Alumni Spotlight: Leonor Pais Gonçalves Flores Ribeiro

Leonor is a Portuguese student who is always ready and excited to learn new things and meet people from different cultures. Going to this program gave her the perfect opportunity to do these.

Why did you choose this program?

The main reason why I chose the New Perspectives Course from Oxford Royale Academy was because a friend of mine knew some people who had already attended it and had loved it. My friend thought that I would like it too and told me about the possibility of going with her. I was really excited with the idea, and after some research, I decided that Oxford Royale Academy (ORA) was the perfect summer school for me.

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

In what concerns the transfers from the airports to the campus, ORA had everything organized to help the students especially those who were travelling alone. The ORA website has detailed information about everything – including this aspect and other things such as the laundry facilities.

Another important thing is that the course provides the meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and the necessary books for the classes. However, students should bring their own computer (otherwise, it will be difficult for them to do their essays and presentations) and common class material (pens, pencils, etc.)

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

For someone who is thinking about going on this program, it is really important to look for information on ORA’s website because they have a lot of useful advice there. You can ask questions if you want, which I found really helpful. I suggest to everyone who’s going to ORA Summer School to bring some snacks, because although they provide you the meals, most people like to eat something between, say, lunch and dinner.

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

During the week, the days were very similar. We had classes in the morning, and in the afternoon, there were classes three times a week and a lot of fun activities to do. One of the most popular activities was the homework club where students had the chance to work alone or in groups. There was usually time to go outside, or to the city with friends, but if students had work to do or just did not want to go to Oxford, they could stay in the campus.

The weekend was a bit different, because there were no classes. In my session, we went to London on Saturday and had activities and time to work on Sunday.

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

ORA summer school was my first experience abroad, and on account of that, I was really excited and anxious at the same time. My biggest fear was if I would be able to adapt to a different country, to different teachers, colleagues, and to a different lifestyle, in a different community.

The truth is that I was so well received that I quickly adapted to everything. The teachers were really good, nice, and were always on hand to help us. About my classmates, I realized that we were all in the same situation, and that we all feared the same things. So, we were like a family for those two weeks, we tried to do our best, we supported each other, and this brought us even closer!