Working with international students on a summer enrichment programme

I had the absolute pleasure this year of working for the Oxford Royale Academy’s international summer enrichment programme held at various different Oxford University Halls. Over the school holidays I did two workshops a week with children in two age groups – 13-15 and 16-18.

These young people had come to the UK from over 90 different countries and were staying on a residential basis. Over the two-week period they took part in many academic and sporting workshops as well as enjoying visits to London and gaining a full immersion into the Oxford student environment.

I had to adjust my workshop to make it very ‘British’ and also to make sure I was keeping these very bright students engaged. Some of them spoke several languages and went to international schools back home in the country they lived in. We usually focus on the town or city we live in, but as these students came from all over the world it was fascinating to hear about their lives. We did a session on ‘what is the worst thing about where you live?’ Despite many of their home cities sounding like glamorous places to live it was interesting to hear some of the negatives – terrorism, pollution, poverty, insects, heat etc.

One of the mock interview sessions we did was with our very own ‘Royals’ – better known as Will and Kate! They could choose to interview Will or Kate. All the Wills got to wear a Will face and the Kates got to wear a tiara! The students loved the dressing up and the result was some great interviews – given free rein, the ‘Royals’ got up to all sorts!!

Over the weeks the students produced some excellent articles and mocked up newspaper front pages.

I hope I will be working with other groups next year as they had such a great time and learnt so much. I came away knowing why I love my job so much!