Alumni Spotlight: Parnika Shriyan


Parnika is very interested in reading and writing, and her favorite sport is basketball. She loves to travel and learn new things.

Why did you choose this program?

I’ve always wanted to do a summer course in Oxford, and ORA was one of the recommended ones. My parents and I really liked the subjects and exposure it had to offer, and we figured this course was best suited for the development of my future. I liked the vibe it gave off and the atmosphere it portrayed. The fact that it offered a beautiful campus such as the Queen’s College was a major bonus.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program assisted me with my transport to and from the airport and college. They provided breakfast and dinner everyday. They were very helpful in telling us about places we must explore in our time there. They had wonderful classes, facilities, and a lot of fun activities. I had to organize my flights to and from India and Oxford. I also had the opportunity to explore different places to eat for lunch with my friends.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I wish I knew about all the fun activities before I went there so that I would have been better equipped and prepared for it. I would tell my friends to try going with someone they know so that they won’t feel as intimidated by the difference in surroundings as I did when I first got there. I would also tell them to carry clothes for warm as well as cold weather since the weather there is highly unpredictable. I was prepared for cold weather and had spent my time there in extreme heat!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You start out early with some breakfast, and then you come back to your room to freshen up and get ready for the day. You then go for your first class of the day. The classes are not a burden and are a lot of fun. Then you get a 15-minute break until you go for your second class of the day. After that, you leave the campus for lunch and explore the place a little in the one hour provided. You come back for your last class of the day, after which you have dinner and get the rest of the time free where you can even indulge in the activities that they organize.

The curfew is around 10:30 PM, and we need to be in our rooms by 11. That is the drill for the whole week more or less, with a few activities in the middle. The weekends, however, are spent catching up and submitting all the assignments given and were also tons of fun.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that I would feel a little lonely there as I was going to be travelling all by myself, and not many people from India were going for that course. I am a very shy person until I get to know someone well. I had problems making friends at first. However, it got a lot better from the second day when everyone started socializing, and the counsellors were also very helpful in getting me settled in. In the end, I made tons of friends who made the experience even better.

What preparations did you undergo before and for your trip?

I am from India where it’s hot for a majority of the year so I packed a lot of clothes for the cold weather. Unfortunately, during my time there, the weather was really hot which I wasn’t very prepared for. I would suggest you check the estimate of the weather there while packing. I didn’t do a lot of preparing except for the clothes and other minute details since most of it was covered by the program, and I was assured that they would help me if I go through any trouble.