March 29th 2017, I applied to Oxford Summer Courses. They are an organization with a network of teachers and former students who want to make children familiar with the university through summer courses. They have the summer courses at Wycombe Abbey, Oxford, Cambridge and even in India. The next day, after I applied, I was very happy to hear that I got accepted!
(I have to say an extra thank you to Lady Bowen, the principal of my school: The Island Academy, for writing a phenomenal reference letter.)
For my age group I went to Wycombe Abbey and this is the story of my Oxford Summer Course Adventure this summer! To go there, I had to travel from Belgium to High Wycombe (in England).
I took a train from Tielen to Antwerp and then a train from Antwerp to Brussels… then from Brussels to London with the Eurostar which is a high speed train. Once arrived in London, we had to change train stations from St. Pancras International to Marylebone station, and then finally to High Wycombe. My mom and my sister came along with me on this journey, and I am very thankful to them for doing so.
When we arrived, I was blown away. The property was overwhelming! The entrance is very big, with security; you could see the 13th century main building of the school, where I had my classes. The building I stayed in was called The Junior House; which was all the way up the hill. On the way there we saw an area where they kept horses, roaming freely on the property. When we entered the Junior House, the Director, the assistants and students greeted us. They showed me to my room and let me unpack. I was so nervous but exited.
My daily schedule was like this:
Wake up – get ready – breakfast – classes – lunch – activities – dinner – more activities – bedtime.
Classes were in the castle-like 13th century building. My teacher’s name is Teacher Beth. She is a student molecular and cellular biochemistry at Oxford University. You guessed it; I choose science! I learned about, the parts of a flower, the Amazon Rainforest, and acids and bases, we had three subjects in four days. It was really fun and interesting.
The activities I did were: bowling, a trip to Oxford University, the Archeology workshop, and The History workshop.
Bowling: I was the second best of our group. I was in the club 100, which is when you score over 100 in bowling.
Oxford University: Visiting the University was very interesting. I saw where some scenes from the movie about Harry Potter were filmed, and I saw the university… It is very big and grand. After the tour, we split up into groups, and as most in my group were Harry Potter fans, we went into some Harry Potter stores. We also went to a bookstore and if you didn’t know I love books, so I bought a lot!
Pedalo boating in Oxford: Boating down the Cherwell River from Magdalen Bridge, underneath the Magdalen College Tower. My group was the fastest. We were the third canoe to leave and along the way, we passed the first two other canoes. We finished first. Along the journey, we saw a storm of geese, when I say that I really mean a storm of geese. The whole section of the river was filled with geese. In this “storm of geese” we only saw one white goose.
Archeology workshop: One of the people, who were looking after us, was studying Archeology, so she set up an Archeology workshop for us. I learned a lot about the Roman times. Archeology in Belize is about the Mayans so I knew nothing about the Romans. Rachel set up a little excavating area for us with clues from the room we were excavating. Although we didn’t know what type of room we were excavating, our group was the only one that had the correct answer. During Archeology Rachel also told us some interesting stories from the Roman times.
History workshop: We had a treasure hunt during the history workshop and we had to answer questions about English history, unfortunately I never learned this, so I had to make a lot of guesses. Although we finished last I really enjoyed it!
Graduation: For graduation we all gathered in a room where Aya (the course director) was going to talk about our week. She seemed very proud and gave awards to the Best Student. I was one of them and the second best student was Mya, my roommate. Aya also gave an award to Joie, the student who stayed for all four weeks. After that we had our formal dinner and took a class photo. Then we all went to the junior house and went to bed.
I told you I like books….
This trip was really fun and a good experience. I hope I can go longer next year!