A Day in the Life: Stanford with Oxford Summer Courses, By Oliver Drazsky
A day in the life with Oxford Summer Courses' Stanford Programme is like no other.
Be it the courses, people, opportunities or even the weather, there is always something spectacular on offer. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend this past summer and was immediately impressed by the kindness of the chaperones and teaching staff, as well as the genuine effort they were putting into their work.
The lessons were vast, ranging from physically feeling lungs, brains and spines at the Stanford Medical department building to investigating the complexity of decision-making in our everyday lives. For any student, Oxford Summer Courses offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engulf oneself in a fascinating new world, and as a two-time attendee, I have absolutely no regrets in spending time at Stanford!
Perhaps one of my favorite moments of my time at Stanford was when I had the chance to watch a full MBL game with all the other students from the programme. If I recall, the Milwaukee Brewers were playing against the San Francisco Giants, the latter of which lost, miserably. Despite the dispirited local audience, the game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for an international student like myself who had never even laid his eyes on professional baseball before.
Frankly, that’s what I liked the most about Oxford Summer Courses. Not the game specifically, but rather how the organisers carefully catered the entire experience to be entertaining and insightful to all students and any cultural backgrounds. This cultural appreciation is what I valued most from the course – the cooperation between peoples of all sizes, shapes, and backgrounds.
Cultural visits were a staple of my experience at Oxford Summer Courses. One day during the programme was delegated to visiting urban San Francisco, in which we had the chance to explore Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the California Academy of Sciences. As expected, the city was riddled in fog, yet that only seemed to compound its unique beauty. I reminisce the experience altogether. What better way to enjoy it than with your newfound friends?
Collaboration was key at Stanford. Be it helping each other in complex maths or working together to create our own island state, it was essential that we supported each other at all times. For example, during the two weeks at the programme, we were tasked with creating our own nation. Naturally, this constituted a division of labor: some students focused on developing the nation’s economy, whereas others concentrated on its political system or its healthcare. After two weeks of careful preparation, we presented our island to the entirety of the programme’s participants and staff. Of course, we needed one another to succeed and to avoid the oh-so-common embarrassment of presentation day! The programme was extremely effective in developing our collaborative skills and embracing our vast cultures.
A mere student recommendation is not enough to describe the experience at Stanford. It wasn’t just schooling – it was a lifestyle. Well-balanced, informative, and simply brilliant.
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Ever wondered what it's like to study at Stanford University? Student ambassador Oliver reflects on his time with Oxford Summer Courses in Stanford.