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EF Stories: Ginevra and Anastasia from Italy at EF Oxford

EF Stories: Ginevra and Anastasia from Italy at EF Oxford

Hello, I'm Ginevra, and together with my sister Anastasia, we embarked on a group summer camp in Oxford from August 2nd to August 15th. During our two-week stay, we resided at an EF Residence, conveniently located just a few minutes' walk from the Oxford Brooks University campus. Our accommodation included full board, meaning that all our meals were served in the campus cafeteria at specific times.

What did your typical week look like?

In terms of our daily schedule, we were grouped with people from different nationalities. Our classes, which typically lasted about 2 hours and 40 minutes, took place from Monday to Friday and could be either in the morning or the afternoon. Those with morning classes would engage in the first daily activity in the afternoon, while those with afternoon classes would participate in the morning activity. The second daily activity was a collective event for all groups and was held in the evening.

Saturdays were reserved for exciting trips to nearby cities. We first visited London and then Bristol. Sundays were known as "Choice Days," where we were given a range of activities to choose from, regardless of our usual groups. On one of these Sundays, I decided to explore Oxford in my free time, while Anastasia chose to visit the Natural History Museum. Our next adventure took us to the charming city of Brighton.

What did you love most about Oxford?

One of the things we loved most about Oxford was its rich historical beauty, highlighted by stunning landmarks like the circular library and the picturesque Magdalen College. Another aspect we truly appreciated was the city's smaller size, which made it easier to immerse ourselves in the English language and fully embrace the local culture. Oxford isn't very large, which means you can thoroughly enjoy its charm. Just strolling through the streets of Oxford is enough to make you fall in love with this uniquely atmospheric city.

Tell us about the activities at EF Oxford.

Every day, in the afternoon or after dinner, EF offers a variety of activities, ensuring there's always something different to do. Typically, the first afternoon activity involves a guided tour of downtown Oxford, allowing us to appreciate the city's historic beauty. Other afternoon options include the paperclip challenge, where we visit stores in downtown Oxford and trade a paperclip for something better. Additionally, we had the opportunity to enjoy activities like laser tag, punting, and golf, which were available through the purchase of the Fun Pack.

In the evenings, we had a lot of fun with three club nights, a quiz night (where our leaders divided us into teams to answer questions), a "Scavenger Hunt" (an activity where teams were given a list of places or objects to photograph), and the leader hunt in downtown Oxford.

What was your most memorable experience?

There were many exhilarating moments, but one of the absolute highlights was the Holi Fest evening activity. During this event, all the groups assembled in a section of South Park, which is located next to the university. Holi Fest involves joyfully tossing colored powder at your friends. It may sound simple, without any competition involved, but it was incredibly enjoyable. Despite being covered in vibrant colors, we continued to playfully chase each other and throw powder, making it one of the most memorable and enjoyable moments of the trip.

Would recommend EF?

This experience has the power to transform you in numerous ways. It undoubtedly fosters greater independence, as you learn to navigate and fend for yourself in a new environment. Moreover, your English proficiency sees significant growth during this experience, enhancing your vocabulary and language fluency.

If we were to offer one piece of advice to someone who isn't entirely sure about embarking on a similar journey, it would be this: take the leap! Don't hesitate to embark on this adventure because it's undeniably one of the most enriching experiences you'll ever have. Beyond the language improvement, it broadens your horizons about different cultures, not only the culture of the place you visit but also the diverse backgrounds of your fellow students from around the world. You'll also forge meaningful friendships, both with people from your own country and others, and create wonderful memories together. Embrace the experience to the fullest; it's truly unforgettable and will boost your confidence and independence.

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