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Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Broadening Horizons

  • Location

    From: Sri Lanka

  • Age

    Age: 18 years old

Highlights from Oshea’s experience

  • Made lifelong friends from all over the world
  • Enjoyed the opportunity to live and study as a real University of Oxford student
  • Studied a previous favourite subject as well as something brand-new

“The two weeks I spent at ORA were a whirlwind of exciting activities, intense learning and unforgettable experiences!”

I spent two weeks in Summer 2019 at the Queen’s College in Oxford, enrolled on ORA’s Broadening Horizons programme. I took classes in philosophy and contemporary history, and attended the Global Issues seminar. The two weeks I spent at Queen’s were a whirlwind of exciting activities, intense learning and unforgettable experiences.

Diving head first into a subject I had never studied before (Philosophy) and a subject very close to my heart (Contemporary History), I genuinely did not know what to expect in terms of my academics. However, my professors were personally some of the best I’ve had as they were highly educated in their respective fields (both of them reading for their doctorates in their fields of study) and they were committed to making the learning opportunities immersive and enjoyable. At the end of my programme, I won the Attainment Prize in both my subjects, awarded to me for getting the highest marks in each class, and I know it would not have been possible if not for my professors. They were both goldmines of information and being exposed to such minds was an opportunity I will always cherish.

The campus was breathtaking and there were always activities one could sign up for – it ultimately boiled down to not having enough free time to enjoy all the activities while balancing the rigorous demands of our study courses! From city tours to punting, ghost tours to ice skating and football to sketching, there was always, always some activity to keep us busy!

Perhaps the best thing about studying with Oxford Royale Academy is that we as students get to integrate with students from all corners of the world. Being from Sri Lanka, this was the opportunity of a lifetime to see how I would manage 9000 kilometers away from my home, but the hospitality and friendliness exhibited by both the ORA staff and students assured me that I could indeed manage on my own. I never for a single moment felt homesick or missed home over the course of the two weeks.

ORA really simulated university life for me – essentially, it seemed like a crash course of the four years following my high school life. Of course, we had our curfews and registrations, but we also had the chance to live, feel, and study like university students. Going into my final year in school, I have to apply to universities soon and this summer experience has really prepared me for my future. I now know what to expect and I understand how I react to such an environment; I believe that my transition into university life will be much easier than I anxiously anticipated previously.

Additionally, this opportunity to take up subjects I, sadly, do not study in school really allowed me to broaden my horizons (following my very aptly named course). I know now that I would like to perhaps pursue the social sciences while taking classes in philosophy and modern history, even if I don’t follow them as overarching degrees. I have also realised that I would like to become an academic – perhaps a lecturer when I am older, after finishing my doctorate studies.

In conclusion, studying with ORA at one of their summer schools is an opportunity I will always keep close to my heart. It really helped me grow as a person: both in terms of my academic and social skills; in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. Therefore, I have and will continue to highly recommend it to everyone and anyone looking for something to enhance both their lives and their summers with. And finally, I also have to thank ORA for such a wonderful, wonderful experience and for making my dreams come true!

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