Hi, my name is Rory Mondshein, and I am Oxford Global Summer School’s Education Ambassador. In this capacity, I am responsible for liaising with different schools to promote a programme that I am extremely passionate about. Oxford Global’s summer school is an innovative, interdisciplinary programme, which combines humanities, science, communication skills, and entrepreneurship. Participants get the chance to experience life as a real Oxford student by living in one of the historic colleges of central Oxford and being taught in small groups by actual Oxford teachers. There is no better way to get a feel for the English university life.
MUNPlanet: For the ones in a hurry, how would you define the aim of the program in one sentence?
Oxford Global Summer School is an innovative summer programme that offers core classes in critical thinking, lateral thinking, and effective communication. In our programme, students have the opportunity to specialize in one of three majors -- humanities, science, or entrepreneurship. In the optional third week, we will offer students a chance to apply their newly acquired skills in a practical fellowship programme.
MUNPlanet: Students attend programs such as yours to improve some of their existing skills or acquire the new ones altogether. What are some key skills that the participants will be able to improve/acquire by attending your program?
Our Core Curriculum turns students into effective problem-solvers, and draws upon all fields to help them develop three invaluable skills:
We believe that lateral thinking, critical thinking, and effective communication are central to success in any discipline, which is why we have designed a Core Curriculum that gives students these tools and provides a common trunk onto which they may append a major.
After students have completed the Core Curriculum, which gives them a general framework of thinking, they are challenged to apply their newfound knowledge into a specialized field, which we call “majors.”
During our program, students may choose from the following courses of study:
Humanities: The Great Books
Science: Solutions for the 21st Century
All of our majors immerse students in three dimensions of problem solving. While emphasizing the core competencies of lateral thinking, deductive reasoning, and critical analysis, these teachings also bring students tangible experiences, whether it be publishing a paper on globalization in the 21st century, or starting a water filtration project in the Zambian village of Mazabuka. Yet, the majors programme is also unique because it allows students to network with some of the brightest university students, who will mentor and guide them even after the summer school.MUNPlanet: After the classes, what can Oxford offer to the students in regards of social activities? Does the program itself feature the social program?
While the classes will give participants the chance to study in a prestigious academic setting, the programme is also unique because of its strong community and extracurricular excursions. At Oxford Global, we seek to engage students both inside and outside of the classroom by housing all students in college accommodations, and hosting a series of dinners and excursions to allow students to network. In addition to the complementary excursions, students also have the chance to participate in a series of optional excursions, including a trip to London and Stonehenge, to quench their thirst for more intellectual and cultural enrichment.
Like many Oxford colleges, the Oxford Global Summer School boasts a strong alumni association. We believe that all members are beings in the process of becoming, and we want to continue to be part of our students’ intellectual and cultural journey. We facilitate a close knit community through our small class sizes, and mentorship opportunities in the third week.
MUNPlanet: Can you give us a sneak peek to your most prominent lectures?
Sure. Our most popular option is the entrepreneurship and innovation workshop series, which allows students to explore their own start-up ideas and experience real-life market research and product development.
MUNPlanet: Would you consider international diversity one of the key features of your program?
Of course! As I mentioned before, the Oxford Global Summer School seeks to educate the next generation of leaders. We believe that students can learn both inside and outside of the classroom. For these reasons, we pride ourselves on the diverse background of our applicants, as this is one of the primary ways in which we encourage participants to expand their horizons and learn to adapt to different approaches.
MUNPlanet: How do you see new technologies, especially communities such as MUNPlanet, changing the landscape of knowledge and education in the coming years?
The 21st Century has definitely changed the global landscape: globalization has increased global cooperation, while internet technology has yielded a greater flow of information across borders.Thanks to globalization and social media platforms, we have been able to form intellectual niche communities, like MUNPlanet, across the globe, which allows us to have a more global education.
MUNPlanet: What is the most important lesson that each of your participants will be taking with them?
We want our students to understand that change is driven by individuals with the courage to swim against the tide. We believe that, if we challenge conventional norms and look at issues with intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness, then we can definitely change the world.
MUNPlanet: One final question: Do participants need to bring their own tea sets?
Every lodger in England is guaranteed access to a tea kettle! Sharing a ‘cuppa’ is a cornerstone of English university social life, so if you have a special favourite, don’t be shy to bring it along.