Ever since I was young, I have always been in love with the United Kingdom, most likely stemming from a Doctor Who obsession and a plethora of period dramas. I dreamed of meandering the streets of London, like Shakespeare, or sitting in the many gardens of Oxford, daydreaming in the gardens of Oxford, wondering what it must have been like in Tolkien's time.
During my sophomore year of high school, I became tired of the doldrums of school and feeling like I was missing out on opportunities. I wanted to be able to learn in other ways, outside of a tiny desk and stuffy classroom. As cheesy as it sounds, I read a novel about a girl who had spent a year abroad in Europe. As soon as I closed the book, I grabbed my laptop and began researching study abroad opportunities.
Realizing shortly, that I had neither the funds for a year abroad, nor the ability to be away from home for that long, I began looking more short term options. I figured that summer would be the perfect time to try it out. When I found Summerfuel's website, I instantly knew that I had found the program for me.
I was in awe of all of the locations and activities offered. I had decided that I wanted to spend my time in England, more specifically Oxford. There, I would be able to enjoy courses, rigorous without being overwhelming, countless trips to museums, activities galore, and an opportunity to explore a new world.
The people at Summerfuel were so friendly and eager to help me with paperwork and getting me ready for my trip.
It's rather daunting putting yourself in a new environment as a newly independent teenager, yet I knew that I would be looked after, while not feeling smothered.
As soon as I submitted all of my paperwork, I began to dream of the City of Spires.
Summerfuel provided all of the paperwork and an outline for the documents I would need. They explained how to gather all of the information and even had blog posts about what to expect and how to prepare. A reference from a teacher or other adults was needed to enter the program as well. The application process rather painless, though I knew that there were still standards of who was accepted.
When it came to living arrangements, I was told that I would be staying in Lady Margaret Hall, while in Oxford. As per the website, I knew that linens would be included in my dorm and that my basic necessities, like food, would be provided. All I had to do was pack my personal items such as toiletries, clothes, and other odds and ends.