Hello! This is Cyle, the assistant director for Summerfuel Oxford 2019. Lindsey (the director) and I arrived on campus Sunday and have been setting up our office, meeting with university officials, brainstorming, and introducing ourselves to the wonderful museums and sights that Oxford has to offer. Our amazing (and I can’t say that clearly enough- these are some outstanding humans) staff of RAs arrive in the coming days and we can hardly wait to see them!
I’ve been anxiously awaiting June and Oxford for the last several months and so it’s hard to believe that it won’t be too long before you and 44 other students will be boarding your flights and traveling to Lady Margaret Hall to join Lindsey, the RAs, and I for three weeks full of learning, adventure, and community. I am sure that I speak for the entire staff when I say that we couldn’t be more excited to meet you!
In the coming days, we’ll be posting a little bit about ourselves and what you can expect when you arrive. Meanwhile, if you or your family have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll have a phone set up shortly as well, and will update this post with that phone number as soon as we can!
Your Senior Staff hit the ground running, exploring San Francisco today. Enjoy some of the pictures below from an amazing adventure!
This weekend was ACTION PACKED! On Saturday, Students took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) down to Fisherman’s Wharf/ Pier 39/ Chinatown, where we had snacks, watched the sea lions, and ate too much ice cream. Dinner was at Union Square, another iconic spot in San Francisco where students were able to shop and listen to street performers. Finally, we went to Dolores Park, where students watched the sunset.
Sunday was another exciting day. Students had their morning SAT/ACT Prep. Following this, we had pizza for lunch then students had the choice of more shopping or bowling. We ended the night with College Counseling, where they played the Great Sorting Game, students were engaged in an enjoyable mock-admissions simulation.
After recently saying goodbye to three of our students, we welcomed two students from the Barcelona program to spend the last week with us in Conil. After they arrived on Saturday afternoon, we took an excursion to Cádiz.
We began our tour of Cádiz at the Torre Tavira, an old watchtower. Since Cádiz has one of the most important ports of trade in Spain, the watchtowers were used to protect the city. At the time, Torre Tavira was the main watchtower since it is located in the center and at the highest point in the city.
After learning about Torre Tavira’s importance and enjoying the views from the terrace level, we took a brief walking tour of the old part of the city. After that, students had free time for shopping, exploring, and finding an afternoon snack!
On Sunday, we visited a nearby town called Vejer, where Cucu (our local assistant) and her grandfather showed us around. Cucu’s grandfather was the mayor of Vejer for many years so he was especially knowledgable in the history of the town. He told our students about a local tradition that is quite unique. Every four years, the town hall raffles off plots of land. Whichever families win these plots of land, have four years to do whatever they want with them. This tradition began centuries ago when Vejer was being constantly conquered by the Moors and then reconquered by the Christians. Since many people considered it dangerous to live in Vejer, the town began this tradition of raffling off lands to attract people to stay! Up to this day, the tradition continues.
Last night (Monday night) was our last night of cooking class. We made delicious homemade pizza. The chef also surprised the students with a cookbook of the recipes we have made together. Each student will be bringing one home!
Today is our last day of classes and also the last day of surf. We are soaking up every moment of our last week in Conil.
Over the weekend we had two full days of excursions! On Saturday we headed over to Santa Cruz to spend some time at the beach and boardwalk. 32 students had a surf lesson to catch some waves (thank goodness we had wetsuits) while the other 60 students caught some rays on the beach!
On Sunday, we took a trip over to the beautiful Stanford Campus. We had a picnic on the Oval and then students had different options of what interested them: Campus Tour, Manchester United vs San Jose Earthquakes Soccer Match, a Climb up the Hoover Tower, a walk over to the Rodin Garden and Art Museum. We all finished our trip at the Stanford Shopping Center, we LOVE shopping!
We are at the end of week three and a lot has happened. Summerfuel’s “Points” competition came to an end on Wednesday. The competition Started on day 1 and students in each team received points based on their performance in Spanish classes, workshops, excursions and the video project “docu-Conil”. To say that students got a bit competitive would be the understatement of the year. The prize was dinner and a later curfew and everyone fought for it! In the end there was a tie between the “Supermercado” and “Cool O’s” teams. Well done!
On Wednesday we visited Conil’s lonja where fish caught in Conil is auctioned to local restaurants and buyers from Italy and Greece. We watched a video about the different fishing methods used by fishermen in Conil and were there to see the boats come in with their catch after a long night at sea.
On a sadder note, students who signed up for the 3 week option left this morning. We were so sad to see them leave and will miss them very much.
Tomorrow, we are traveling to Cádiz, the capital of the province and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. This is the place where when they dug the foundation for a new building they found a Roman circus!
We also have a treat on Sunday. We will be going to the beautiful whitewashed town of Vejer where we will be toured by Cucu’s grandfather who was the Mayor of Vejer for many years. Cucu (Summerfuel’s local assistant) will dress in the traditional costume of the cobijada woman of Vejer. The cobijada women dressed in black from head to toe and only showed one eye. We asked students to invite their Spanish friends who will also come with us. We will return to Conil after dinner.
Hello from Barcelona! After a pretty routine Tuesday morning at ESADE, the photography students had their second opportunity to explore the city with our guest photography teacher, Samantha. Samantha picked up the students in a classic car (a convertible we might add) and took them to two exciting locations to take photos: Montjuic and Sagrada Familia. Safe to say these students will be missing their photo class after the trip. Every day with Samantha is a blast!
At 5 pm, the photography students returned to ESADE to meet up with the others. From there, a group set off for MNAC (the Catalan art museum) and another group headed to the mall. As we’ve mentioned before, July in Barcelona is a great time to shop since all of the stores are on sale! Many students have requested more shopping time so today at L’Illa mall was their opportunity to shop, shop, shop ’til they drop. Across town at the museum, the other group of students learned about Catalan artists and different ages of art throughout the region’s history. The boys also took in the stunning architecture of MNAC, which was built as a palace for the royals to accept various international guests during the world exhibition of 1929.
That’s all from Barcelona. See you back here tomorrow!
Students have been working together in groups to create a solution about climate change on Berkeley campus and how to achieve zero waste in a better way. They have went out into the community to observe and interview those around campus. Then students created a plan within their team members to present to a successful entrepreneur from the community.
The entrepreneurship students today after their presentations with guest speaker, Hap Klopp who is an author, an investor, and a serial entrepreneur who ran the North Face for 20 years as a president. We posed with him: serious, fun, and creative!