Course: Broadening Horizons
Age: 18 years old
“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.”
Immediately when the ice-breaker games started, I knew that the following days were going to be both fun and enriching because the counsellors were really adept at helping us bond with each other through both traditional games and the ones they devised themselves. My expectation was met everyday as I started my days with ORA in Queens College in philosophy class and ended it with what I thought was really eye-opening after workshop: public speaking and debate. After merely six sessions, I was introduced to a field of interest that I had thought I was pretty knowledgeable about. Despite parliamentary debates and general MUN conferences, there were so many forms of public speaking in practice and it made me realize that the world has endless opportunities to offer. There was not a single time, at least as I recall now, when I checked the clock to see if the lessons were finishing. Hence, I think it shows that how much interactive and engaging the teachers made the lessons.
The one class I particularly enjoyed was, as you may have guessed, Introduction to Philosophy. In addition to effectively teaching us what the field of philosophy was all about in general, our teacher was providing his personal insights and why he chose to study philosophy which was very aligned to my reason of wanting to study philosophy. I believe it consolidated my feelings for wanting to major in the field through my undergraduate study in university. I had not been quite sure before attending the course, of what I would actually do with the degree and what kinds of things a philosopher does, but having finished the classes, I realized there are so many things that are applicable, so many and invaluable skills one can acquire once one pursues the science that has so many branches and that I should not be discouraged from pursuing what I was extremely interested in exploring. The reason is because I was completely fascinated with what I dabbled in during the lessons and perhaps because of the positive influence the teacher had on us through his superb teaching skills and his willingness to conduct each class both engagingly and productively. Currently, I’m reading Sophie’s World and listening to the Philosophize This!, two of the many materials and sources our teacher recommended us to delve in at the start of each session. So far, I’m still researching and contemplating about some of the notable philosophers and ethical and moral dilemmas we were encountered during classes and find it extremely gratifying.
Our leisure activity options were by no means limited. Everyday new posters were pinned against the wall into the common room and choosing between them was really hard. Among them, I especially enjoyed the tour of the town because I got to see how lucky Oxford students are studying in a town that was full of historical buildings and ancient stores. I still regret not buying the notebook with my house’s stamp on it that was sold at one of the Harry Potter stores.
Furthermore, in my opinion, my classmates as well as the friends outside the classroom were the people who made my experience at ORA remarkably memorable. I have so many fond memories that I can cherish now and in the future as I reminisce about how much invaluable friendships I created with people from the other sides of the world. I would not have found the classes enjoyable and would have considered them chores, as I sometimes do, had the students not being what they were. In every topic, everyone equally contributed his/her ideas and made each other look things from different lenses. It was this abundance of perspectives and the chance to look from those different angles were what I thought was extremely fulfilling experience. During lunches and breaks, we would just unwind and talk about anything we like whether be it history, politics, TV shows or music. I’m still in contact with many friends with whom I formed during my stay at the inspiring town of Oxford and hope to meet with them at the same hall in the foreseeable future.
My experience at ORA this summer was life-changing. One would not expect a person gain so much insight of the world we live in just going to a summer program. Yet, Oxford Royale Academy’s summer school, with its international students and friendly staff that create welcome and warm atmosphere, made the experience very special for me. I believe every student at ORA finishes his/her summer school with so many memories to cherish and priceless skills and knowledge, as well as new insights. I would highly recommend ORA to everyone who is looking for an opportunity like this.
“Attending Oxford Royale Academy has impacted my life in a way I cannot describe. I remember arriving not knowing what to expect, and feeling extremely nervous. The hospitality of the other students and ORA’s staff made me feel instantly comfortable.”
“Oxford Royale Academy creates a small family-like community that makes everyone feel welcome and cared for. All in all, my experience at ORA is something that I will always remember and be grateful for.”
“I got to see the world through the eyes of multiple people, cultures and religions.”