Oxbridge Summer Camps Abroad

 

 

OSCA U.A.E. 2008

 

Dubai was a new destination for OSCA this year. As a team of four directors and ten teachers we were based in four different schools for a month, working in cooperation with the government of Dubai.

 

The Dubai camp was unique in its set up; in keeping with cultural sensitivities, boys and girls were taught separately, in different schools, with lessons only taking place in the morning. Although this allowed for much free time, these mornings were challenging, as we taught three consecutive lessons to three different classes, followed by an hour of extracurricular exercises or a whole camp activity.


In the classroom, there was an emphasis on language skills, covering listening, speaking, reading and writing. Lessons were varied and fun and the streamed classes allowed for some very imaginative work in the top sets, while, at the same time, real progress was made by the beginners. There was still plenty of time for more fun activities, with highlights including a “build the strongest bridge” competition, designing t-shirts and lots of English activities and games. In the final two weeks of the camps, we ran drama workshops during the final hour of the morning, which produced some entertaining plays including a recreation of the story of “Aladdin” and other children venturing into the realms of dragons, witches and robots.


Ostentatious and vibrant, Dubai is a city striving for extravagance and so provided more than enough to do during our free time. Group socials included heading to “ski school” and learning to snow on artificial ski slopes, a desert safari and a day out to “Wild Wadi” Water Park. More shopping malls than you can find anywhere else in the world, Dubai gave us all our home comforts and a taste of the Middle-East at the same time. Sight-seeing highlights included the 7* Hotel, the Burj-al-Arab, the old gold and spice souks and a boat cruise up the creek.


Ideal for travelling after the camp has finished, with teachers heading off as far as Lebanon, Egypt and Oman, Dubai was a resounding success and very rewarding for all involved. The half days allowed for discovering much of this stunning city and free weekends allowed us to travel to the other Emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Fujierah and Sharjah. Being based in the same school for month allowed us to really to get to know the children and see real improvement, while four weeks in Dubai meant that we could get a real sense of this exciting city, and the U.A.E as well.

 

You can see some of the pictures taken by the U.A.E. volunteers here.


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