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Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Computer Science Programme

  • Location

    From: South Africa

  • Age

    Age: 16 years old

Highlight’s from Nadia’s experience

  • Explored new cultures and made friends from all over the world
  • Gained the confidence to travel and study abroad again in the future
  • Participated in ORA’s Great Debate!

“I got to see the world through the eyes of multiple people, cultures and religions.”

I am from South Africa and I have always had an interest in studying abroad. I went to Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford for a two-week summer course with ORA in Computer Science and Programming.

I am not quite sure what I was expecting from the course, but what I got far exceeded my expectations. Our class only had four people in, but that made it even more engaging. Our teacher had a very definite love of what he was teaching, and it rubbed off on the class. Our assignments very interesting and very fun to do, sometimes it did not feel like work at all because we were enjoying ourselves so much.

One of the best things about studying at Lady Margaret Hall was just the sheer amount of different cultures and countries represented. We had people from countries all over Europe, as well as from countries in South America, North America, Africa and Asia. It was such a wonderful experience to talk to people from different countries and to compare our nationalities. I am an Afrikaans speaking South African and one of the things I will never forget was having a conversation with a Dutch girl, me speaking Afrikaans, her speaking Dutch, and understanding each other perfectly. I got to see the world through the eyes of multiple people, cultures and religions.

The counselors always had a variety of activities available to keep you busy. Other than doing sport related activities, such as ping pong tournaments and arts and crafts, we also had a few talks by the counselors that provided valuable information for anyone thinking of studying in the UK. On certain occasions we had outside people come in to deliver talks or run a masterclass. I partook in one of these activities – ‘The Great Debate’ – where we had to debate the merit of sending humans or robots to space, with the students acting as the deciding party.

Graduation was a bittersweet moment, on the one side everyone was ecstatic about graduating, but on the other hand we had formed such strong bonds with people we would not be seeing again. I never thought it would be possible to make such good friends in such a short amount of time. By the end of the two weeks we were all great friends and really felt like a community – an ORA community. My two weeks in Oxford was an unforgettable experience, not only did it give me the confidence I needed to think about studying abroad, but it is also the source of memories I will not easily forget.

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