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Student portrait of girl

Rachel

Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Broadening Horizons

  • Location

    From: Malawi

  • Age

    Age: 16 years old

Highlights from Rachel’s experience

  • Discovered a new and unexpected career ambition
  • Had a life changing experience
  • Loved sightseeing in Oxford and visiting London

“I can truly say I have travelled to learn and I have learnt to travel. My two weeks in Oxford with ORA were unforgettable.”

Going to Oxford meant the world to me, growing up I would only see pictures of Oxford and only dream of going to Oxford, but being there in person now that is a story that I never get tired of explaining. Being raised in Africa going overseas is a big deal and a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. I’m glad I got a chance to achieve that.

Who knew that two weeks can change your whole future and life. Experiencing a new lifestyle and meeting different people from different backgrounds made me enjoy my stay in Oxford even more.

I always dreamt of being an accountant and following my father’s footsteps, but after spending two weeks in an experimental psychology class this dream is now old news. My whole career plan has changed from being an accountant to being a clinical psychologist. College life in Queen’s College made me realise my dream and helped me discover what actually makes me happy and what I really want to do in the future which is being a psychologist not an accountant.

My first day in Oxford was not my best if I’m being honest because it was my first time travelling and my first time being that far away from my family and friends, but I met a new family and I made new friends that helped me adjust to the environment. The teachers were amazing I was always excited for my next lesson. I would always look forward to my classes.

I did not just enjoy my days in the classroom, I also enjoyed the after-class activities that were planned for us,mostly punting and ice skating. Two things that have been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember and ORA helped me achieve it. I must say it was an incredible, unforgettable and enjoyable experience. I would do it all again in a blink of an eye.

Other than psychology class I also enjoyed my arts and architecture class. I’ll never forget the day our class visited Christ’s church cathedral. This place is famously known for being the location where Harry Potter was filmed. Being a huge fan of Harry Potter visiting the cathedral brought huge bliss to my heart.

Another thrilling fact about the cathedral is the character Alice from the book and movie Alice in Wonderland was actually raised there. Every time I tell my friends that Alice from Alice in Wonderland is a real person they think I’m crazy.

I really enjoyed visiting London and watching Mama Mia. Seeing a musical you’ve only watched on your TV is mind blowing. It was my first time being in a theatre much as it was terrifying it was also incredible. I would almost say mama Mia helped me get over my fear of height because I was sitting on the top balcony. London was just a whole another experience. Big city and big buildings is something that is not very common in Africa let alone theatres.

The graduation ceremony made me feel very proud of myself because I had achieved a lot in two weeks and I learnt massively just in two weeks. This day marked my last day in Oxford and last day with all my new friends.
Even though my friends and I did not want to say goodbye we left each other on a sadder note, but indeed I can truly say I have travelled to learn and I have learnt to travel. My two weeks in Oxford were unforgettable.

Interested in ORA's Broadening Horizons course?

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