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Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Global Leadership Programme

  • Location

    From: Guinea

  • Age

    Age: 16 years old

Highlights from Safiatou’s experience

  • Discovered new perspectives by listening to classmates with very different cultural backgrounds to her own
  • Was taken out of her comfort zone…and thrived!
  • Explored the most important principles of good leadership through discussion and debate

“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.”

I am from Guinea, and that’s already a country not many people know. Walking into class, I already knew I would be the odd one just based on where I came from.

I thought that I would know and understand a lot of what was being discussed during lectures, however, it was not the case. That class gave me a whole different challenge and perspective that I was not expecting. I was walking into a class of two people (something I was not expecting), with a completely different life story from theirs. They came from progressing, developed countries and I came from a West African country that was struggling. That was a huge factor because my class was based around the topic of “Global Leadership.” So where we came from basically defined our opinions on certain things. I am in an American school, so most of what I learn is American and African history, and they were in European schools where they had learnt European histories. The class was fairly centered around Europe, which was a struggle for me to participate in certain topics. However, other times it was fairly easy. Based on my background, there were some things I was not okay with.

Certain discussions about democracy, capitalism, and leadership in that classroom really brought me out of my comfort zone. I had the choice to either block out what was being said, or try to understand other perspectives. Instead of debating all the time, I tried to listen and observe. Once I did that, I then realised that my part of the world was not understood properly. I also learned that I need to do more research on certain things so that I can participate more in discussions, and not have a biased opinion on certain things. I aspire to be an activist, and a diplomat to represent and develop my part of the world. There’s something about working in the field of politics, human rights, and development that hits home for me. Being in the classroom that I was in motivated me even more to carry on pursuing my future goals. I did take some things personally in some discussions, but that’s okay; It’s all apart of the journey I’m embarking on. I want to follow the path of politics, development, and activism, I will be hit with a lot of things I do not agree with, and that I will take personally. This is only the first step.

Overall, Oxford Royale Academy will always have a place in my heart. The teachers, the staff, and all the adults around us were always ready to give us a hand, and that’s something I really thank them for. I met amazing people who I will never forget, and I would love to go back there for another summer program some day. Until then, I thank you ORA for this amazing experience.

Interested in ORA's Global Leadership course?

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