Blog: April 2016

Oxford Summer Courses to launch new course in India! (Part 1 of 2)

By Harry Hoare, co-founder and Director

India3

At Oxford Summer Courses we’re determined to share the magic of Oxford with the world. And whilst we’re all set to welcome over 500 students to Oxford this summer we’re also aware that coming to Oxford isn’t an option for everyone that would like to.

This May we’re launching a brand new course that takes three of our most talented tutors in Creative Writing, Computer Science and Economics & Business to Hyderabad, India to deliver a 10-day course at Oakridge International School.

This post is the first of a series that tells the story of our trip to India, reveals the details of our India course tutors and explains how we’ve designed a course that blends the best of Oxford with a distinct local Indian flavour.

Back in January (just as the cold was starting to set in around Oxford) we decided it was the right time to escape the snow and make our visit to meet interested Indian students so that we could tell them more about this new course. Along with our other co-founder Robert Phipps, I set off to fine tune the course details with our Indian partner, university guidance experts Univariety, and visit the course site at Oakridge.

India2 Across two action-packed weeks we visited 27 schools in: Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi NCR. This post covers the first half of that trip (Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune). Across the two weeks we were amazed by the extraordinary hospitality we received in India – although at first the energy and noise of the place was a shock to the system coming from the peace and quiet of Oxford. After adapting to the hectic pace of life we started to relish this new environment and took in many new cities and experiences (including lots of incredible meals such as this delicious Rajasthani thali).

We began the trip in Hyderabad as our non-stop tour took in 9 schools where we gave presentations in assemblies, sports halls, classrooms and Principals’ offices. We were lucky enough to meet students at Meridian School, Glendale Academy, Sancta Maria International School, Johnson IB World School, Oakridge International School (Einstein and Newton campuses), Hyderabad Public School, DRS International School and Silver Oaks. The welcome we received was very hospitable and we want to say a big Thank You to all the teachers who helped us schedule the visits.

As this was our first time to India it was a big learning experience. Lesson 1: timings are more of a serving suggestion than something that’s set in stone. Lesson 2: Indians often combine what we understand in England as a nod (meaning yes) with a shake of the head (meaning no) the net result of which is a head wiggle (meaning “OK”). Lesson 3: taxi drivers often don’t know where they’re going leading to a lot a head wiggling and also contributing to lesson 1. Lesson 4 the traffic is really, really bad. See lesson 1 again. We’re hoping to avoid re-learning this in May and have planned lots of contingency time for the single day trip that features as part of the course.

India 1 After three short days in Hyderabad it was on to Bangalore (or Bengaluru, which seems to be used interchangeably) and visits to the following schools: Trio World Academy, TreamisPrimus Public School and Vidyashilp Academy. It’s great to see so many students from these schools sign up to our courses in Oxford alongside this India course – making this leg of the trip very successful (not to mention the adventurous meal at Absolute Barbeque where we tried Emu, Octopus, Rabbit, Quail and Duck alongside the more traditional fare of barbequed prawns, curries and paan ice cream).

No sooner had we unpacked in Bangalore and we were back on a plane to Hyderabad for a press conference to talk about the new course. More from me about week 2 of the trip in a few days.

Right now, we are working hard to process the applications and select the best students to attend in May. To apply to the course, visit: www.univariety.com/oxfordinindia. 

Key details about the course

      • • New 10-day course in Hyderabad taught by academics that teach undergraduates at Oxford University
      • • Dates: 20-29 May 2016
      • • Location: Oakridge International School, Hyderabad (top class teaching and sports facilities)
      • • Class sizes:15 students per class taught by Oxford academics
      • • Subjects: Creative Writing, Computer Science, Economics and Business
      • • Teaching methods: interactive classes, interdisciplinary seminars and a group project on a shared local problem e.g. addressing Hyderabad’s traffic, pollution or improving employment prospects. Final presentation to a panel of academics and local experts.
      • • Age: Grades 9-12
      • • Price: 128,000 (non-residential) / Rs. 155,000 (residential)
      • • Scholarships: 3 in total – 1 per subject (10% of fees)
      • • Alongside study there are traditional English cultural activities (debating, Oxford-themed treasure hunt, sports such as rounders and touch rugby).
      • Benefits:
      • • Provides an opportunity to test future subject choices in a university-like environment
      • • Meet like-minded students with similar interests from across India
      • • Graduation ceremony at Golconda Fort where students are presented with certificate of participation.
      • Application:Through the Univariety website: www.univariety.com/oxfordinindia

Posted: April 14, 2016

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