Summer Course: Yes, No, Maybe?
Before sending a child for a summer course in the UK, it is worth talking to the students who have already studied there. After all, they will tell you everything without embellishment. So, we decided to talk with Maria, a student of the Cherwell College Oxford Summer course in 2019, and share an interview with you.
❓ Maria, we will be very glad if you share your impressions and advice for future students! Could you tell us a little about yourself: where are you studying now? What do you like to do?
🗣 Now I am an 11th form student at Chemistry and Biology class of the Lyceum 1574 in Moscow. In addition to studying, I really love to sing, dance, play the guitar, draw, and, of course, I love learning English! Every week I watch original English films! I love this language!
❓ Could you tell us why you chose this particular College? What was the deciding factor? A Dream?
🗣 When I was choosing a place to go in the summer, I chose Cherwell College Oxford, as I liked the location of the college! I have always dreamed of visiting Oxford and touching a piece of the history and splendour of this city! For me Oxford is a city of science and it was always interesting for me to visit it! I also liked the reasonable price and proximity to the city center, which also influenced my choice.
❓Who made the decision to go to a college abroad, did your parents take such a decision? Or did you yourself express a desire and then turned to your parents with it? Who chose Great Britain?
🗣 I have always had a dream to study in the UK, and I still have it! I have been to London several times and did not miss the opportunity to go to the UK, watched BBC documentaries (I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes) and happily went to English lessons at school! I fell in love with the UK and imagined my life associated with this country! My parents always supported me and believed in the fulfilment of desires, and my mother offered me to go to Summer courses, to get acquainted with the culture and atmosphere! It was one of the best moments in my life!
❓ What did you expect to get from the college? Did your expectations match reality?
🗣 My expectations did not coincide with reality! And I am very happy about that! Having arrived at the College, I expected a rather tense situation, since I did not practice my spoken English very much and I was afraid of not finding a common language with the students. This was my first independent trip abroad. But upon arrival, all my fear was dispelled and I quickly got used to it, I found new acquaintances and many different topics for conversation! The teaching staff and College staff (Tony, Maria, Anastasia and many others) were very friendly and pleasant, I found a common language with them and it was very interesting and pleasant for me to communicate with them, but also sad to leave, I still remember them with a smile!
❓ Was there anything about British culture that surprised you?
🗣I studied British culture and during my trips to London I got used to it a little, so nothing surprised me, except for the left-hand traffic, I just can’t get used to it!
❓ How did you get to Cherwell? Did a friend / friend of your parents recommend it to you, or did you find out about it in a different way?
🗣 My mother’s friend recommended the College to me.
❓ Have you made friends with any of the students from the group? Do you continue to communicate now?
🗣I made friends with the students from my group, and sometimes I talk to some of them, it’s very cool! For example, I talked to Harry, Camille, Iris and many more from my group! I even explained some of the grammar rules of the Russian language at the request of a friend from China. 🙂 We also follow each other on social media and occasionally follow our lives outside of college.
❓ You lived at Cherwell House during the Summer courses. Are you satisfied with the accommodation conditions at Cherwell House?
🗣 I am very pleased with accommodation, I did not expect that everyone to have their own room, desk and personal space, because not every college can provide this! And this is very important for today’s teenagers. I also really liked the food, it was very tasty and for everyone there were dishes according to their preferences.
❓ What is your most vivid Summer course memory? Maybe a trip or a goodbye party / barbecue?
🗣Some of the highlights are trips! I really enjoyed the trip to Blenheim Palace, London and the knights’ tournament performance. But the funniest, enjoyable and unusual is boating and puntinging on the river! This brought our group together very much and we were able to practice rowing ourselves.
❓ How has your course in Oxford influenced your future education and outlook on the world?:)
🗣 A trip to the College had a positive impact on my schooling, I enriched my vocabulary and got rid of the language barrier, learned to understand fluent English quite quickly and find the right words. The teachers helped me to learn a lot of new and useful information, and also corrected some of my language and grammar mistakes. In addition, I again became convinced that it is the use of British English that gives me true pleasure! Due to the Summer course in the college, I began to feel more confident in communicating not only with foreigners, but also with people of different ages in my country, I stopped being shy and uncomfortable in society.
❓ Are you planning to visit the UK? Perhaps continue to study? Oxford?:)
🗣 Of course, I plan to visit the UK and even dream of living there and going to University. I will do my best to visit Oxford and other wonderful places in the UK more often and try in every possible way to achieve my goal!
❓ What advice would you give to the students who want to go to Oxford to study, for a Summer course?
🗣 Enjoy every minute spent there with wonderful people and peers! And also, I would advise not to be shy and remember all the information provided to the students, because I literally returned home as a different person!