Welcome :)

Hello and welcome to my humble blog:)

My name is Daniela and I’m a 17 year old schoolgirl living in Zagreb, Croatia. Besides being a typical high school student, I have a passion for animals, movies, music and good food (only eating – I cant cook to save my life). In my short spare time I have between after school activities and studying, i can usually be found out with my friends or being bitten by our evil black pet cat.

I enjoy reading, Christmas time and going to the movies – its almost like therapy to me – and usually find it very difficult to introduce myself. Well, that’s pretty much the basic information about me in a nutshell.


Monday, 18 March 2013

Why I want to study at Oxford or Cambridge (Pt. 2)

I’m back with part two of my trilogy (Lord of the Rings style :P) ! In case you’re just tuning in now or missed out on part one, this is the sequel to my list of reasons why I would love to attend Oxford or Cambridge. So, what else sets Oxbridge apart from other schools?

Well, one of the many things that Oxbridge are famous for is their unique teaching system. The school year is divided into three eight-week terms, which may seem short, but are also very intense. Two types of teaching take place during a semester: lectures and tutorials. Just like in most colleges, both Oxford and Cambridge students attend a curtain number of timetabled lectures on whichever subject they’re studying. The majority of universities revolve their study system around this sort of teaching. Oxbridge, on the other hand, base their system on “tutorials”- weekly meetings between a tutor, who is usually a world-class expert in the subject, and 1-2 students. For each tutorial, the student has to prepare questions and an essay (sometimes more than one) on the lecture topic of the week, which is then discussed and commented upon during the hour. A student may have one or many tutors during a school year, depending on the requirements of the subject that they’re studying.

Most academics regard tutorials as the most important type of teaching. Why? Because such individual sessions force the student to test and defend his arguments with his tutor, which is something that helps improve communication skills and independent thinking unlike any lecture. Since there’s no more than two students present at a tutorial, the both have time to ask about anything that they’re unsure about and get more personally involved, while the tutor is given the advantage of adapting his teaching methods to fit each individual student. As we all know, this kind tailored help is rarely available when you’re sitting at the back of a giant lecture room with hundreds of other people. I mean, people are often neglected when they are in groups, so such a personalized approach not only promotes the potentials of each individual, but helps build their self-confidence and provides them with invaluable one-on-one interaction with their professors – something that is often lacking even in a class of 30… so, if you asked me, I couldn’t think of a more enjoyable way to be taught than through such a system.

Also, with the exception of Durham, Oxford and Cambridge are the only universities in the UK where teaching is centered in the college. This system is called a collegiate system,  in which the campus to be divided into smaller colleges with their own independent academic staff. Not only does that allow for teaching inside campus area, but also loads of extra-curricular activities (which I, personally, can’t get enough of!).

Because of the high concentration of world academics, both Oxford and Cambridge are very often responsible for major research breakthroughs and discoveries in many different disciplines. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but just the other day a team of doctors managed to keep a human liver alive outside of a human body and transplant it into a patient using technology developed at Oxford University….for the first time in history…which is AMAZING! (In case you’re as amazed as I am, you can read a full article and watch a video about the operation here.)  Cambridge, on the other hand, used a technique that’s usually used to spot far away galaxies to identify aggressive cancer biomarkers (more information on this link), which is also equally as incredible…As one of the world’s leaders of academic study and research, Oxbridge offer incomparably extensive study resources which help them come to such breakthroughs, including the largest university libraries in the UK. For a bookworm like me, access to such a resource would be an amazing privilege since it’s not every day that you can come across such a treasury of knowledge…all the things I could read about, look up, learn about…I think I’d never leave!

But anyway, I’m getting a bit too enthusiastic again…which means it’s time I ended part two. The competition ends in 9 days…not that anyone’s counting ;) But I have to say, time really does fly….

Also, I’ve been getting quite a few questions about other BHV programs, so if anybody wants to know some more detailed or specific information regarding one of the programs, feel free to leave a comment or even just send me a message on Facebook, I’ll do my best to get back to you :)

Until later!

P.S. In case you’re interested, I came across this blog the other day…It’s run by a girl from Čakovec who attended a “au pair” program in New York. There’s lots of really interesting stuff on her site, so if you want to know a little about her experiences in NYC (especially for those who were asking about the high school abroad program), be sure to check it out:)