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Looking back on my summer school experience

19th August 2019

Yosr, a 2019 summer school student from Tunisia, reflects on her experience with Oxbridge International. Covering why she chose our summer school, preparing to come to Oxford and studying Psychology with her tutors and fellow students, she talks about the highlights of her summer with us.

Why I chose Oxbridge International Summer School

Throughout my academic life so far, the beauty and prestige of Oxford and Cambridge Universities have pulled me towards wanting to study at one of them. When I saw the opportunity to visit them and study in one of them at Oxbridge International Summer School, I rushed to apply.

For me, being able to work in a stimulating academic environment with talented students from all around the word was more than a dream. I often wondered what life studying in Oxford was like, so I did not want to pass up this opportunity to go to the summer school.

Oxford University cultural landmark

Alongside my strong interest in visiting these universities and the 5 star reviews from previous students on the summer school site, I was sure that the experience was going to be life-changing. It definitely did not let me down. 

Furthermore, I did not want to waste precious time during summer and the photos that I saw were enough to convince me that applying would be an opportunity to be grasped. When my mother read other parents’ comments about the summer school, she decided to trust the staff and supported me in my decision to apply for the summer school. She was extremely proud of me what I was awarded a place at Oxbridge International to study Psychology for 2 weeks this summer.

Summer school students

preparing for the summer school

From the moment I was awarded a place on the summer school, I turned to preparations. What should I take? What reading do I have to do before the summer school? How long will it take to get a visa?

Luckily, the staff sent me a super helpful welcoming pack that helped me a lot in packing; they included a list of the essential items I needed to bring and outlined all the relevant contact information. In my country, the UK visa normally takes a long time to be issued, but the summer school staff were considerate and sent me the required papers for my visa application.

I was stressed about not being able to finish the reading and not being able to understand all of it, since Psychology was a subject that I had not studied before at school. However, I had been reassured not to worry about that.

When it came to my arrival in Oxford, the staff at the summer school kindly booked a taxi to pick me up from the airport and drive me to Oxford. In brief, thanks to the documents and the understanding of the staff especially when they dealt with the problems I faced during my preparation wisely, I was able to feel comfortable during my flight.

Studying psychology

When I chose to study Psychology at the summer school, I didn’t realise how interesting it would turn out to be. On the summer school my tutors were so passionate about what they were teaching and made me love the subject even more.

Although a complex subject, my tutors did their best to show me the fun and fascinating side of it throughout the seminars and tutorials. We explored mental illnesses : from what counts as a mental illness to different approaches to treating mental illness. We discussed in detail whether or not these approaches are effective.

While in class, I constantly learned amazing facts and discussed topics that I previously would have thought were too hard for me to understand. While studying, I discovered things about myself. 

Summer school students experience Oxford University style tutorial teaching

It was remarkable how the tutors accepted different opinions and discussed them with us. I saw things from the different perspectives of my tutors and peers, and I was able to debate with my friends without fearing my opinions would be rejected.

Another part of the course was writing essays. Who loves essays, right? Well, if you study at Oxbridge International Summer School you are required to write them for your tutor. It seems like a lot of work, but I grew to love writing the essays because I could develop my curiosity for the subject and consolidate all of the ideas that emanated from the discussions in the seminars and tutorials. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed thinking about my subject so intensely during the summer school. What’s more, the tutors were always there to help and answer my questions.

I learned so much in the 2 weeks I was at the summer school. I was made aware of my mistakes, and advised on how to correct them. The one-to-one tutorials were so beneficial to my development and allowed me to ask questions that I was interested in. These are the Psychology sessions that I will remember forever.

For a memorable experience like mine, I would encourage you to apply for the summer school!