Lessons began today: students were introduced to their lecturers and their classmates, settling down to learn about the subjects they love from ORA’s excellent teachers. After their lessons, students were arranged into seminar groups for further discussion. The seminars follow the traditional university style, and the conversations follow a clear structure with provided research objectives to give a deeper understanding of the topic.
After lunch, students were given a formal tour of Oxford. Guided round the city by Oxford University students steeped in the dreaming spires, students were impressed by the beauty of the quads and cobbled streets. Unlike many cities, much of Oxford is concealed: behind sandstone walls are open grass spaces and ivied cloisters which, unless you have a reason to pass between the colleges’ gates, would be missed.
The tour also took in a trip to the Bodleian Library, one of the world’s largest libraries. An ancient wooden vault of golden lighting and antique leather tomes, the Bodleian holds more than twelve million books, a collection of truly mind-blowing proportions. Before students could access the library, they were required –as are all visitors—to take an oath against harming the books or the library. Now that the oath has been taken, however, students will be allowed to have access to the University’s books and resources for their studies over the next two weeks, which will be a great help. After being shown the Bodleian and the nearby Radcliffe Camera, students were taken to see a newer addition to the University: the Saïd Business School, home to one of the world’s most prestigious MBA programmes, a place of especial interest to those on the business programme this session in Merton.
After dinner tonight in Merton’s grand Hall, students had the chance to test their knowledge in a quiz night, giving them a chance to wind down after a busy day.