, different activities were offered, ranging from Frisbee to Zumba. I was a regular Zumba participant, and I have to say that I miss it! On some days, there were different classes and lectures available, such as politics and psychology. Additionally, there were opportunities to visit Oxford colleges in the afternoons, and an immensity of workshops were offered, including lateral thinking workshops, interview workshops and presentation workshops.

What I got out of my time at the Oxbridge International Summer School

I became friends with everyone on the course, and it was truly heart-warming to see a group of students from all walks of life come together and form friendships. One of the most memorable experiences of the summer school was getting the chance to debate in groups at the Oxford Union. Being surrounded by students who were interested in the topics and respectful towards each other’s speeches was both encouraging and invigorating. Whilst the whole programme increased my confidence, debating and speaking in front of such a supportive and accepting group of students was incredibly rewarding. On the final night of the summer school, there was a bop – a themed party and dance – to celebrate the end of the course. It was an emotional night, but also fun! On this last night, I remember speaking to the other girls, who agreed that they too had felt completely comfortable on the course, and entirely encouraged and embraced by the students and staff on it. I would recommend this summer school to anyone looking for an exciting, intellectual and transformative summer experience.

Have a transformative summer experience and apply now to the Oxbridge International Summer School!

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