So I applied to summer school at Yale, “Sustainability and Institutions”, from 1 July to National Day, thinking it'll be a nice but typical course about environmentalism. I was quite wrong, but pleasantly so! I learnt a new way of framing problems, which I think is more valuable than gaining content knowledge. Also, I made many awesome friends from 8 countries, and improved my Chinese (not kidding).
A small aside to plug for the International Alliance of Research Universities Global Summer Program: it was the program through which I applied to Yale, and it's awesome. It's more selective than a typical summer school, but it's subsidised by half so you end up paying only about $3,500. It brings together students from 10 universities across 8 countries, so there's a lot of diversity in class! Applying to any of its programs in any of the 10 universities is fine, but Yale's sustainability course was really nice (: The down side is you have no flexibility with regard to course options (you can only take one, no additional courses allowed); the upside is you save on costs (which come up to near $10,000 if you do 2 course in the regular summer session) and you get a lot of free time to chill or do other cool things.
Botanical Gardens. Punts. Water-guns. Bubbles. Barley. Pimm's. What's not to love?
No matter, an inauspicious start to the day did not dampen the spirits of determined lepak-ers. Lepak in Le Park was eventful and full of twists and turns, literally (when our sports types were catching frisbees or dribbling the football) and figuratively.
Trinity Term kicked off with a bang as OUMSSA welcomed everybody back with drinks and nibbles galore. Magners cider, Stella Artois beer, and a host of spirits made short work of some and got them happily inebriated. The quintessentially British drink, Pimm's, also made a mandatory showing to signify the beautiful spring term. Delightful tidbits from Singapore made the event that much more endearing, with prawn crackers, 大白兔, Hello Panda, tau sar piah, and that coloured cream biscuit thing.
Photo credit: Wan Ting
A new term has begun in earnest, with the weather working hard to make up for March, and the work of the new OUMSSA committee has, too. We warmly welcome you to Trinity Term in Oxford and to the slew of activities we have in store!
You may already know that the OUMSSA website has been given a face lift, thanks to the hard work of Vice President Ee Wei. The spiffy new layout makes it easier to find what you're looking for - whether you're a fresher, a graduate, a (potential) sponsor, a prospective student or a current one, we have made it easy to access the relevant information. Along with that we have also rolled out new channels for outreach, with a Facebook page and a LinkedIn group allowing you to reach and connect with us more easily.
Tomorrow we begin the term's activities with a bang - Welcome Back Drinks at Harris Manchester College. Stay with us for Lepak in Le Pak (with a special surprise), Punts & Pints, the Finalist Barbeque and Yard Sale, and more! Look out for event photos coming up soon on the blog.
Here's to a fantastic Trinity Term 2013!
p.s.: It seems that Oxford has decided to permanently shift the dates of term back by one week, as Michaelmas Term 2013 begins on 13 October. So you get an extra week of summer to enjoy. (yay!)