Space Bop

On Saturday 6 July, over 250 students attended the first bop of the program. The theme was Space, and it was out of this world. DJ England (our very own Program Assistant, Henry) crafted a brilliant set of songs, and the students danced the night away. A successful evening of inter-galactic fun. They donned glow sticks and their most sparkly cosmic kit, and impressed us all with their lung capacity.



Sweat levels were high from all the dancing


DJ England and MC MC

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Saying Goodbye – Ay, There’s the Rub

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!”

So said Claudius. And so said the cast of Hamlet, in the midst of their post-show pizza. The show was a great success, and our Drama students weren’t afraid to show their love. Giving toasts to each other, their director, and Shakespeare himself, it was the sappy bonding moment that everyone needed.


Highlights of The Oxford Tradition!

Click on the blue, underlined text to read the relevant blog posts.

With the Oxford Tradition 2017 Closing Ceremony only nine hours away, it is hard not to get lost in nostalgia. It seems like only yesterday that the Admin team was preparing the colleges for the students’ arrival. The Program Assistants, Activities Directors, and the rest of the team couldn’t wait to meet this year’s cohort.

At the Opening Ceremony, our jetlagged students heard from Professor James Basker and celebrated the diversity of nations present in the program. It wasn’t long until the Americans had another chance to demonstrate their national pride, with the OxTrad Independence Day party.

July 4th also saw Suzanne Lynch, White House correspondent for the Irish Times, give a talk on the state of journalism today. On the topic of which, our Journalism students have just published their Special Edition of The OxTrad Weekly on the contentious issue of homelessness in Oxford.

The other classes have been busy as well! Molecular Medicine has found very inventive ways to teach genetic concepts, not least a game of hide and seek. Medical Sciences found time between fields trips and presentations to dissect animal hearts, and Entrepreneurship students had a planning session while punting.

We all had a taste of Oxford college life with the two OxTrad bops, held in the Catholic Chaplaincy. The first bop had the theme of London, making sure that students got a taste of the UK capital even if they went on the Warwick Castle field trip, and the second had the theme of Spring Break, just in case someone went to bed early on 4th July.

Much entertainment could be found elsewhere. Romeo and Juliet in Oxford Castle was a hit, and Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trail had students sleeping with the lights on. The OxTrad fête will forever be remembered for its free ice cream, and the following Colour Festival generated an infinite number of arty Instagram posts.

After all this activity, we were all very thankful to Julie Bolitho for leading regular yoga sessions with her expertise and joy. Other abilities came to the fore at the Oxford Tradition Talent Show and Arts Exhibition! We also saw a lot of creativity in the collaboration between the Photography and Creative Writing classes, in their Humans of Oxford assignment.

Indeed, the Photography class frequented our blog more than any other, and for good reason! See just a small sample of their work with their study of Bourdin, groundbreaking 20th century fashion photographer.

To give a heartwarming conclusion, Gavin Rodriquez had the rare honour to meet Sir Roger Bannister – the first man to break the four minute mile, distinguished neurologist, and prior Master of the college.

We are all very proud of how the students have conducted themselves, and we can only hope that when they leave us, they leave with new knowledge and personal growth. All of us on the staff certainly will!


OxTrad Photography Competition Entries

They’ve had a month to marinate in the beauty and culture of Oxford, absorb the mix of historic and modern aesthetics… and these influences and contrasts show in the diversity of entries to the OxTrad Photography Competition.

They’ve submitted flora, fauna, and a mysterious gentleman in stockings. You can see skylines, horizons, and sunsets – and proof of our students having a lot of fun!

Categories were Best Portrait, Oxford Scene, and Activities. The winners of the OxTrad Photography Competition will be announced this evening at the Closing Ceremony. Good luck to all involved!

Gavin Meets Sir Bannister

This morning Gavin had quite a bit of a thrill! A keen track and field athlete, Gavin had the good luck to strike up a rapport with the Pembroke College Porter’s. Speaking to them of his admiration for Sir Roger Bannister – the first man to break the four minute mile, distinguished neurologist, and prior Master of the college – the porter’s took it upon themselves to organise a private meeting between the two at Sir Bannister’s Oxford home.

Let’s hope Gavin was inspired, and takes Sir Bannister’s ethos of academic and athletic excellence to heart!

Waiting to see an archive of Sir Bannister’s

“Here’s a book about Sir Bannister…”

“And in 10 minutes, a taxi will arrive outside…”

“to drive you to Sir Bannister’s house…”


“where you will have a private meeting with him!”