Yesterday our Session 4 students arrived in St Hugh’s ready for two weeks of new experiences, friendships and ideas. They wasted no time in getting checked in, finding their rooms and dropping their bags, as they were eager to mingle with their classmates and get to know the college that is to be their home for the next fortnight. Students and staff alike were invited to place a pin on the map to represent their country of origin. It was exciting to see the map filling up, with clusters in some places, and intrepid lone dots in others― with a truly international group this session, there will be a wealth of opportunities for perspectives to be shared and horizons to be widened.
Students and parents were treated to afternoon tea within the sunlit halls of St Hugh’s, and when parents were ready to bid farewell to their children and leave them to independent life, they did, with a few last words of advice and affection. Thence students processed to the auditorium, where they were greeted by Programme Director Costa― he introduced himself, along with the Junior Deans, House Deans and Counsellors, and went on to exhort students to make the most of their time with ORA, with their teachers and chosen subjects, and with each other.
Taking advantage of the college’s lovely, leafy grounds, and weather that was squarely above the English average, students and counsellors got into some ice-breaker games after dinner― featuring heavily were crowd favourites Ninja, Zip-zap-boing, Human Knot, and Guess Who. With the ice thoroughly broken, students made further explorations around the college grounds and buildings, with those musically-inclined quickly discovering a well-placed piano, and those with a more competitive streak descending upon the ping-pong table. The 11pm curfew was willingly observed by all students, many fighting off jet-lag, and all anticipating the start of classes at 9 in the morning.