Academic Study Days are a great opportunity for students in Year 12 to spend a day exploring a specific academic area at St Catz, meet with some current students, experience a taste of academic teaching, and enjoy lunch in the dining hall.
St Catz are running their Modern Languages Study Day on Wednesday 31st May, 10.30am-4.15pm.
Students attending this exciting Study Day will have the opportunity to sample a range of languages that are available at the University of Oxford. As part of this day, students will be able to choose two language sessions to participate in from a choice of:
Post A-Level Spanish,
Post A-Level French,
Beginners’ Czech, and
All students will also have the opportunity to participate in a Linguistics taster session.
Calling all Year 12 French, German, and Spanish students from UK state schools – an exciting opportunity awaits!
Wadham College are running their annual Modern Languages Summer School in Oxford from Monday 21st August – Friday 25th August 2023 . This is a wonderful opportunity for Year 12 students who are interested in pursuing a degree in languages to get a feel for life at university and at Oxford more specifically.
Pupils will engage in a seminar series led by Wadham’s language tutors, including language classes in their selected language of study (French, German, or Spanish) with opportunities to try other languages as beginners (including German, Portuguese, and Russian). Students will complete an assignment on a main topic with feedback from tutors. Pupils will also be able to receive support from current undergraduates and from the College on making successful applications to top universities.
Why attend a summer school?
Summer Schools are designed to give UK pupils studying in Year 12 a taste of what it’s like to be an undergraduate studying at the University of Oxford. Pupils will take part in an academic programme, live in College, meet student ambassadors studying at Oxford, and receive information, advice and guidance on applying to university.
Summer Schools are completely free. Accommodation and meals are provided by the College. Wadham will also provide financial support to pupils to cover their travel costs.
Wadham College is delighted to be able to run these events in-person allowing participants the best experience of life at the university. The feedback from last year’s Summer Schools was hugely positive with over a third of participants subsequently securing offers to study at the university.
After the summer school I am much more confident that I would fit in at Oxford and feel like I am more ready to move away from home
– Summer School participant, 2022
If you are interested, please apply here by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 5th May 2023. You can email the Wadham Access Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
In this week’s blog post, current German and Linguistics student, Emma Davis, talks about her time in Berlin, a recent trip funded by her college. Over to you, Emma!
Thanks to the travel, research and study grant available at my college (St Hilda’s), I had the opportunity to spend a jam-packed 5 days in Berlin over the Easter vacation to supplement my German degree. This funding highlights that studying languages at Oxford University is about more than just passing your exams, but about gaining linguistic proficiency, confidence in foreign countries and a rich cultural understanding that widens your view of the world. Travel grants are available, often with priority placed on languages students, at many of the Oxford colleges so it is important to research on your college’s website to see what is offered and how to apply.
In my opinion, there are four must-dos if you are planning a trip to Berlin… Firstly, make the most of the tours on offer. On the second morning of the trip, we embarked on a 3-hour walking tour which allowed us to get our bearings and helped me to link all the historical and architectural facts I have learnt about Berlin across the course of my German studies. Visiting the Reichstag building is another non-negotiable. Seeing the glass dome, the inscription above the entrance (‘Dem deutschen Volke’) and the artwork inside (‘der Bevölkerung’) was both interesting and powerful as these features symbolise the importance of democracy to Germany today. My favourite day of the trip was spent just 45 minutes outside of the city centre, in Potsdam. Sanssouci Palace – the summer residence of Prussian King Friedrich the Great – was stunning in the sunshine and provided excellent German audio guides with a long but clear explanation about each room which was enjoyable to listen to. Furthermore, techno clubs are seen as an integral part of Berlin’s cultural scene, to the point that some DJs have campaigned for them to receive Unesco World Heritage Status. After being questioned on the door (the clubs in Berlin do this to increase their exclusivity), we made it into Tresor and had a great night…and morning – the techno scene doesn’t really get going until 3am!
A few misconceptions I had before I travelled to Berlin were that most people would speak back to you in English, the dialect would be difficult to understand and that vegetarian food options may be few and far between. However, everyone that I approached spoke to me in German and I didn’t encounter any difficulties with the dialect. Moreover, there were countless vegan/veggie food options to try, including a twist on the traditional Currywurst!
Berlin is a city full to bursting with museums and during my week there I explored the German Spy Museum, Humboldt Forum, the Jewish Museum, and East Side Gallery. The Spy Museum is slightly less well-known than the destinations on Museum Island but is an engaging multimedia museum which walks visitors through the entire history of German espionage. For me, the most interesting part was listening to audio recordings of Germans who were involved in creating the Enigma code. The Humboldt Forum, considered the German equivalent of the British Museum, contains a thought-provoking exhibition responding to the question of whether colonial countries should return looted artefacts to their original owners or whether they should be displayed in places like the Humboldt Forum. This forces people to consider their country’s colonial history (incidentally, one of my favourite German words is die Vergangenheitsbewältigung which means ‘coming to terms with the past’). The Jewish Museum educated me on not only the extensive persecution that Jewish people have faced throughout the ages, but also the successes of many Jewish people, for example in the Weimar Republic. Finally, East Side Gallery is not a gallery in the conventional sense but rather a 1.3km stretch of the Berlin Wall that is painted in countless murals, many with political messages relevant to the reunification of Germany.
To see even more of Berlin, I walked from the Brandenburg Gate, down Unter den Linden and past the Tiergarten to reach the Victory Column, which is 60m tall with a 360-degree view of the city. Another option for an incredible view is the Television Tower, which stands at 368m tall with a viewing platform 203m up.
I had a fantastic week, would highly recommend Berlin as a travel destination and am very grateful to my college’s travel grant for this opportunity.
A blog for students and teachers of Years 11 to 13, and anyone else with an interest in Modern Foreign Languages and Cultures, written by the staff and students of Oxford University. Updated every Wednesday!
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