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Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Broadening Horizons

  • Location

    From: Italy

  • Age

    Age: 16 years old

Highlights from Livia’s experience

  • Fully experienced life as a university student
  • Studied two brand-new subjects; now intends to study a social sciences subject at university
  • Mastered the arts of organisation, time management and teamwork



“I learnt a lot from my academic immersion at ORA, not just about the topics of my selected courses, but also how to organise and express my thoughts in the most effective way.”

I’ve always dreamed to study abroad, to meet people from completely different cultures, to live like a university student. Oxford Royale Academy made it possible for my dream to come true. When I stepped into Oxford the first time I already knew that the next two weeks would have been been two amazing and challenging weeks. I took the Broadening Horizons course studying Business Finance and Management. Because I’ve never studied any of the two subjects before, I was nervous about the classes to be too difficult for me. But I was immediately relieved as the teachers were willing to help and answer all kinds of questions.

I remember my Business Finance teacher, Mr Deji, during the first lesson saying: “There is no stupid question”, this encouraged me and all of my classmates to ask everything that came up to our minds related to the lesson’s topic.

I learnt a lot from my academic immersion at ORA, not just about the topics of my selected courses, but also how to organise and express my thoughts in the most effective way. 

Furthermore, the afternoon’s Leadership and Teambuilding class that I attended three times a week in smaller groups has been really useful and interesting. During those six lessons, my teacher taught us a lot about the history of leadership and the characteristics and qualities of successful leaders as Martin Luther King and Barack Obama. We had to write our own speech and to read it in front of the whole class: this has been motivating and challenged my public speaking skills. 

One of the things I enjoyed the most in Oxford is the fact that we lived pretty much in the same way as university students do, in the same places, organizations, situations and conditions. This helped me a lot in having a better understanding of university’s life and to get ready for what I will be doing after completing my high school here in Italy. 

I will never forget the great fun I had during the out of the classroom activities such as painting, MUN, and all the sports evening activities: these are the perfect scenario where to meet new people getting on very easily and building life-lasting friendships. 

Although every day was full of activities we also had a lot of free time that I usually spent in the grass outside the main building, hanging out with different people sharing our different stories and experiences. 

ORA is the perfect place to interact with peers with different backgrounds and life experiences: after the suite-check, more or less at 10:15, we were permitted to hang out with the girls of our dorm. Both the location and the accommodation was fantastic, I was sharing my dorm with 7 girls from different nationalities. My room-mate Vera, other really nice girls and I loved to talk to before falling asleep commenting on our days and discussing our expectations for the next one to come. I grew so close to the friends I made at ORA in the first week that by the second we already felt like family. 

I spent most of my time in Yarntorn Manor, the beautiful old-style English building surrounded by endless expanses of grass so different from my usual and familiar landscape but on Saturdays, when we didn’t have class we went in a full day excursion, we visited important cultural sites such as Stonehenge and the city of Bath. I loved these trips that enhanced our everyday routine.

The schedule is in fact very tight at ORA with high academic expectations. This made me very conscious about the importance to organise my time in a productive way and boosted my skills in this area. I had to complete two written assignments of approximately 1000 words each and to develop two groups presentations of 15 minutes in less than a week, self-organisation and effective teamwork have been the keys to my success (I was awarded for the Business Award!). 

The course ended with a very moving and special graduation ceremony in the courtyard outside Yarntorn Manor where all the student received an attendance certificate.

Summer at ORA helped me to clarify my future path and academic goals. I now know that I aim to attend a social science course in a foreign university living in an international environment. It made me a more independent thinker and independent person, this is something that will benefit me in college and beyond.

I will never forget this experience: all of my memories and the people I met will live forever in my mind and in my heart.  

Interested in ORA's Broadening Horizons course?

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