Somehow, it’s already the end of the Summer 2019 programme! It is hard to believe that it has already been two weeks since the latest Balliol cohort checked in on campus, and during the past fortnight they have made enormous progress, in both their courses and their out of class activities. Not only have they made friends, but they have also learned plenty from the dedicated ORA teachers.
Their lessons have covered some fascinating topics, looking at their subjects from a variety of angles and introducing some more practical elements to the students as well. For example, the Business and Economics classes have been creating business plans and considering how to implement them. The lesson time has all been geared towards their work projects or presentations. They delivered these with aplomb, demonstrating great understanding of their subjects, which was a testament to their hard work.
As well as their regular lessons, the students had some brilliant masterclasses which were very enlightening and shook their routine up a bit. They also meant that the students could get some great insight into a field which was not necessarily the same as those covered in their usual lessons. These included CSI workshops, Stock Market Challenges and much more! The sessions were not only enlightening, but they also allowed the students to learn with a smile and it seemed to really help drive the information home.
Outside of the classes, everyone has settled very quickly and made lots of friends. The students have enjoyed their free time, seeing what Oxford has to offer or playing various games in the University Parks. Football has proved the most popular, although frisbee has also been a frequent flier. All of this, combined with fun evening activities like the quiz on the first night of the session have kept everyone smiling, as did the memorable victory in the ORA Olympics. The staff all noticed that there was a real closeness among the members of the cohort, and even the counsellors were out of the loop on some of the inside jokes!
There has also been a chain of great outings and excursions to help the students sample some of the British culture. Tours of the Oxford landmarks, musical trips to London and other incredible visits have all been on offer, and were all very well received.
The students’ endeavour and diligent application was met with just reward at the end of the session, as they enjoyed their graduation ceremony and the subsequent party with other Oxford campuses. There were smiles all around as their ambitions were realised and it was a fantastic evening for the whole campus.
The session has reached its ending, and with it a wonderful summer of lessons, laughs and lots of fun at Balliol. Everyone has worked hard towards their goal of an enjoyable graduation, and passed their courses with flying colours to end their stay in Oxford on the highest of highs! With firm friendships established, lessons learned and plenty more to take away from their ORA stay, it has been a fitting session to end on, as the spirit on campus has epitomised that of the whole summer.