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Student at ORA's Oxford Summer School, 2019

  • Course type

    Course: Engineering Preparation

  • Location

    From: Seychelles

  • Age

    Age: 16 years old

Highlights from Steffie-Ann’s experience

  • Fully experienced what life as a student at the University of Oxford is like
  • Achieved her personal and academic goals
  • Enjoyed the fun activities and made new friends

“It isn’t just a summer course, it’s a meeting point for the world’s future doctors, lawyers, engineers and entrepreneurs. It is a small but great step towards world peace, where the children of today, with their many different nationalities, come together and appreciate each other.”

As I was in London previously, I took the train to get to Oxford and when arriving in the city and taking the City Bus to High Street, looking through the windows and seeing the historic and magnificent golden infrastructures, one can feel the magical essence that flows around this prestigious place. Coming from the Seychelles, a tiny island, population: 95,843, everything is automatically so much bigger.

I did the Engineering Preparation course, and my accommodation was Balliol College. I remember nervously standing in line with my luggage, waiting to register with ORA on arrival day. However, when I got to the front of the line, I was welcomed by this amazing team of nice and friendly ORA staff members – they went on to make my stay at Balliol, and my course in Oxford, feel that much safer and enjoyable.

One of the greatest gifts Oxford Royale Academy has given me, is the chance to meet a huge group of aspiring young teens like me, from so many different parts of the world, as well as giving me a voice to share my cultures from Seychelles to them. Following the introductory and welcome talk, the next two weeks of my stay at Oxford, through the many organized activities and excursions, I got to further build relationships, learn from the course and see more of the beautiful city of Oxford.

Coming to Oxford Royale Academy, being the summer before I began my A-levels, I had the goal of finding academic inspiration, obtaining an insight into what studying engineering at University is like, figuring out if Engineering is truly what I want to pursue in the future and, finally, to push myself further beyond my own limits towards greatness. I can gladly say I left Oxford with all my goals achieved.

To begin with, Oxford Royale Academy has a range of informative courses designed for students, especially within 16-18 range like myself, to gain insight of potential courses to study in the future at University level and, at the same time, be taught by excellent and incredibly helpful teachers. During the day, like any normal school day we attended classes, with a lunch break long enough to explore around Oxford and get to choose between many different cuisines available at every corner. For the engineering students, our classes were held at the Blavatnik School of Government and, to me, it was one of the most modern and incredibly engineered buildings I’ve ever gotten the chance to study in. Again, it felt absolutely unreal. I would say you definitely reach a level of independence in Oxford, it is as though you were actually a student at Oxford University itself.

The course was definitely very hard and challenging for me, especially coming out of IGCSE’s, however there wasn’t any point in time in which I felt lost, stressed or discouraged, because I had many classmates, better yet, now great friends, that helped me. I also had one of the best teachers to explain quite complicated concepts in understandable ways. I can gladly say I’ve learnt so much in those two weeks, that I’ve ever learnt in any other weeks at school. It was definitely very knowledgeable and I took in every piece of information I could get.

Finally, in the afternoons my favorite part of the day, where all the students, after a long day of classes would meet together again and enjoy so many fun activities, where each day, something different is planned. There wasn’t a day that went by where I felt that I wasn’t doing anything. Each day with ORA would be a new experience, a new memory and unlimited smiles and laughter. From learning how to punt to witnessing the great debate, it was never a dull moment with them.

It was absolutely unreal that I got the chance to be able to study an engineering summer course, within the compounds of one of the best Universities in the UK and in the world. Thank you so much to Oxford Royale Academy!!! I am beyond and forever grateful for the opportunities you are providing for students like me all around the world. It isn’t just a summer course, it is a meeting point of several of the world’s future doctors, lawyers, engineers and entrepreneurs in our lives. It is a small but great step towards World peace, where the children of today, with many different nationalities come together and appreciate each other.

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