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Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Broadening Horizons

  • Location

    From: Côte d'Ivoire 

  • Age

    Age: 17 years old

Highlights from Blessing’s experience

  • Won an ORA scholarship to study Politics and International Relations in Oxford
  • Tested out a subject she had never studied before and confirmed her ambition to study it at university
  • Inspired her to be a global citizen and a catalyst for change in her own country

“I am extremely grateful to have learned so much and I truly hope that I will be able to participate in another ORA Summer School, or possibly study at the University of Oxford.”

My name is Blessing Tchuate; I am 17 years old and from Cote d’Ivoire. I participated in the Oxford Royale Academy summer programme from the 4th to the 17th of August 2019 at The Queen’s College.  I chose the Broadening Horizons course in politics and international relations, medical biology, as well as leadership and teambuilding as an afternoon workshop. I picked the politics and international relations class because I was interested in studying it at university. Never having taken that class, being able to take it at ORA was a great opportunity for me to confirm that I definitely wanted to pursue it in college. It enabled me to get a better sense of what the course is like and give me a more concrete understanding of terms and concepts I had already known such as the state and how the government works. Considering Cote d’Ivoire past with political conflicts and civil wars, classes like these will allow me, as well as others in my generation, to learn from the mistakes of previous generations. While I still am not certain of the career I want to pursue, the classes about international relations helped open my eyes about my role as a global citizen and my duty to myself and to the rest of the world not to sit idle but to be a catalyst for change. My goal is to come back home after college and work on developing the relationships between Ivory Coast and other African countries as we strive for pan-Africanism. Additionally, I hope to pave the way for more women to have a voice in politics in my country because currently, the percentage of women in parliament is below 15%.  Overall, my experience at ORA inspired and encouraged me to pursue my goals for college and beyond with more confidence that it is in fact what I want to do.      

My medical biology class was an addition to my International Baccalaureate (I.B.) biology class because it helped me make sense of the concepts and theories that I learned at school. Additionally, learning about the different factors affecting human health as well as the causes of some diseases and conditions enabled me to get a better understanding of how those diseases can be avoided or treated. One thing we did as a class that simply amazed me was the dissection of a goat’s heart; although I was skeptical about doing it when I saw the heart, dissecting it and sewing some parts back together really made me understand how important surgeons’ jobs are in repairing human organs and tissues. Overall, this class was fun and quite informative, and I am glad that I took it because I know that it will now help me do better my present I.B. biology class and hopefully in my exams. The class also taught me that I do not want to pursue my studies in medical biology because although it was engaging and informative, I do not think that it is something that I would want to do as a career. However, I know that what I learned from the class will definitely help me in my science class and be more knowledgeable about health risks and what it is that medical biologists aim at doing. 

The afternoon workshop was a fun way for me to learn how and why a team must work together and how a or some leaders may arise from that team work. All of the activities we did helped me to interact with my classmates, get to know them better, and work with them to come up with a common project: a song, a movie, a motivational speech etc. I am very happy to have taken that workshop because I know that it will definitely help me be a better team member and leader in my sports teams and group works in school. I was taught to respect others’ views and contributions even if they go against what I may think or believe, which is a skill that I will need not only in school and university, but in the workplace in the future. I think that this workshop really prepared me to face new people and to learn to interact with them no matter the circumstances or individual positions. 

Lastly, being able to go out on my own and visit Oxford taught me to be independent because I had never travelled completely alone and been in a city or place without my parents, brother, or friends. Therefore, being in a completely new environment with people from multiple backgrounds taught me to be self-reliant, but also to meet new people. I am extremely grateful to have learned so much and to have gotten a scholarship to participate in this summer programme, and I truly hope that I will be able to participate in another one, or possibly study at the University of Oxford.

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