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Combining Learning with Fun!

Posted On: February 4, 2015
by Ioana Oprea

I fully enjoyed my time in Oxford at Somerville College, both the academic and extra activities. My major was Mathematics and minor was Statistics, as these were the subjects I was most fascinated in. I had a great time during the tutorials, as they were not only focused on teaching, but also on ways to develop your problem solving skills. During one particular tutorial my colleagues and I had to choose a topic or a problem that interested us and present it in front of others. I was nervous at first, but then I realised it was a good opportunity for me to present in front of students learning A-levels, the Mathematics curriculum in my country. As for Statistics, it was a new subject for me, but soon I was able to grasp problems concerning probabilities and binomial distribution.

At the end of the two weeks, we had to write an essay for our major subject. It was a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, but in the end I was proud of myself for being capable of completing this task. The only thing you need is passion for the subject you have chosen. After completing the summer course, I applied to study in the UK and mentioned my experience in my personal statement (I have chosen to study Mathematics and Statistics). Extra activities are very important in personal statements, especially when it is connected to what you want to study, as it was in my case. If you still aren’t sure what you want to do in the future, the programme gives you the flexibility to combine a major with several minors, so you can explore different subjects.

It might seem that I did nothing but work, but actually I managed my time well and enjoyed my time in Oxford to the fullest. The activities organised by the staff were very interesting: visits to museums (really try them out, especially History-lovers), the excursion to London. And even though I am not an athletic person, I really enjoyed punting. I’d never heard of this sport before coming to the summer camp, but now it’s one of my favourites. We also had a lot of free time, so I visited every college at Oxford and also the surrounding areas of the town. What you do with your leisure time depends on your interests, but you have plenty of options to choose from. The staff also helped us a lot during our stay, so you can rely on them if you have any problems.

Overall, this was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to combine learning with having fun. You will meet a lot of new people and get to see what the life of a student is really like.

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