Having given you an overview of some of the activities at four of our summer campuses, now we turn our attention to the remaining three…
One of our counsellors has conducted some informal interviews with some of our students studying at St. Catherine’s College. Daphne, from Athens, is studying Medical Biology and Chemistry. “I want to do Environmental Science at university, so I chose my subjects to help prepare for that,” she said. “I really like the college…its very nice and I enjoy the architecture. The only thing I don’t like is that you can’t sit on the grass. Whilst enjoying her lessons, Daphne said that the different nationalities have really added to her experience. “I have made a lot of friends and I have become close with people from Greece particularly…But I have met lots of other people too, and I hope I can keep in touch with other people in the future. I really enjoyed meeting people from other countries because its nice to see other cultures, and to get to know them.”
Daniel, from Bogota in Columbia, is studying Economics, Business Management and Leadership as part of the Broadening Horizons programme. “I really like it here. I have met some great people, and I am really enjoying my chosen classes.” Stefan, from Gdansk in Poland, was similarly excited by Oxford. “I am studying English literature, Chemistry and Leadership and Team Building. I love chemistry and hope to study it at University. Being here in Oxford is beautiful. The city is a lot smaller than where I’m from but the architecture is lovely.”
There was some suspicious activity on the streets of Oxford on Monday evening, as Oxford Royale Academy students took part in a walking tour with a difference. The students walked to Broad Street, looking for a man in a top-hat named Bill Spectre. Mr Spectre led the group on a historical ‘Ghost Trail’.
This trail led the students across the older streets of Oxford and at several points along the walk, our mysterious host would stop to tell spine-tingling tales of murders, hangings, plots and ghost sightings in these specific spaces. Bill’s stories included the tale of the ‘cloaked man of Brasenose College’, otherwise known as the president of the ‘Hellfire Club’ who died in December 1828 of ‘unexplained circumstances’ after attempting to summon the devil. Whilst most students confidently proclaimed that the stories did not scare them, they still jumped in fright when Mr Spectre’s book appeared to burst into flames before them. Another highlight of the evening was when three students were assigned to ‘gallop’ down Queen’s Lane with coconut shells in order to illustrate the story of the phantom horse-rider. Students agreed that ghosts and spookiness aside, the tour had been a very interesting way to see Oxford and learn some of the city’s rich and bizarre history.
It’s not all fun and activities at Oxford Royale Academy! There’s some hard work to be done too. One of our counsellors reports on their experience in an Experimental Psychology class, where the students were listening to presentations that their peers had prepared for the rest of the class:
“They were allowed to pick a subject of their choice from the syllabus they had been taught on the course. I listened to two presentations one about mental illness causing personality change and another about the ‘Nature vs Nurture’ debate. Mental illnesses such as stress, OCD, Alzheimer’s and anxiety can cause personality changes, the personality changes are obviously not all the same and can be caused by a number of different reasons; most of them are environmental changes but some occur naturally. The Nature vs Nurture debate has been going on since the time of the great philosophers such as Plato, who argued that, while we do pick up things from the environment around us over time, some things are ‘inborn’ and simply naturally occur within us and that it is in our DNA. Just as we have the genetic coding for blue eyes, we could also have it wired into our DNA that we like rock music or can’t help the way we act. Other thinkers, such as John Locke, described the mind as starting as a blank slate and thus being moulded completely by the environment. It’s an interesting debate, positively demonstrating that Oxford Royale students are involved in all aspects of learning.”