An Interview with One of ORA’s Wonderful Counsellors

This week, we’re giving you an insight into the people who make a very significant contribution to the summer school: our brilliant counsellors.

Image shows ORA students at Blenheim Palace.
Jowett Walk students at Blenheim Palace.

Alice, from the Jowett Walk campus, was kind enough to give me some of her time.
Alice explained that as a sporty type, one of her favourite things about being a counsellor is getting to play games with the students. Even better, the games start as soon as the session does: “At the start of session 2, when all the students had only just arrived and no one knew each other, myself and three other counsellors got a tag rugby game going, and soon there were 30 or more students involved. I love the trips too, obviously, but what’s particularly fun is getting to experience the student side of things.” It definitely seems like Jowett Walk is a sporty campus this session – alongside tag rugby, there’s also been baseball and table tennis.
Alice’s favourite event so far was the trip to Blenheim Palace. “I’ve been a counsellor before and it’s always my favourite trip: it’s got such beautiful grounds and the palace itself is amazing – there’s so much history. Our tour guide had the whole group completely silent, listening; they were so fascinated.”

Image shows students on the Blenheim Palace train.
Enjoying the Blenheim Palace train.

Not having known before the interview that Alice had been a counsellor before, I asked her why she’d decided to come back this year. “Why not? It’s such a lovely atmosphere to be working in, not just with the students but with the other counsellors, the JDs and all the way up the organisation: everyone’s so friendly. Last year I didn’t know anyone but I made so many friends I’ve kept in touch with and I’m sure this year will be the same.”
I also was curious to know what Alice had learned from her experience as a counsellor. “It’s made me more compassionate,” she said, and then explained: “The 13-15 year olds are a very varied age group and I’ve gained a lot of insight into working with young people of that age. Talking to the students is so interesting – for instance when we get talking at meal time, and I ask about where they’re from, they’re got so much to say about so many countries that I’ve never visited.”
Finally, I asked Alice to describe being a counsellor at ORA in three words: “Insightful, stretching and fun.”
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