Course: Broadening Horizons
Age: 17 years old
“My two weeks with ORA were full of learning and challenging myself, gaining new experiences and forming friendships with wonderful people from around the world. Definitely two weeks I will remember forever!”
A boat load of emotions such as excitement, anxiety and anticipation went through me before my arrival, fortunately all except the excitement were put to bed when I arrived at Heathrow airport where I was given a warm welcome. Here I met a few other students and we got to chatting before setting off to Oxford on the shuttle. Arriving in Oxford and once again being welcomed so warmly, I was positive this was going to be an incredible summer. Everyone from the students to the counselors to the Queen’s College staff were extremely friendly. The outline for the course program that we were introduced to that evening was a good balance of academics, activities and enough free time to allow us to discover the city of Oxford. Collectively this reiterated the aforementioned of the expectation of a fantastic summer and it indeed did not disappoint.
I attended the 4th to 17th of August session of the Oxford Royale Academy at Queens College in Oxford University where I did the Broadening Horizons Programme. This meant that I had the great privilege of being taught two subjects (Medical Biology and Mathematics) of my choosing as well as an afternoon workshop (Global issues) by well-accredited teachers which was extremely rewarding. In Medical biology we discussed various parts of the medical industry, from epidemiology to human physiology. Having our teacher be a doctor meant that she could then share with us her own personal experiences and through this we could decipher if medicine is truly what we want to do in future. She was also always willing and able to answer the multiple questions we had for her as a class which only bettered the classes. It was in this class that I also then able to partake in a heart dissection which was great fun!
My mathematics class also similarly allowed me to face challenging university topics while having the fluidity in classes to ask about what mathematics as a career would be like. My afternoon class; Global issues was one of my favorite times of the course. Here we dealt with real imminent issues of the world through discussions and because of the diverse student body of this class it was a great opportunity to be introduced to and learn all the different perspectives of topics and how various issues affected a number of countries. Our teacher was also very cautious about making sure everyone participated and felt heard and listened to which only made this experience richer. On top of this, he made learning about daunting subjects such as the climate crisis fun by things such as a quiz. A highlight of the class was the role play of a political campaign where I was fortunate to be the vice president of my party, it was a great opportunity to learn about politics yet still have plenty of fun. Through the dramatics, stress and humour we applied to it, it also facilitated the forming of some of close friendships which I have formed which I am very grateful for. Overall, this Broadening Horizons Programme was perfect for me as it allowed me to narrow down what I want to study in the future by allowing me to explore these subjects which are not offered in my school, truly making it a fulfilling course as I went home with a clearer idea of what I want to do in future than when I arrived, which is exactly what one desires from a summer course, now I hope to study social medicine in a university in the UK.
Moreover, ORA offered various activities for us to do after classes, a few of which I did were: the haunted tour of Oxford, Zumba, karaoke nights, cupcake decorating and watching a live theatre performance. These were plenty of fun and made a good platform to meet new people and form friendships which I am glad to say I took advantage of. There were also plenty of university workshops which was fantastic as we were able to learn about applications to universities in the UK, campus life and choosing universities and university courses from the counselors who are university students themselves. During our free time, my friends and I used to it to our advantage to explore the incredible city. We visited plenty of beautiful quaint coffee shops and restaurants, and we are also guilty of also doing an abundant amount of shopping! Even simply walking around the illustrious city which is full of incredible architecture brought great adventures of its own.
As the aforementioned proves, these two weeks were truly remarkable, the two weeks were full of learning and challenging myself, gaining new experiences and meeting and forming friendships with wonderful people from around the world. Definitely two weeks I will remember forever!
I have gained more knowledge, and can therefore make more of an impact on the world. I think that my future goals have become clearer as I have explored options at ORA.
“In every topic, every student equally contributed his or her ideas and made each other see things from a different lens. It was this abundance of new perspectives and the chance to look at things from those different angles that made it an extremely fulfilling experience.”
“ORA summer school was about learning and working hard, but it meant so much more. The people you knew there were special; the friends we made were special.”