My British Summer School Experience: From Student to Activity Leader

This week we talk to Sarah about her British Summer School experience with us. Sarah is a former Summer Boarding Courses student who returned to work with us!

Read more to find out more about her experience as a SBC student and why she wanted to return to join our summer school team.

My British Summer School Experience: From Student to Activity Leader

Sarah previously attended Headington Oxford Summer School for two summers. Now a student at Leiden University in the Netherlands studying Political Science, she chose to be an Activity Leader for the current students. We checked in with Sarah to ask her why she chose to return and what she has gained from Summer Boarding Courses so far!

How did spending your summers with SBC help your education?

My stay with SBC made me realize that learning a new language can be made really exciting and attractive for everybody. When I returned back to school after my first summer at Headington Oxford Summer School, I was able to attend English classes with students from a higher grade. Thanks to the great versatility in the English lessons at Headington, I had really made significant progress in all of the necessary English skills; reading and writing, as well as listening and speaking.

During my last year of high school, I was even able to attend advanced English classes and obtain my Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

What was your favourite thing about spending your summer with SBC?

My most favourite thing was that I got to meet a lot of new people from all around the world. At school, I’ve always felt like I didn’t quite fit in, but at Headington the environment was so inclusive, that I not for one second experienced this feeling of not belonging somewhere.

I also must admit that I really enjoyed the diverse excursion programme. Spending a summer with SBC is a great way to discover some amazing places England has to offer.

Our returning students echo Sarah’s thoughts

Check out their testimonials on why they return to us each year.

What do you think are the benefits of learning English?

Nowadays, being able to understand and speak English is an utter necessity. English is the language in which most of the international communication takes place. And whatever your age, level of education or profession, in the globalized world we live in now, contact with people who don’t speak your native language has become simply unavoidable.

One collective language has the power of bringing people with shared interests together to facilitate something that would never be possible alone, whether it’s an innovative project or ‘just’ an amazing friendship.

And for those interested in studying at university: good luck with reading scientific articles and literature without the knowledge of English!

Are you interested in studying at a University in the UK?

Our Oxford College Summer School is the perfect place to start.

Where and what are you currently studying?

Currently I’m finishing the second year of my bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Leiden University. Next year I hope to write my thesis, get my degree and apply for a Master’s in Journalism.

What made you want to work with Summer Boarding Courses?

Actually, I find it very difficult to leave behind places I’ve visited and enjoyed. I’d call it ‘reversed homesickness’. Right after leaving Headington for the second time in 2014, I knew that one day I’d return to Oxford again. I felt like I had to do something in return for an organisation who quite literally changed my life!

My summers with SBC really have had an impact on my life: being able to make friends from all around the world helped me to gain self-confidence and I blossomed into a happy girl full of energy and new memories. For this, I especially have to thank the staff members, who ensured all the students would make the best out of their stay with SBC.

SBC Staff created a welcoming environment and made everyone feel comfortable and safe. I saw them as role models and I always imagined how it would be to stand in their shoes. The fact that this is going to come true in a couple of months makes me even more excited to head back to Oxford again. I’m very motivated to pass on the incredible trust that the members of stuff have given me some years ago on to a new generation of students. It’s going to be a challenge, but I really look forward to just going for it!

Do you want to work for Summer Boarding Courses?

Discover what we’re looking for here.

Do you have any advice for students about how to make the most of their summer with SBC?

I have only one advice: participate! Remaining on the sidelines and contemplating whether to join the amazing and fun classes and activities SBC has to offer most certainly doesn’t help you to make new friends or practice your English.

You don’t have to feel isolated, shy or ashamed: on arrival, everybody is in the same position as you, overwhelmed by all new impressions and unsure about how to act.

By approaching somebody and showing interest in them, you can remove any barriers and make sure that from day one not only you, but everybody makes the best out of their stay at summer school!

Want more Summer School tips?

Check out our top tips for Summer School here

Do you want to work for Summer Boarding Courses?

Discover what we’re looking for here.