Kate Sheran had an amazing summer experience. The incoming Huntington High School junior participated in the Oxford Tradition program at Pembroke College, one of 38 colleges within Oxford University in England.
The teenager is an outstanding student. Her junior year academic schedule includes classes in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, AP Biology, AP US History, Women’s Studies, Spanish IV, Pre-Calculus Honors and Band.
Huntington High School junior Kate Sheran.
Ms. Sheran is the PR coordinator of the high school’s English Honor Society and she is also a member of the Spanish Honor Society. An administrative assistant with Huntington’s Key Club chapter, she’s also on the Highsteppers competitive dance team. She takes classes and trains at Variations Dance Studio after school.
“As far as summer vacation goes, I always try to be as adventurous as possible,” Ms. Sheran said. “This summer, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and study abroad. I found an amazing program, Oxbridge Academic. It fulfilled my desire to learn about topics that are not regularly taught in schools. Students are offered several different cities to choose to live in for the summer based on what subject areas interest them and what each city has to offer. I chose to stay in Oxford and over the course of the program I fell in love with the city.”
Ms. Sheran and her classmates where housed in the same dorms utilized by Pembroke College undergraduates during the school year.
“We took our major class for three and a half hours every day, excluding Sunday,” Ms. Sheran said. “We also had a minor class, which met for two hours, three times a week. I majored in Neuropsychology and minored in Critical Thinking. Both of my teachers were very much immersed in their studies and deepened my love for these topics even more.”
Ms. Sheran decided to study neuropsychology as her major course because she has always been “intrigued” by the brain’s functions and impulses. “This course offered everything I had hoped for,” she said. “To study such a broad topic, my teacher had us create our own presentations, played study games with us and even took field trips to places such as the Oxford Center for Human Brain Activity to run simulations on how to use neuropsychological technology,” she said.
The Huntington junior’s Critical Thinking class was equally valuable. “We learned how to logically argue our perspectives, as well as how to point out fallacies and nuances in opponent’s arguments,” Ms. Sheran said. “I was drawn to this class because I enjoy debating my views and hearing other people’s outlooks on issues. Being able to think critically is a skill that will help me in writing, analyzing evidence and even making daily decisions. We held a few debates within the class, which I enjoyed because I got to argue with people who also enjoy debate, not just students from my high school English and history classes. My teacher often assigned us a side to argue from, which was a challenge because I had to consider the opposition’s view, not just my own.”
When she wasn’t in class or studying, Ms. Sheran spent time exploring the city of Oxford. “There are multiple family-run shops, giving the city a quaint feel,” she said. “There are still multiple chain restaurants and a mall, however. Most, if not all of the city’s historic landmarks have been preserved. Often when my friends and I weren’t in class, we would just walk around the city and explore any new places we hadn’t been to yet. Everything was within walking distance, which is one of the main aspects of this trip that I’ll miss.”
There is little doubt that Ms. Sheran is an adventurer, possessing the self-confidence anyone would need to take on such a challenge. All things considered, it was a great experience for the teenager.
“I’ve made so many international friends that I hope to see in the future,” Ms. Sheran said. “Some of my friends come from New York, but I met people from as far away as Hong Kong, Cyprus and Australia. Being connected with so many like-minded people from such diverse places is an opportunity I do not take for granted. I am so grateful to have made so many new friends who I will always share a bond with, no matter the distance between us.”
As if her summer studies weren’t enough of a thrill, Ms. Sheran was able to spend time in a second European country, taking advantage of every minute of the trip.
“I had the privilege of spending six days in Paris after being in Oxford,” Ms. Sheran said. “We mainly toured museums, such as the Louvre, the Rodin and the Orsay. One of my favorite parts of the trip was taking a boat ride down the Seine. I was able to see the whole city lit up right around sunset and it made Paris even more magical.”
Following one of the best summer experiences anyone could possibly have, Ms. Sheran is well-equipped for a splendid junior year.