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!

Kayaking on the Charles- Part 2!

The tumultuous ripples ebbing throughout the breadth of the Charles River seemed to call out to the students this afternoon, alluring them with its’ myriad mysteries and beckoning them to conquer its tides once again. Therefore, the Activities Directors decided that students could avail of another rare opportunity to venture to Soldiers’ Field Park in Cambridge and embark to go kayaking on the Charles River, across to Boston. This activity was one of our most popular in the past, with our students having nothing but positive things and raving reviews about their experience in the river.

After having endured the wind and boisterous gushes of the Charles once before, students were more prepared and quicker in gaining their footing and showcasing their  unique sense of style in kayaking. This time around, a large majority of the students chose to take a more blissful pace and saunter through the exquisite surroundings alongside the river Charles.

When inquiring with the students about their experiences in getting to explore of Boston’s most famous landmarks, there were a potpourri of remarks that gushed out from everyone. Many students were happy with the opportunity they could experience to be able to kayak, with student Kevin Liu commenting that this was his “first kayaking experience after quite a gap”, and one which “totally engaged him and had a blast!”

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Time to share our talents!

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this!”. “Wow, amazing, how on earth could you do that!?”.

These were a few of the common expressions uttered by students last evening as we here at Oxbridge Boston hosted our very own talent show programme for all to participate in. Our students were able to dazzle and amaze our spectating audience through their potpourri of stupefying and utterly mind-boggling feats. One of the students’ showcased his unique style of dancing, highlighting classics such as the moonwalk made famous by the ‘Jabbawockeez’ performing group, as well as his passionate break-dance routine that literally ended with mouths agape from our crowd.

Another act which stupefied our audience was the mind-boggling finesse and prowess of a female student’s athletic abilities. In particular, this student was able to leap bounds and power-kick objects situated feet above her, much to the amazement of the crowd. This also attracted the attention of an adjacent affenpinscher meandering by with his owner, who couldn’t help but yelp in chorus with our chanting crowd!

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the show concluded with an elaborate mass hula-hoop and sync- dance routine performed by almost all attendees to commemorate the festivities. What a way to go out at such an invigorating event! Check out this video below to see the action!

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections from a student

My Summary of the 3 Weeks at Oxbridge Academic Programs Boston by Kyle Sung

Today marks the end of the 3rd week here at Oxbridge Academic Programs in Boston, with 1 final week left in the program. It is quite sad to face the reality that there is only 1 more week left in the program because it has been such a fun, delightful and meaningful 3 weeks of my life.

I came to Oxbridge Academic Programs in Boston with an interest to discover more about Computer Science. During these three weeks of the program, not only did I learn important principles in Computer Science, but I also found a passion in using the power of the computer to address the imperfections and inconveniences of people’s lives.

One example of something that has sparked my passion during my time here so far was meeting Sam Aubin, a fellow student here at Oxbridge in Boston. Sam is a 16 year old developer from Australia, who is responsible for the creation of the iOS app, Sharkmate. Sharkmate is an app that analyzes various beaches in Australia for dangers of sharks, since sharks are a common predator and threat to the people in Australia. Sam told me that this app was in response to a horrible event in which his close friend in Australia was attacked by a shark. The fact that Sam is only 16 years old and was able to create a complex application that can potentially help all of Australia to be more aware of sharks in nearby beaches inspired me to continue my studies in Computer Science in order to build world-changing applications to make better futures for others. I am so thankful that I got to meet people like Sam in the Oxbridge Academic Programs that have such interesting and inspiring backgrounds and stories to bring. The connections you can make in the program can potentially help you find what you are passionate about and give you an insight of what your future can look like.

Another aspect of the program that I found fantastic was staying at the Harvard Law dorm. Although it may be terribly humid, inconvenient, loud and uncomfortable, I believe I got a very accurate college life experience in the dorm aspect of it. During my time here so far, I got to see what it’s like to live in college and know what to expect when I actually attend a college. I got locked out of my dorm room 4 times so far during my stay in the dorm which is something I am not proud of but taught me to know the importance of my keys and to unlock my dorm room when I am out of my room for short amounts of time. This experience will make me a more responsible person in college, making this aspect of the program very meaningful and valuable towards my future.

There are many other aspects and experiences that I think were wonderful and enjoyable like getting to make new friends and being surrounded by students that are just as determined as you in learning more about your common interests. But, after sharing these two aspects of my experience here, I think I made my point that Oxbridge Academic Programs has been such a joy to attend, with many lessons learned along the way. I look forward to the future of my life and what I am going to pursue thanks to Oxbridge.

Museum of Science followed by a sweet surprise!

This afternoon, Oxbridgians had the opportunity to embark on the tumultuous journey  to the world-renowned Museum of Science located in the West End of Boston, via the arduous ‘B’ branch of the Green Line. The museum had quite the potpourri of activities to partake in for students ranging in all kinds of interests, including an extensive space-flight programme introduction and simulation which attracted quite a lot of attention from the attendees.

A particular explanation of how important the mental state and psyche of an astronaut is for their selection in an expedition seemed to have resonated quite stoutly with the students. Similarly, a palate of factors which initially appeared to be almost irrelevant have actually been tested to have quite an influence on the psyche of the astronaut’s well-being. For instance, it was conveyed that the mere omission of what is commonly perceived to be a sense of humour by this aforementioned process can even potentially lead to an astronaut not being selected to go and journey into the vast realm of space. Other equally important character traits used in the selection of an astronaut were known to be ones’ autonomy, motivation, mental stability, leadership skills, and judgment.

 

 

 

Alongside these showcases, the exhibit on dinosaurs and dinosaur history generated quite the thrill from the students as well. An interactive display contrasting the reign of the mighty tyrannosaurus rex with that of the fearsome gigantosaurus in the different eras in which the dinosaurs ruled elicited a keen sense of awe from the students and staff, as well as the engrossing skeleton of a late cretaceous specimen, discovered 67 million years ago in the Northwestern US. The display of the ship titled the ‘Yorkshire’- titled from the origin of UK- based settlers from Yorkshire, England- struck a cord with students as well who could put themselves in the shoes of the Puritan settlers emerging from the daft confines of the sea-voyager to the cool, breezy shores of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The museum was a fascinating medium and way for the students to ponder about the vastness of life beyond our realms and visualise the process of evolution through the immerse amounts of displays and information which was readily available.

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Finally, the eventful day concluded with our weekly assembly hosted every Sunday evening, with ‘Sundaes on Sundays’ for the students to commemorate their final week here in the programme. Our Activities Directors took the liberty of hosting a pinata event for the students where, if a student could correctly identify the music track which played, they would receive the opportunity to whack the pinata three times. Within a matter of minutes, the resonating cracks and whacks of bat hitting pinata along with the gleeful shrieks of the students could be heard, and soon after, the contents of the pinata had been expelled.

 

 

 

ImprovBoston and World Cup Fever!

Last night, students were treated to a very special show full of laughs and comedic stylings at the ImprovBoston. Improv comedy consists of comedians performing unscripted skits, with the plot, characters, and setting made up on the spot. Students were greatly amused, and some even got the opportunity to jump on stage and be a part of some of the skits! So cool!

 

 

Additionally, today, students packed around the television for the Fifa World Cup finale! Students cheered on France and Croatia and watched as they duked it out to emerge as the victor! Those viewing the game were split between cheering for one side or the other, but all agreed it was a great game filled with intensity and amazing plays! Ultimately, France came out on top, beating Croatia 4-2.