The Final Class Exhibition!

All good things must come to an end! Friday marked the end of major and minor classes for the program here in Boston, and students were eager to share their newly accumulated knowledge with their peers, teachers, and staff. An exhibition was held to showcase samples of what the students had learned and discussed in their respective classes.

The economics major class was split into two groups, and each group presented a discussion on two different topics. The groups discussed topics pertaining to the role of the Federal Reserve, inflation, and unemployment, and expertly explained the intricate concepts and terms underlying each.

The International Law major presented a live mock trial, imitating and trying the case of the Nicaragua v. the United States. There were lawyers representing both sides, a bailiff, three judges, and even a court interruption from the Nicaraguan Contras themselves! The class did a great job of demonstrating their knowledge of a real historical case and how a courtroom works.

Members of the Government and Politics class each presented personal hypotheses they had used over the course of the class to cultivate their understanding of political systems over the course of the program. Each student discussed their research, and final conclusions, and why they believed their hypothesis was corroborated or incorrect. Questions touched upon the influence of Hong Kong on Chinese economies, Hungary and the EU, and Japan’s economic state.

The Medicine Major class presented their research on the phenotyping of mice spleens. The students worked with real life mice spleens! They described the process, and the overall results of the project with great expertise!

The Computer Science major illustrated a few of their programming skills and presented some of their projects, including a calculator that is able to calculate Oxbridge house points. They were so eager to present their amazing apps!

Minor classes also received spotlight. Andriana from the public speaking class presented a beautifully sculpted faux-ted talk looking into the deeper meaning behind ice cream flavors, and intricacies of the world. The Emerging Pathogens minor illustrated the interesting movement of an extremely viral disease. The International Law minor discussed the importance of the Myanmar Rohingya crisis.

Afterwards, awards were given by faculty, deans, and activities directors to students who went above and beyond! Overall it was a great final night together and the students were proud to show off their hard work!

The final night’s surprise with Oxbridge!

Farewell! Au revoir! Hasta la vista! Auf Wiedersehen! Sayonara!

A potpourri of ways to bid farewell to one another in a multitude of languages, representative of our diverse student body spanning across almost all the world’s continents. A multitude of cultures and traditions, yet, universal in conveying the same amount of emotions that are felt when one departs from a sense of familiarity.

The final hours of the programme here in Boston seemed almost perennial in their own charming way, which the students making each and every moment of their time count and cherishing the time they could spend amongst their friends, as well as with their teachers. Tears were shed, laughs were had, and at the end, smiles reverberated bright throughout the chilly night as students ended their time here on a high note, writing notes of farewell to one another.

Our admin team decided to unveil a final surprise for the students to commemorate the end of the programme and the start of new beginnings: a sunset cruise, set on Boston’s very own harbour and sea shores! Ecstatic shouts of glee emanated from our group at the exhibition event as soon as the surprise was revealed, as students couldn’t help but feel excited and anticipate the fun times they would have aboard the vessel.

Before venturing out to Boston Harbour to board the cruise, the students were treated to a sumptuous dinner with delicious pizzas and sides on offer, followed by delectable and iconic desserts from Mike’s Pastries including cannolis and lobster pastries. What a way for them to remember their time in Boston!

Once the students were able to get on-board the cruise, they were greeted to the passionate soliloquies and anecdotes of our effervescent tour guide, Declan, a Scotsman who narrated a tale of great fervour via his historical tour of the bay and harbour. The cruise foraged to all ends of Boston which jutted across the harbour, with the tour guide identifying famous landmarks such as George’s Island, Castle Island, Spectacle Island, and Logan Airport. We concluded the cruise by visiting the site of the USS Constitution, where the wood-hulled frigate fired out voracious cannon-shots to signal sundown.

As the sun set ever so gallantly over the city, and the programme, students reflected upon memories they made that will forever connect them to this city, and each other. We couldn’t have had a better way to diminish the glow from CEB 2018, and we thank you all for your support throughout this programme!

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Trendy Thursdays with Oxbridge- the final activities!

Thursdays in Cambridge have always been a fun experience– thrilling days, which are filled with quite a palate of things to accomplish before the College Experience Boston programme winds down here with our last couple days. This Thursday, in particular, was filled with the energised aura of the students eager to spend their last few days and partake in as much activities as they could in the area, before parting on Saturday.

Activities Directors Kamilla Bernardes and Katherine Vallot-Basker organised the final two activities of the programme- college tour visits at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northeastern University. At the MIT visit, students embarked on self-guided tours hosted by themselves to peruse the depths of the university’s colourful campus at their own pace. To start off their visit, the students decided to take the opportunity to learn more about MIT’s culture alongside the potpourri of academic options and research opportunities and what the admissions application process looks like. Some of the students decided to initiate the tour by meandering through a few of the myriad number of MIT’s extensively-constructed underground tunnels. Others, on the other hand, decided to set their sights upwards and ascend to the top-most storeys of the buildings on campus to take in the view of  MIT’s main “Great Dome”, which featured the picturesque view of the magnificent Charles River.

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At Northeastern University, the visit began with the students participating in an detailed tour of the campus, orchestrated by a current fourth-year student, where the students received a plethora of helpful information detailling the specifics of the admissions process, the culture, and the type of lifestyle present in the Northeastern community. The guide introduced the students to the unique co-op learning programme, which afforded students the unique opportunity to gain work experience in their preferred area of study. On this hour-long tour, the students had the chance to peek at the Victorian-era gymnasium hall and mess, which dated back from the nineteenth- century; the baroque-styled student centre/reception hall; and a few of the magnanimous libraries on Northeastern’s campus. The tour finally wrapped up with the guide helpfully talking to the students about any doubts they might have with the application process, leaving us pondering about how the ideal Northeastern student encompasses their time.

 

 

At the end of this galvanising day, much-needed felicitations were in place to commemorate the long-awaited announcement of the winning house team. After a meticulously accurate count by our admin team, Winthrop House barely managed to scrape ahead in the tight-raced competition by finishing in first place with an overall grand total of 701 points. The team which finished in second place, Mather House, just missed out by trailing ever-so-slightly behind, concluding their stellar run with a very respectable 650 points. Sadly, Lowell House finished in third place, trailing behind with 456 points. The Winthrop house felicitated their victory by treating themselves to a delectable potpourri of ice-cream flavours at the world-famous dessert haberdashery JP Licks, situated in Harvard Square.  Our programme director Sarah Westerberg, who herself is a member of Winthrop, savoured her teams’ victory by thanking the students of Winthrop house for their cumulative effort in securing the teams’ collective victory. Go Oxbridgians!

Reflections from medicine students

As a medicine student, I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History along with my peers. We visited a variety of exhibitions which contributed significantly to our understanding of scientific research, immunology, and other fields within medicine. Furthermore, this visit has provided us with the opportunity to discuss possible solutions to worldwide issues such as antibiotic resistance. Exploring the Museum has also allowed us to dive deep into the links present between the human biology we have been studying with that of animals through means of evolution.

What really sparked my interest was seeing the Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep exhibition which consisted of 6 large paintings depicting deep ocean life and the wonder associated with scientific discovery and exploration. All the artworks were comprised of luminescent materials emphasising’s the beauty and curiosity of life. Another highlight was the microbiome area which provided an insight into how people interact with microscopic organisms in everyday life.

Overall, I found the visit to be extremely interesting and exciting. It was an incredible opportunity which has allowed me to learn more about a topic I find fascinating. Take me back! (By Lily Rogers)

 

(By Risa Ito) Throughout the four weeks here at Harvard, I’ve learned a lot from my major and minor classes, met new friends, and got the chance to explore Boston. For our neuropsychology minor class, after learning about the brain regions and neurons in class, we got the chance to visit the MIT museum. The exhibit was called The Beautiful Brain and we spent around two hours there.

There were numerous different artworks that are related to the brain and neurons. The painting shown above is called the “Brainbow.” Brainbow is a technique that is used to distinguish each individual neurons into different colors. The painting perfectly represents the neurons in our brain. I believe that this is an extremely unique way to show the world what a neuron looks like. The artist made it easy for viewers to understand the painting: the colorful dots are the cell bodies while the long stretchy lines are the axons and dendrites.

The other image below shows the fiber tracts of the brain in a healthy adult. The nerve fibers look like bundles of strings all over the place. The different color of the fiber represents different directions the fibers are going. For example, the green fibers carry signals from the front to back and the red fibers go from the left to right. Personally, I found this piece of artwork appealing because of all the colors that were utilized and how the artist was able to turn an extremely complex part of our brain into art. Overall, the museum allowed me to not just to learn more about the brain itself but also created the chance for me to reflect upon what I’ve been learning in class.

 

Reflections from a student series

Coming out of my Shell by Kevin Liu

I made it. After seven devastating hours of flight by myself, I finally arrived at Boston. I had a slightly pink-eyed look and my shoulders slouched as I struggled to keep my eyelids open. It was a rough night without any sleep, any comfortable beds, or any family members nearby – but it was worth it.

Now, don’t get me wrong – we studied Python and efficient algorithms to perform tasks, which was remarkably rewarding, but I’d like to dedicate this blog post to talk about how I developed socially. Throughout my childhood, I’ve always been pretty nervous when performing and presenting in front of large crowds. While presenting, my hands tend to shake nervously, and beads of cold sweat would form on my forehead. However, my experience at the Oxbridge Academic program helped shaped me into an outgoing extrovert. During the city hall party, I gathered my nerves and even break-danced in the middle of a circle formed by crowds of people. Never before would I have ever thought about the terrifying idea of performing in front of a huge crowd before this experience, due to the vast amount of attention, but with all of my friends from this program cheering me on, it was able to happen. All said and done, I don’t regret it a single bit.

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That’s just the first week so far. The friendships I’ve developed with the community here is nearly as intimate as my family. My love for everyone in this program is immortal, and I’ll feel like a part of my heart is stripped away from me when I get back home. When school resumes, it’ll all feel like a wild dream – an experience that is truly inexplicable to my friends.

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A Visit to the MFA by Martin Portillo

As part of the activities plan of The College Experience in Boston, the students visited the world renowned Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The MFA, as it is more commonly referred to, is widely considered one of the top museums in the nation, and maybe even the world.

Known for its astounding collection of ancient artifacts of varying cultures, the MFA provides visitors with an incredible experience that takes them back to long gone civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. Besides its’ incredible array of historical objects and significant items, the MFA boasts a world class art collection with pieces by masters like Picasso, Pollock, and Monet. Its’ modern and contemporary art collection includes pieces by masters of the craft like Georgia O’Keefe and John Singer Sargent.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn both about ancient history and modern art theory, and even purchase some nice gifts at the museum store. All in all, the MFA visit, with its breathtaking art pieces and astonishing historical connotations, was  an unforgettable experience that every student undoubtedly enjoyed.

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