Theology student Annie Rogers describes her Oxford University summer school experience
In August, I took part in a Theology Summer School at Oxford University. The five day programme comprised lectures, tutorial sessions, library visits and tours around the city of Oxford. We stayed on campus at Pembroke College in university halls and were each given our own en suite room. All food was catered for by Pembroke college and we dined in the grand hall for each meal.
As I wish to further my education at a Russell Group University, this experience gave me an insight into the standard of work ethic that the top Universities expect from their applicants. I was given the task of writing a 2000 word essay in three days, answering the question “Can a feminist Christian called God ‘father’?”, this was challenging but surprisingly interesting. We were also required to carry out our own independent research and so we were given entry into the college libraries around the city, allowing us access to all the books we needed to do our reading and studying.
We were accompanied by undergraduate student ambassadors throughout the week, who gave us the low down on everything Oxford, from the studying to accommodation to the social life. They also gave us guided tours around the city, showing us the best places to eat, drink, shop, see shows and so much more.
On the fourth night, we took part in a debate at the famous Oxford Union, arguing the motion “We should ban nuclear weapons.” This was a truly overwhelming experience for me as a huge fan of the Oxford Debating Society, after watching many of their debates on YouTube, and so it was a wonderful opportunity to actually be a part of one.
We experienced the social aspect of what is it like to study at Oxford, attending an open-air theatre visit of a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; playing croquet on the college grounds; punting on the local river, and shopping along the high-street.
One of my favourite parts of the summer school was the trip to Thirsty Meeples. It is a small, independent board game café where you play your choice of 2000+ available board games whilst drinking your choice of drinks! This is a must for anybody visiting Oxford, whether it is for university or just tourism.
On the final night, we had a formal sit down meal where we were served our meals and talked with other participants of the summer school and professors at the college. We also had guest speakers who gave us motivational speeches about our futures and told us about their Oxford experiences.
This was a truly amazing experience and I would recommend it to anybody considering studying Theology at University.