Sunim, from South Korea, and Vittorio, from Italy, were impressed by the kindness and availability of the staff, both administrative and teaching. Here at OISE Oxford, we acknowledge that leaving your comfort zone to stay in a foreign country can be a rather daunting experience, especially if your level of English isn’t very high. Therefore, we strive to provide an atmosphere where students, as Vittorio puts it, ‘never feel abandoned’, not only at the school, but also at their host families and during social activities.
Before coming to Oxford, Guillaume, from France, was slightly concerned that other students would be much better than him. When he started his course, he realised that there are always students from various levels, and there were benefits from interacting with students at the same level (such as in the Quatorial lessons), and also in the mixed-level classes, like the Spoken Assertive Workshop.
He also highlighted the rigour of the course, especially for IELTS preparation. We indeed pride ourselves in the results obtained by our IELTS candidates, who improve significantly over a short period of time due to a strict programme comprising strategy development, exam practice and vocabulary building.
Yusuke, from Japan, pointed out as a very positive aspect the student mix. Interacting with people from all over the world not only contributes to a truly enriching personal experience, but also provides intercultural awareness, considered a key business skill in a globalised world.
Another strong element of the programme according to Yusuke was the Critical Analysis Workshop, in which students discuss current affairs by using Critical Thinking tools. This session, launched in 2016, has had excellent feedback, providing students with an opportunity to systematise thinking, which can then be applied to their professional, academic and even personal lives.
Javier, from Spain, was attracted by the flexibility that our courses offered. He considers it important to choose your course carefully, according to your intended length of stay. As he could only be away from work for one week, he chose one of our most intensive programs, the Integrated Tutorial (33 hours/week), which combines group and individual classes, allowing students to benefit from the advantages of each. Longer-stay students, on the other hand, might opt for a less intensive programme to avoid fatigue and overload of information.
Javier also commented on how our teachers were able to help him set realistic goals and achieve them, even in a shorter period of time. It is essential to be aware of your starting point in a such an undertaking, so that you can know where to employ your time and effort, and perceive the extent of your progress at the end.
During these interviews, we asked our students a number of things, such as tips for studying English and recommendations for apps and other resources. Their answers were very insightful and we’ll be sharing them in future posts. In the meanwhile, get in touch if you have any questions of your own.