Britishness; queuing, apologising, Her Majesty…and the “loo” | Oxford Royale Summer Schools

While two weeks doesn’t sound very long, when you consider that our summer students only spend a fortnight with us in entirety, that’s already quite a chunk of learning and experience gained.
The first week of the winter term has been spent immersing students in the history and culture of the UK. Students have explored the dreaming spires of the Oxford colleges, and taken a trip to Blenheim Palace, to explore this beautiful collonaded building, constructed of honey-coloured Cotswold stone, which once housed Sir Winston Churchill.

London was next on the exploratory menu. Students risked a quick wave at the Queen as they passed Buckingham Palace, followed by free time to explore as they wished. We would hazard an educated guess that a fair few of them ended up on Oxford Street for a spot of shopping.
Students were then treated to an evening at a West End musical, School of Rock, which had them air-guitaring their way all the way back to Yarnton Manor.

All things British came in for a bit of a lampoon.

Thursday brought the arrival of the students’ first guest lecturer, Ross Jordan. Ross, who is Programme Lead for Business and Management at Oxford Brookes University, gave a thought-provoking discussion on entrepreneurship, and some practical career advice about CV’s, job interview’s and attitude. The talk was followed by an Oxfordian tradition; Formal Hall (a formal dinner in the Yarnton Manor dining hall) to celebrate. Students got dressed to impress, and were given a delectable dinner in the Long Gallery.
The first week was rounded off with watery escapades; punting on the River Cherwell, and taking in the vapours at the Roman Baths in (you guessed it) Bath.
After all the excitement of the first week, the second week of the term has seemed quiet by comparison. Students plunged straight into classes, handling their chosen subjects with great fortitude, and we can’t wait to see the work their academic endeavours produce as the term goes on.
The Law students gave a presentation entitled The Truth Starts to Emerge; during which they spared no effort telling the Brits what they thought of them. Every British stereotype in existence came under fire, including queuing, constant apologising, the “loo”, and the country’s love for the Queen (not necessarily in that order.) Our obsession with order was noted, as was our inability to obtain a decent suntan. The satire was so accurate it drew a volley of laughs from the (predominantly British) audience, before it suddenly took on a darker tone. Students delved into the realms of the British penchant for fairness…and the lack of it in the country’s own justice system, where privilege still prevails even to this day. Truer words were never spoken, and the audience of adults was greatly impressed by the observant young minds at the International Study Centre.

Keep an eye out on our blog for further updates on the Gap Year programme. If you’re thinking of joining us for the spring term, there is still time to apply. Click here to start the process!

Images: queue; all other images Copywright ORA