STUDENT BLOGS

Alyazi Al Muhairi

My Oxford Experience

Being at Oxford was truly a blessing and an amazing opportunity that I would highly recommend anyone that is able to participate in this program. I say this because there is nowhere else in the world where you can truly experience one-on-one conversations, contribution and learning from some of the most brilliant minds of the current world. The conversations that we were lucky enough to be a part of, were alone an experience itself. The professors at Oxford really enabled me to dive deeper into fields that I have never thought would interest me and really changed my perspective on them completely.

 What I loved the most was that this program really allows you to explore yourself and challenges you to think differently. By meeting people from all around the world, all coming from different backgrounds, cultures and mind sets and sharing a breakfast table together really changes your perspective on things. Having the pleasure to participate in different activities together was a beautiful experience, making lifelong friends in the process of it all. Oxford opened up my eyes to many things I was blind to, an experience I would push everybody to be a part of. – Alyazi Almuhairi Al-Mizhar American Academy Dubai, UAE

Wonderful Learning Experience in the Most Beautiful Campus

With my interest in STEM subjects and being a robotic enthusiast, I had enrolled for two weeks Oxford London Summer Progam 2019. As part of the program, you were to select one subject each as your major and minor, and I had opted for Engineering and Economics.

It was a wonderful experience at the Oxford Campus, spending time with professors and having interesting interactive sessions with deans. The Oxford teaching approach brings out the best among students. The University of Oxford has one of the most beautiful campuses in the United Kingdom. This program had allowed me to live and study in a very vibrant kind of community and experience the historic features about Oxford. We were to explore the beautiful architecture of the city centre, relax in the peaceful university gardens and witness one of the best academic facilities. Most of the academic content are taught by top tier professors in tutorials. There would be only one to two students with each tutor regardless of the number of students. This session provides close contact with teachers who have mastered in their field of study. The accommodation has been handled very neatly and they made sure that the students have comfortable nights. We were guided to our respected dormitories, where each of us had a separate room, with common kitchen amenities to share. This helped me make friends from all around the world and understand their lifestyle better. We lived in the heart of the city which is only a 5-minute ride to the main market center. Every alternate night they would entertain us with lively cultural activities and fun games alongside the student’s academic sessions. They took us for a movie night, punting, and also some sports activities at the huge lawn which was close by the campus. Activities at Oxford makes you more independent. We as a team had to do it most of it by ourselves, from our laundry to getting up in the morning, and more importantly to take care of our room keys. The timetable shared with us was filled with events and tutorials, that kept our days busy enough. At the end of the summer program, we were supposed to write a 2000 word essay on our major and send it to our professor, who would review it and share the report later. The format of conduct had given us a glimpse of the university learning environment. Apart from the fun activities and the academic sessions, they help you increase your confidence. This is done by a debate session which is arranged at the Oxford Union Institute. Oxford summer program is not a regular summer school, it gives a wonderful experience for students to get an idea of undergraduate years. Aarav Patel JNIS, Mumbai, India

Aarav Patel

Linh Tran

A New Perspective

The Bodleian Library, Covered Market, Oxford Union, and live trial cases were all highlights of the camp and those are only a few, to begin with. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Oxford-London program which has helped me gain experience with the life as a student being away from home, exposure to new, interesting courses and made close friends that I will hopefully keep for a lifetime.

The program has allowed me to have a balance between studying and having the freedom to explore the prominent sights of the two cities. The dynamics between Oxford and London really gives you the best out of two fairly different places. One, with a very cozy and serene atmosphere and the other with more of a vibrant and busy landscape. Both are well-known for having some of the finest learning institutions in the world. In lessons, you will find it to be an encouraging place to develop a better understanding of your chosen courses, regardless of your level of understanding for the subjects. The program fosters new and valuable experiences for you to explore your options and gain a better understanding of what studying in college/university in the UK might be like, even if it’s just a glimpse. I found the lectures to cover challenging topics that I have yet to study but the topic themselves are really fascinating that it’s hard not to listen. My experience wouldn’t be the same without the people who made it memorable. The tutors were really eager to help us in a small group of around 4 students, actively engaged in discussions. In an international learning environment, I’ve not only learned something from the tutors but also from my fellow students about their home country. The trio of deans always managed to make us laugh and they were all really down-to-earth, ready to talk to us despite how annoying we were. Punting was interesting, something I’ve never done before. Our group insisted on not having any assistance because we wanted to physically try punting on our own. Soon, we regretted this idiotic decision after reaching a small bridge about 50 meters along the river in like half an hour. I had a great time running around at the park with my friends too. It was exactly what I needed on a nice day where I’ve digested a little too much sugar. However, surprisingly, my most enjoyable activity was the debate sessions. In the 21st century, where many things are overlooked and still, plenty of issues surfaces at an alarming rate, we as young students should feel the need to contribute in some way or another. Bringing such problems into a discussion is a great start. I feel like the debating classes have encouraged us to take part and being able to do so inside the Oxford Union really gave it a more surreal feeling. At the end of the day, what I got most out of the program wasn’t the research done for class or having had a bit of a panic on what to write for my essay- it’s the overall experience to have been able to study, socialize and have such an amazing and productive time with the company of those I enjoyed. For that, I have the Oxford-London camp to thank for that. Linh Tran British international School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

My Experience at Oxford: A Memorable One

When I think about my experience at Oxford, I’m reminded of how I felt while sending the email – my application to this institute. I recall an amalgamation of emotions materializing within that instant, but laced through all of them was anticipation. Anticipation that overrode the nervousness that I would be alone in a foreign environment for the next two weeks. This anticipation only grew for the next 7 months, until I found myself turning into Logic Lane, to enter the University College of Oxford. Soon after, I found myself in my room, unpacking. While grabbing lunch, I took notice of my surroundings and the university students around me. I knew then and there that this is where I want to be, and that I would cherish every single memory I make here in the coming two weeks. Later on, I met some students who came for the same course, and these students would go on to become my friends, and the people who made my experience at Oxford what it was.

These people came from all walks of life, belonging to different countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities. We spoke different languages, were raised in different environments, had different ideologies and opinions, but in those two weeks at Oxford, we were all students attending the same institute, as friends and classmates-never strangers. We all knew what we were there for, and we all acknowledged that it truly was a privilege that we got to spend time there as actual students. Despite most of us speaking different languages, we never faced large communication barriers, with everyone being as amiable and accommodating as possible.

The teaching system that I was greeted by in Oxford was unlike any other form of tutelage I had previously been exposed to. Oxford has a unique tutorial system, which allows the tutor to focus on their students in a very personalized manner, and this system was practiced when we went to our tutorials and lectures as well. Our tutors was accomplished researchers, graduates of the University itself, or professionals in the field they were teaching us about. Taking in account all our strengths, weaknesses, opinions and interests, the tutors made sure that all the tutorials had elements which suited every student attending it. We received tutorials related to our major and minor subjects. The program provided a variety of subjects, ranging from Science, Law, Business, Politics and International  Relations, Engineering to History, Fine Arts, English Literature and Language, and many more. Aside from our majors and minors, we were also allowed to go and sit in tutorials regarding other subjects. As for the passionate lectures by the environmentalists and anthropologists, I have the Program organizers to owe, for they truly were an eye-openers, and gave us something to think about.

In our spare time, we would often visit the common room, where our residential deans had placed many games, and even went ahead to play those with us. One of the more noticeable games was the foosball table, where almost everyone had a match or two. When we weren’t inside, students would often be seen outside in the gardens, playing games like croquet or king-stop. Additional classes were arranged to fill up our schedules, like English practicing classes or “Peter’s Fun Math’s Class”- a class none of us are ever forgetting. Our first week at Oxford came to an end with a day trip to London, which was equally educating and riveting. What made it even more special was the fact that we got to experience the city with friends that we had made in the course itself. Another one of the highlights of the course was the punting trip, where we felt like true students of Oxford.

To sum it all up, this course really was an opportunity of a lifetime, one that I would suggest to all who can avail it. The challenges we faced taught us how to be independent, rational and mature. The memories we made are not ones that we will be forgetting. And finally, I would like to say thank you to our deans for letting Oxford be a home away from home for me.

Raiaab Ajmal Preparatory School Islamabad (PSI), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Raiaab Ajmal

Dhiya Alkuraishi

My Unforgettable Experience

This was one of the most memorable trips I’ve had. Even before we left Dubai, I was so much looking forward to the trip, when I landed in Oxford I was greeted at the airport by the oxford trip team and they made me feel really welcomed. I was very kindly driven to the campus where I was introduced to other students and deans, the rooms were very spacious and we got free meals. Although there was a lot of people we got our own rooms. The first day was spent by getting to know other students, there were students from all over the world and  I learned lots about their different cultures and experiences.

Once the tutorial started on day two, I got myself focussed on learning as much in the short time we had. The courses structure was really exciting and I found the tutorials very interesting and fascinating, and I learnt a lot of information and knowledge in these 2 weeks to take back with me.

During the 2 week tutorials, I found the teachers were really friendly, conversational and always help answer any questions or concerns we had during the course. One of the most enjoyable part of the course was the business section where I had to collect information on a specific business case study and analyze why it’s so successful, my business teacher and I did some hands-on field studying to get more practical knowledge.

In addition, there were lots of other activities that we did on other days, debating with each other, visiting the historical college campus, as well as trips to London for a day where we got to explore London. During our time in London, I got to visit the famous Oxford Street where I spent some time and trying some traditional English fish and chips. On one other day, I got eh amazing time to visit and go to the famous London Eye attraction which has the most amazing views of London.

One of the highlights on the trip was we got to try the various transport in London, the trains, buses, and the London metro.  Another highlight on the trip was the formal dinner we were invited to which was on the last day, the food was really impressive and set-up was amazing.

Overall, the 2 weeks I had spent in the camp was amazing and a huge learning experience, I really enjoyed the course, campus and visiting new places, Oxford did not disappoint, it’s a lovely area and lots to keep you entertained. The group who also came along in the camp were very friendly and the staff constantly made us feel welcome and always put a smile on everyone’s faces. I will not forget this trip and would encourage other students to experience this wonderful place!

Dhiya Alkuraishi,

Kings’ School Al Barsha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

An Influential Learning Experience

The University of Oxford, a place where the world’s leading ideas and advancements were made, where like-minded learners of different fields come together in pursuit of their passion and aspiration, where students are given lifelong lessons, influences and benefits. It is the dream university of tens of thousands of learners, and this summer program has enabled me to actually go into Oxford and experience the students’ life, where we were able to learn under the tutorial system and closely interact and communicate with Oxford graduates and prestigious researchers, as well as specialists in different fields.

This summer program was truly memorable and significant, and it was fascinating to meet and spend two weeks with people from all over the world who have different cultural background and mindset. We had students from Pakistan, Syria, France, America, China, Canada, Japan, Dubai and Hong Kong, etc, ranging from middle school students to undergraduates. We all had our own languages, cultures, religions and beliefs, as well as ideologies. And all our differences were made extremely interesting and beneficial for each other, when we came together sharing stories of our ethnicities and countries, as well as educational system, which greatly broadened our horizons.

Most importantly, we were given the opportunity to attend tutorials led by students and researchers at the university, as well as lectures given by prestigious scholars including environmentalists. The English naturalist Chris Baines has given us a very impressive insight into the problem of climate change, based on his work experience of the preservation of River Thames. And a lot of us were astounded by how serious the problem actually is after hearing from this professional specialist who knows the actual situation extremely well. And we deeply felt our responsibilities as the younger generation, to change the present situation or at least maintain the status quo and not alter the environment for the worse, by doing small things in our daily lives as well as volunteering in environmental projects and organisations.

In the tutorials, we were able to discuss different topics thoroughly and critically, and look at things from multiple perspectives with the guidance and help of our tutors, who are researchers and specialists in the university still on their journey of learning. The options of courses were quite diverse and flexible, which included English language, English literature, Politics, World History, Medicine, Mathematics and other science and art subjects, so all of us were able to study a specific field that interests us. Moreover, we could try out as many courses as we would like in the first few days, and see if the chosen courses fit or the other courses are actually more intriguing and beneficial, in order to ensure that the courses we are taking for the rest two weeks are practical and useful. During our free time, there were group activities and events such as the Maths and English speaking session arranged by Oxford graduates, as well as movie night and karaoke night to make sure that everyone is involved, enjoying themselves and interacting with one another.

Another huge part of our trip was the deans that helped us and guided us through the Oxford journey. Every one of them was extremely friendly, helpful and supportive in many ways. They were willing to share their experiences with us and answer our questions patiently in detail, whether academics wise or relating to social life and school life in Oxford. They would also lead discussions and start conversation to make sure that everyone is involved and making the best out of this trip. They have also prepared activities such as the English language session where we can join during our free time, so that our everyday experience is fulfilling and productive. All the information was given and communicated clearly and concisely in the group chat, so there was no miscommunication regarding our schedule and events. The deans were an indispensable and crucial part of this summer camp as well as our Oxford journey.

Not to forget, the university counselling done by the deans was incredibly useful and practical as well. Since they have actually experienced all the application process and interviews, we were given advices that are more realistic and relevant to what it is going to be like. Outside of the college, we had several chances to go to the city centre of London and visit museums and galleries.

The tutorials were indisputably engaging, worthwhile and beneficial. Take the English language class that I signed up for as an example, our tutor had provided a variety of reading materials for the class, from poetry to speeches. In every tutorial we had discussions that are of academic value and philosophical, relating to various topics and themes. Our tutor had also prepared activities aside from discussions, reading and analysing excerpts in order to keep us engaged, such as acting out scenes from literary works.

Living in Oxford’s dorms and having the opportunity to interact with Oxford graduates and specialists as well as the access to many facilities were a privilege to all of us, and we were benefited significantly from our tutors and deans academically and socially in many aspects. I believe a lot of us were highly motivated by this programme to work harder, get into the university that we aspire after, and achieve our various personal goals and dreams.

Guo Yu (Elaine)

Victoria Shanghai Academy, Hong Kong, China

Fayaaz Marzuq Khan

An Educational Excursion

Before signing up for this program I was really excited as it was my first summer camp away from home. As me and my brother reached London, we took a car ride to the amazing University’s accommodation which was my home for the first week.

As soon as I arrived, I saw lots of students of different nationalities waiting to complete their registration. I was nervous to start with but the Deans made me feel comfortable and it helped me open up to everyone around.

We had an introductory session at the Oxford Union’s Debating Chamber. Visiting the Oxford Union and seeing some great personalities that came to this Union was truly fascinating. I got to meet a lot people from different nationalities and made a lot of new friends. After the introductory session, we were taken for Lunch where we indulged in a delectable Lebanese Cuisine at a small café. Coming to Oxford and experiencing a different cuisine went on to show how beautifully diverse Oxford City is. Then we proceeded for the Oxford Day Tour. We visited twenty one colleges which were under the University Of Oxford. Among them were Somerville College, University College, Christchurch College, St. John’s College and many other esteemed and eminent colleges. Visiting different types of colleges in Oxford was amusing as it is everyone’s dream to Study at Oxford University’s prestigious colleges.

 We visited the Health And Life Sciences facility of the University where we were going to sit for our tutorials. The Tutorials were the vital part of the whole experience as we learnt a lot of things related to our subjects and also outside of our subject from our experienced tutors of Oxford University. I took economics as my major subject and medicine as my minor.

Medicine was a new subject to study for me and the Oxford program helped me learn new facts and interesting details about Medicines which are hopefully going to help me in the future. The medicine tutor gave us different case studies everyday which were spellbinding and flabbergasting. The Economics tutor showed us compelling videos and presentations which made us learn more stimulatingly. This helped to strengthen my core in economics. We went to visit different museums during the free time. Ashmolean Museum were one of them where saw different historical sculptures through which we learnt about the past.

I used to be nervous when I was asked to do public speaking. But the way our Debating tutor taught us on how to encounter others speech, speaking in confidence and feeling free made me gain a lot of confidence. They made us do a sample debating which made us gain a lot of confidence which was a great improvement we all did in public speaking.  

After the first splendid week in Oxford we were then transferred to London School Of Economics accommodation which was the LSE Bankside House. During the second week we were taken for London Day tour in which we visited different colleges. Among them were London School Of Economics and Political Sciences, Imperial College and Goodenough College. Being a school student from Bangladesh this opportunity helped me to go through these well renowned colleges which gave me an incentive to pursue my further education in the future in one of them. We also visited different museums, parks (like Hyde Park) and stunning tourist attractions. We had sessions in Imperial College on Medicine and Physics. We learned a lot of advanced information about the subjects which were very much constructive. We had a career counselling session in Goodenough College on how to apply for the best Universities in the UK which was pretty profitable as you can decide for which university to apply for in the UK. We had a formal Dinner at the Mercure Hotel. It was one of the most biggest highlights of the whole program. We were given a certificate of completion which is very helpful when we apply for our university.

At the end of this summer camp I learned a lot. It was a learning and a magical experience. I want to tell every International students that this is a summer camp where you will get a taste of Oxford University’s and Imperial College’s study system through tutorials and sessions. Overall this was an amazing experience. If I get another chance than I would like to come back to this summer camp next year.

Fayaaz Marzuq Khan

DPS STS School, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Most Remarkable Journey

When you’re part of a place in which thoughts that have been acted on by the people of there have been the source of significant events that shaped the history and ergo today, your experiences and knowledge are inspired just as immensely and exquisitely. Being in Oxford Summer Institute, the first university in the history of the world, provides you with just that. But more than anything, what deems here one of the most prestigious institutions are the people who maintain its spirit. The discipline that comes to you so naturally much thanks to the genuine, creative and encouraging way the tutors communicate with you is a contagious demeanor that helps you become more mature both in character and in the work you commit yourself to throughout the program. The caring, considerate and understanding staff members always make sure your accommodation is of great quality and they are treated with equal footing by the faculty, which is a chance to explore a humane and a very respectful environment. The empathizing, patient and fun deans are never reluctant to make sure your time here is fruitful and productive. All of these aspects were fresh air for me, and after being given the privilege of inhaling them, I made sure to store them inside my memory to always reflect and remind myself of the significance of sparking humanity and curiosity within myself and others I can get in touch with, in order to understand my existence as a human being and deem it helpful and worthy (an ideal I’ve discovered here).

Oxford is a place where you practice solidarity and individuality, processing and producing, being taken care of by the most trustworthy hands while having great responsibility of yourself and your environment. Above all, it’s thoroughly safe as the security precautions are most competently taken and the program is very strict, trustworthy and reliable when it comes to students being kept out of harm’s way. It is where you are given the honor to learn the nature of knowledge, humanity and life, therefore I’d recommend everyone to apply to become part of such place.

Dilan Kurhan

Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Dilan Kurhan

Anna Oliynyk

My Experience at the Oxford Summer Program

This summer I was lucky enough to attend the Oxford summer program. The course was two weeks long but I have never learnt so much in such a short period of time. During the two weeks we were taught by the tutorial method which helped create more focus on concepts taught by the best professors in that field.

I met many like minded peers from all over the world thriving in a supportive learning environment. For me the greatest takeaway from this experience was how it offered a taste of college life. From navigating the streets of Oxford, living on campus, attending lectures; students are given freedom and responsibility to take charge of their lives and discover themselves. Apart from academics this program offered many engaging activities beyond the classroom. This included trips to the museum, tours around Oxford and London, sports, and my favourite, punting!

Overall the program was amazing. It has helped me thrive as an individual and enhance my skills in such a way that now I am ready to face the real world and pursue my dreams.

A Privilege

Writing this blog brings all the memories back… I had the privilege to attend the Oxford Summer Program and it has left a positive impact on me. This blog documents my Oxford Experience – my tutorials, my work, and my experience.

My experience at the Oxford Summer Programme started once I reached Oxford. After registration, I was given my room keys and taken to my room to settle down. That cubical room was peaceful, even a luxurious suite couldn’t match it. Another thing I instantly learnt was ‘ happiness doesn’t necessarily lie in luxury , it lies within you, you need to find your happiness’.

With Oxford’s tutorial system, I enjoyed freedom unavailable in any “traditional” universities. It is remarkable how our classes were shaped – one tutor teaches maximum four students at a time. The tutors are full of energy and enthusiastic to refine your skills. I took Computer Science as my major and Fine Arts and Drawing as my minor subject .

What I loved about computer class was the dedicated tutor who was ready to help and aid his students taking full responsibility . I participated actively during the classes and loved giving presentation. All this credit had to go to my tutor, Collins and the debating classes. I was delighted to listen to my computer tutor who complimented that I was very fluent with English and the confidence make him realise that I knew what I was presenting on .

What I learnt from my arts class is another 3000+ word essay! I emphases and stress on the phrase that I ‘found my happiness’ and now here it’s time to mention that I found that my happiness in arts , in drawing and analysing drawings . In the first class my arts tutor  told us “there is nothing as a wrong answer” trust me these words are to be treasured that’s the first step to giving your child the confidence to speak , to say it all .

She would appreciate our drawing being such specialist using sentences like ‘ oh I see a beginning of something new ’ or ‘thats a master piece’ . Now even when I am back I draw every day and its getting better . She has left a lifetime impact on me .

I feel as if arts is my strength and my weakness . Strength because I draw when I am low or when I am depressed or tired it provides me a break . It acquires the power to soothe me down , it’s my version of mental therapy . Weakness because I terribly want to go back to Oxford and pursue my art classes.The last day I had  de-briefing with Sir Ayyaz and while talking to him about my experience I mentioned how responsible and independent I felt and his comment I would never forget and can strongly relate to is “ the taste of independence is very addictive .”

Oxford will allow you to explore yourself .

Its very casual to say but I miss my time in Oxford and I literally have gotten emotionally attached . I aim to achieve my goals and end up in Oxford .

Selenya Berkin

-Cyprus

Selenya Berkin

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