‘When in Rome,’ as the saying goes, ‘do as the Romans do.’ When in England, one might extend, ‘do as the English’— and for the students arriving in Oxford on Sunday, that means ‘take afternoon tea.’ Long a British institution, the custom of meeting new people and exchanging conversation over a cup of tea and some cakes is an excellent one, and the students seized the chance yesterday afternoon to become acquainted with both the first of many British cultural quirks, and with new friends.
Afternoon tea concluded, the students were welcomed to Jowett Walk with an introductory talk by Christine Luscombe-Whyte, exhorted to make the most of their opportunities, before being shown the marquee in which they will be eating their meals over the next fortnight. The Jowett Walk buildings overlook the cricket pitches of Balliol College, and in the soft evening light the marquee is very pleasant. After dinner, an induction talk followed, before an evening spent enjoying icebreaker games organised by ORA’s counsellors. It’s lovely to see that friendships are already being formed, and that the blend of nationalities, languages and perspectives is creating a wonderful atmosphere. We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week holds!