Oxford: Smitten for Stratford!

Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare; one of the first facts we learned before studying our first Shakespeare play in grade 9 English class. This is where we spent our day today!

The drive from Oxford to Stratford was so picturesque. The small towns and hamlets that we passed along the way were full of green space, old architecture and enchanting homes that are very well maintained. We are thankful that our bus driver opted to take the scenic route, which took slightly longer, but was much better than an hour and a half of highway driving.

This excursion to Stratford really brought Shakespeare to life. The day was sunny, and the small town set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside sparkled with charm. Our tour guide Wendy, an older petite woman, shared with us her wealth of knowledge about the place, the people, the history and the culture. We picked up a few fun facts, which I am sure our students will share when you chat with them next. Be sure to ask them how the phrase “frog in your throat” was coined, and inquire about why the poles in front of barbershops are red and white. I think you will be as entertained as we were with these explanations.

After our walking tour with Wendy, students had a few hours to explore the town, walk around, visit gift shops and eat lunch. Some really immersed themselves and enjoyed some tea and scones at the various cafes within the town.

When we returned to our residence, students started to get excited about where they would choose to eat for their cash dinner. They really enjoyed having this freedom, especially since they have been eyeing specific places throughout the week. After diner, some students opted to go to a board game café called “Thirsty Meeples”, others grabbed dessert, and some attended a live music show at the O2 Academy Oxford, one the city’s greatest venues for live music. Some of the best gigs to date have come from Ed Sheeran, Ozzy Osbourne and Hozier.

Students had a later curfew tonight since it was Saturday, but sign in was seamless and all students were home and in their rooms for room checks. What a great first weekend in Oxford. We look forward to many more in new locations!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Stephanie Zourntos

Program Coordinator