Day 1 (Arrival Day)

Everyone arrived at St. Edmund Hall safe and sound, and full of excitement! Silence turned to laughter as we engaged in various games, bonded over embarrassing tasks, and overcame tricky challenges as a team. LEAP is ready for their 2-week adventure!

Day 2:

Halima: The law lecture was definitely interactive and stimulating. The case studies really perked my interest and I loved the fact that everyone got involved!

Afrose: Straight after our uplearn lecture, we walked to Magdalene College. Hidden behind the cobbled pavements and elegant buildings, we found the college; clearly a busy tourist spot with a visitors’ desk. Beyond the stony walls, we discovered stunning landscapes with endless expanses of grassy land with intricate architecture, a beautiful lake and even a deer park! The more we walked, the more we discovered. Despite the rain and although some of us were wearing heels, we thoroughly enjoyed our time and managed to take some decent selfies, giving us a deeper insight into life at Oxford.

Day 3:

Simay: It was an amazing day. We learned about the game theory. It is really interesting. It is a great opportunity to meet high skilled people, to create a network, and know more about law and economics. Thank you very much.

Ava: It has been only 3 days here and I already feel like I have found a home away from home. Everyone is really friendly here, all of the teachers, staff and the students. Today’s Economics lecture was a perfect class. I learnt a lot of stuff about behavioral Economics. To be honest I was confused at the beginning but as the lecture went on with many examples, I totally got the topic. We also went to the Ashmoleum Museum and I learnt so much about the history of many countries including my country. We had a really nice dinner with an amazing Chocolate Mousse for dessert. We had so much fun after the dinner playing lots of games and that was a lot of fun. I cannot wait for tomorrow so I can get up, get ready and start another great day here. I honestly don’t want this to end.

Rana: It was just me and an umbrella. Oh! And one of the most polemical and coolest mixtures of teenagers, as we were making our way to Nando's.

10 minutes of looking into the menu, followed by the panicked voices of some of my peers saying: "We can't eat if we want to be in time for the lecture!"

So, it was us again on the road, the only difference being Emy and Tommy had stolen my umbrella and I was left behind with Ava.

Let us take stock. It was now me, Ava and her cup of chicken, in the middle of the rain, drowning in its own tomato sauce.

What am I trying to emphasise? That each day carries a new experience, stifling our boredom. Whether it was Tania teaching us about the entrenching religious beliefs evolving into the legislative system we have today, the talk I had on the narrow corridor with Chiara about her career path or the walk in the rain along the ever forsaken drowning chicken, I enjoyed every bit of it because of the gorgeous people encompassed within Teddy Hall's solid walls.

Nazia:

“Considering that I would like to study criminology, I thought it would be a good idea to watch Shutter Island (mentally scarred patients, trapped on an island… with no way of escaping.) The room was pitch black, with one of the doors locked, everyone sat in silence. It started off with about 5 people on the sofas, one by one everyone escaped like the room was a traumatic prison. Vanessa was the first victim, she ran out the room faster than you can say Shutter Island. Afterwards, David was the second victim. He exclaimed “I CANT DO THIS ANYMORE!” Everyone was in awe throughout the life changing movie, Maisha and Bassil were fast asleep, fortunately for them.

Day 5

Nazia: Considering that I would like to study criminology, I thought it would be a good idea to watch Shutter Island (mentally scarred patients, trapped on an island… with no way of escaping.) The room was pitch black, with one of the doors locked, everyone sat in silence. It started off with about 5 people on the sofas, one by one everyone escaped like the room was a traumatic prison. Vanessa was the first victim, she ran out the room faster than you can say Shutter Island. Afterwards, David was the second victim. He exclaimed “I CANT DO THIS ANYMORE!” Everyone was in awe throughout the life changing movie, Maisha and Bassil were fast asleep, fortunately for them.

Ria: Today was the day we finally cracked Anna. Leaving her mentally traumatised. I highly doubt she’ll be re-watching Shutter Island anytime soon. Not only did we break Anna but we also managed to break Vanessa and David along the way. This film has definitely brought out another side to Anna. And established that our next mission is scary the living daylights out of Vanessa and David.

Day 6

Ava: Blenheim Palace, breathtaking! Had a wonderful day going to this amazing palace with people I feel the happiest with (even though it has been less than a week!). We walked around the palace and explored everything. Also had a really nice lunch next to the fountains. After 4 days of studying it was really good to take a day off and refresh our minds to get ready for the rest of the great lectures.

Kiana: Today was an amazing day - we played charades on the bus and then went to the Blenheim Palace. The place was so beautiful, there was a rose garden and a lake with loads of cute animals. The ducks were not scared of us humans, david even picked one up.

Day 7

Vanessa: Today was a very hectic day in the best way, full of learning, and understanding different views as we looked at very controversial topics. I thoroughly enjoyed as it open some of my narrows views and challenged me as the class was free to be opinionated about. Was a very eye opening experience.

Fatima: On the evening of Saturday August 5th, an intense debate took place, following the parliamentary style with the motion “discrimination is never warranted”. The proposition raised points such as the need for equality in society due to the gender inequality wage gaps and promotion opportunities. The opposition counter argued this by highlighting the importance of positive discrimination in the form of affirmative action and how that could be used as a weapon to level the modern day playing field for all those who have been disadvantaged through negative discrimination. The speakers entertained numerous points of information which led to friendly banter and laughter. Everyone tried to participate which resulted in very interesting and fruitful arguments. The judges in the end had a tough decision to make when they chose the winning side which turned out to be the opposition. There was even an award for the best speaker during the debate which was rewarded to Fatima Afroze. Other commendable speakers included Kiana, Rana, Afrose, Nazia and Maisha. After the debate, the students felt they had an eye-opening experience and they left the room with new information and polished debating skills.

Day 8

Emilia: Today began with a discussion about the European Referendum. It was especially interesting because we got to hear the opinions of those from all around the world. Opinions were therefore varied and although there were those with different stances, we all found common points upon which to agree. After this we went to an economics tutorial in which four of us embarked upon learning Theme 4 of the Edexcel A-Level. We discussed globalisation using real world examples and had our own 2 vs 2 debate on the matter. When we were done, we headed into town: we grabbed an Itsu and then took Louise and Rana to Waterstones and Blackwells. While Louise found a ukulele in the Blackwell’s music store and made a theme tune for Oxford Spires, Rana found the law books she needed, so it was a success. To finish off the day, we went punting. In our group of five, Tommy was the only one who had done it before. We ended up going a long way down the river and found that Rana was a naturally gifted punter. All in all, it was a brilliant day.

Thomas: UpLearn was extremely enjoyable; Andrew Mitchell, CEO of UpLearn taught us the start of Theme 4 of the Economics A level. UpLearn is a revolutionary new teaching program, inspired by new findings in educational neuroscience. Globalisation was the topic that we covered, and we drew knowledge from our prior LEAP programme lectures in which we debated the pros and cons of liberalised trade. While UpLearn’s teaching method was impressive, what was even more amazing was that Louise hasn’t yet collapsed from sleep deprivation, from either sleeping 3 hours per night, or caffeine overdose.

Later on in the day we went punting. Afrose and Emilia had brief goes at punting with varying degrees of success, and while I had steered us into the labyrinth, Vana proved to be the embodiment of 15th century Venetian as she steered us to safety. Meanwhile Louise, after paddling with a dinky oar for three times claimed “she was too tired” to continue.

Reports on WhatsApp suggested that a highly accomplished lawyer, economist and program coordinator, “got stuck for ½ an hour”. Clearly their skills were not transferable to real world problem solving.

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Day 10: A London Day Trip to Remember

A rather lacklustre breakfast heartily juxtaposed itself with the merrily topsy-turvy day we were about to enjoy. A sleep-deprived me trudged downstairs in the morning expecting to be greeted by twenty-or-so similarly etched faces, but to my surprise I found Revi waiting for us with his trademark beaming smile drawn on his face, ushering me in to what seemed like a plan he’d been painstakingly glossing over for weeks. Indeed, he was readying himself to announce to us that we had been chosen to receive a modest amount of funding in order to become street vendors, under the expectation that we were to earn enough money to both pay the money back and donate a sizeable wad of cash to a chosen charity. Now, I must have missed whatever convinced Revi that the batch of zombie-like teenagers sat in front of him were ready to transform into a set of enterprising young entrepreneurs, but his determination to make this project work was adorably unshakeable. We were then tasked with convincing the unsuspecting pedestrian population of Oxford that the hand-made bracelets we were selling them were actually worth the £3 we were charging for them, but the real trouble arose when we had to fit pieces of string through the quizzically small holes that had been cut into the pendants we bought, prompting us to ditch the bracelet idea and instead focus on the tried and true baked goods market, an admittedly hackneyed scheme but one that was (almost) guaranteed to reap success. Alas, this was to prove itself not the case, as we were to depressingly find out at the end of an arduously long journey to the nearest Sainsbury’s, where the infuriating lack of scones on the shelves prompted us to decide that enough work had been done for the day. After a rather unwarranted hour-long rest and an indifferent dinner, we were ready to watch Oxford’s rendition of the Shakespearean classic ‘Much ado about nothing’, in the apt setting of the backyard of the nearby Wadham College. What followed was a cold-infused, rain-interrupted snoozefest of a play marred by the unintelligible version of English that Shakespearean plays tend to employ, but the heartwarming ending did somewhat redeem that, to a certain degree. One particularly chilly nightly walk later, and we were back at our adopted home of St Edmund College at around 11 pm, pretending to the staff that we were readying ourselves for bed, ready to start the while vicious cycle again tomorrow.

Bassil Mohamed

Anonymous: After the first week of full-time summer school warfare the most exhausted were left behind on the battlefield. The remaining troupe, heading into the British “pampa” (aka London City) was soon ditched by Bassííl in favour of a Spurs Jersey and a pair of trainers. This however soon became negligible as we were swallowed by the masses of tourists and pigeons in every corner. Surrounded by the beauty of the buildings, universities and parks flashing by, we soon were part of the urban flow. After convincing us that UCL was the best, Anna brought us to an Italian restaurant which surprised even the most sceptic gastronomers amongst.

P.S: According to rumors from anonymous souces, Nazia will hit you with a chair if you say “it” once more- watch out for the “Hunde”…

Darien:

"Today, I went to London; a large city with many exciting things to do, and fidget spinners to buy. Unfortunately, I have been cursed with the displeasure of sharing this trip with a handful of high schoolers who are about to enter into university. Every time our group leader asked, “oh, what fun place would you all like to visit now?” is replied unanimously (minus yours truly) by, “let’s go to UCL!” and, “the LSE!” and when I thought it was finally over, “King’s College!”

Please understand, I have nothing wrong with these universities and, truth be told, they’re probably nicer than the one I currently attend (please keep that a secret). But just know that I did not travel half way across the world to waste my time looking at other universities when I can be wasting my time on YouTube or something.

Luckily for me, this is as bad as my situation can get. That means there’s nowhere to go but up, right? And that is exactly correct! I got a bracelet handcrafted for me, I ate some of the best ice cream available in the U.K., and I got a delicious lasagne for dinner. I would love to conclude my adventure here on a good note, but sadly, the bracelet was a scam, the ice cream gave me brain-freeze, and the lasagne was too salty.

tl;dr I visited universities I will never attend, with peers I will never forgive, on a trip I will never remember. IGN 10/10 would go again.

P.S. This is possibly exaggerated. Possibly."

Halima:

"After almost a week of endless stressing, I finally plucked up the confidence to start putting my law essay together. Although Shu Shu, Chiara and Tania have been giving very insightful and fascinating lectures, I weirdly felt daunted by this essay. Having said this, the research required for the essay has exposed me to interesting new arguments and theories, motivating me to finally get a move on!"

Louise:

"Today we had a very fruitful and educational day in which we had not only one, but two guest lecturers! Anna for Russia and International Relations, and Joost for Game Theory. Both lecturers are highly intellectual, brilliant and lovely people who are passionate and extremely knowledgeable in their area of expertise. They spoke with confidence and charisma. It’s a shame I slept through the second halves of both lectures, as three cups of double espressos did very little to keep me conscious. I have greatly enjoyed both their lectures, and had gained an ample amount of knowledge during the moments when I was awake. We had an Italian dinner together at Bella Italia, and ended off the day working on our essays and personal statements together. I don’t know about the others, but I really enjoy spending time and working hard with everyone together as a group. Today was an amazing day, really looking forward to tomorrow!"

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