QES Oxford University Study Tour 2016

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Date: 2016/07/02 - 16

Participants: S1 to S3 students

By: CHOW Tan-wei (3A)

The announcement about the 2-week trip to Oxford was an exciting piece of news to all S.1-3 students. It was the very first study tour to Britain organized by the school, and was also the first study tour in my life.
Since the destination was such a far-away western country, I was so anxious about it that even on the 12-hour flight to Britain, I could hardly sleep.
And after the trip, I find it so much more than what I have anticipated. I could not have dreamt of what I would have experienced or gained in the trip.
Every day, we had theme-based English lessons taught in a relaxing atmosphere. In terms of grammar, we did not learn much, much less than we do in English lessons in Hong Kong. But we definitely used our creativity more. Moreover, we have broadened our horizons through tours around Oxford and famous tourist spots in London. But these are not what I like best about the trip. My favorite part is making new friends of different nationalities, who were students from all over the world.
I remember the day when the French students arrived, my schoolmates and I thought that they were cool and did not want to talk to us, as they were only speaking among themselves in French. I even thought that they were sort of rude. But as time passed, we got the opportunities to communicate with them and realized that they were actually so nice and friendly.
Another group that we have spent 2 weeks with was 3 Italian students. They were friendly and loved to talk in English. Moreover, they were humorous and so easy to get along with.
Before the trip, we were afraid that the cultural differences between the western students and us would cause conflicts, but in fact there was not any. Instead, such differences brought interesting topics to our conversation. Even now, we still keep in touch, long after we have parted and returned to our own homes.
The reason that my new friends are more memorable than my English lessons in Oxford is that they made me smile. Even now, every night when I sleep, when I lie in bed, I remember the moments we had together. I also worry that my memories will fade.
Before the trip, I thought that this study tour was only about traveling with my close friends. But in fact, it raised my confidence and was so much more than what I had expected.

QES Oxford University Study Tour 2016

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Date: 2016/07/02 - 16

Participants: S1 to S3 students

By: CHEONG Siu-lun Chris (3A)

It was quite an exhilarating experience in Oxford. My first impression of Oxford was that it was clean, green and medieval-like. The buildings were far less dense than those in Hong Kong and many looked like cottages. Some colleges of Oxford were magnificent castles in the gothic style. There were also a lot of cathedrals, libraries and museums with beautiful spires, domes, arches and sculptures. You would feel that you were in the Renaissance period where everything around was just so classical and elegant.
On the day of our arrival, we were first taken to a dormitory of Jesus College. It was our accommodation during the whole tour. Jesus College was founded in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I.
On the second day of our tour, we went on several excursions around the centre of Oxford guided by the staff of Ardmore Language School as well as some current Oxford students. There was so much to see and explore and it was a shame that I could not spend hours in every one of the museums, colleges, libraries and bookstores. I really should have gone into the Red Cliff Camera (a library) and had a look around.
Neither did I have the chance to visit the Bodleian Library, which is the biggest library in Britain. It has over eleven million items of books, documents, relics and many others, and there is a three-mile long basement in this library. ˇ§The copious amount of resources that the library provides and the quiet environment of the study rooms inside make students toil,ˇ¨ said one of the Oxford students.
During the study tour, we had a one-day excursion to London. We were first taken on a boat tour along the River Thames, during which we saw the London Eye, the Tower Bridge (or the London Bridge), the Westminster Palace, etc., which were all along the river. Then we walked in the streets briefly. I was surprised that it was rather quiet in London because the issue of Britain exiting the European Union was still under hot debate. And there were not any signs, posters or banners supporting or opposing it.
On another day, we visited the Harry Potter Studio established by the Warner Brothers. Inside, there were many of the props, machines that controlled the fantasy characters and monsters, life-size dungeons, the famous Diagon Alley and a gigantic model of Hogwarts.
This tour also gave me a valuable opportunity to meet people from different nations and make friends with them. Those closest to me were Timothy, Simon, Nathan and Marco from France and Italy.
During this tour, we spent every afternoon on English lessons in the Junior Common Room, which was in fact a big room for leisure activities of Oxford undergraduates. But it was from the frequent communication with the French and Italian students that I learnt most because it was authentic use of English. I knew that my fluency, pronunciation and intonation still had much room for improvement.
I wondered what it was really like to study in the University of Oxford. So I had asked some current Oxford students about it. They told me that there were very few lectures and in most time of the year they worked on their own, like doing research. They could choose their own research topic and the university would provide the necessary funding. Their results by the end of each year would determine whether they would be promoted or not. So basically it is very free to study in Oxford, but it also takes a lot of self discipline to succeed.
I couldnˇ¦t help thinking: Would I be self disciplined and intelligent enough to study in Oxford in the future?

QES Oxford University Study Tour 2016

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Date: 2016/07/02 - 16

Participants: S1 to S3 students

By:WONG Sun-tung, Emily (3B)

ˇ§A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.ˇ¨ On 2nd July, we began the 14-day study tour to Oxford, England. This tour has given me an incredible, unexpected and unforgettable experience. Also, it has inspired me a lot.
When we arrived, it was 3rd July. We first settled down at the hostel of Jesus College and then we had 3 tours round the centre of Oxford! It was amazing in the Oxford streets. Many buildings were built in the 18th century. They were old but elegantly designed. In fact, all the Oxford streets are part of the University of Oxford since the colleges are all around and there is no clear boundary of the school campus.
Lessons were quite fun at Jesus College. The teachers and activity leaders who taught us were from Ardmore Language School. Many French and Italian students attended lessons with us as well. There was a big difference between lessons in Oxford and t in Hong Kong. First of all, students were not given tonnes of homework. Most Hong Kong students suffer from pressure of school work. Some French students were shocked that we did not have time to do sports regularly. This is certainly quite a serious problem caused by the Hong Kong education system.
In this study tour, we have visited many historical buildings and famous landmarks in London and Oxford, ranging from the Big Ben to the London Eye, from the Ashmolean Museum to the Buckingham Palace. However, the Harry Potter Studio was my favourite place. We visited it on 10th July. Being a fan of Harry Potter, the trip was truly a great pleasure. The corridors and dormitories of Hogwarts, Dumbledoreˇ¦s office... everything in the movies was right before my eyes. The most impressive souvenir was the free Harry Potter passport, which was just a simple but interestingly designed booklet.
The new friends we made there were unforgettable too. They were the very nice and helpful French and Italian students. We had lessons and did sports together! They taught us a little French and Italian, and we taught them some simple Chinese expressions as well. I treasured every moment with my best friends from France, who were Camille, Leam, Alice, another Alice, Zoe and another Zoe! I loved them so much and we still keep in touch. I gave them some Chinese tea and they gave me some French biscuits in return. I discovered that they were a perfect match.
Regarding sports, England is famous for hockey and cricket. It was quite interesting to try new sports but I was not good at them. I preferred to play volleyball with my new friends, and they could play it really well! My volleyball skills improved as well. I enjoyed climbing trees most. My friend Camille said her favourite sport was climbing trees! We went to a huge piece of grassland in a park almost every day. It was rare to see such a huge park in Hong Kong but it was not uncommon in England!
Do you know what the most famous dish of England is? Of course it is fish and chips! I just could not miss it. Although I merely had it once, I loved it so much! Moreover, every meal at Jesus College included potatoes. It seemed that there were millions of ways to cook potatoes besides boiling, frying and steaming. I am a potato lover so I definitely enjoyed the meals there!
There is still so much that I want to say. But lastly I want to thank my school for giving me a chance to visit Oxford. It has given me a valuable memory and is a milestone my life!