It was an absolute privilege to host  Park Lane Alumni Jakub Surga at Úvoz on Thursday 23rd March where he talked with parents and students about his “Journey from Park Lane to Oxford”.

Kuba gave us a detailed insight into how Park Lane and the IB Curriculum prepared him well for the rigours of studying Computer Science at University College Oxford. Being one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, with over 30 halls and colleges where students may learn, live and grow. With around 24 thousand applicants every year, it’s one of the most popular educational institutions in the UK.

Since being a student from year 1 at the Nessie Campus, Kuba has engaged in school life, excelling in academia and extra-curricular activities. The academically challenging IB Diploma gave Kuba the foundations and the skills to be able to flourish in lectures, seminars and tutorials at Oxford. Courses at Oxford are theoretical, not practical, for Computer Science they debate theories, analyse mathematics equations and present problems to solve as well as coding analysis. But it isn’t all work, Kuba does enjoy the lifestyle of living in University College Halls with their history and traditions, ceremonies and even their own vocabulary. He enjoys playing rugby for the Oxford development team, a sport he played in Prague.

Kuba explained that it wasn’t just his good exam grades that were important for his application. The love and passion to read, research and learn more in your favourite subject is a must. Students work hard and don’t complain, it is a high octane environment, it is a privilege to be there amongst like minded people who also love their subjects. With an international student body, Kuba is making friends from all over the world in a variety of subject areas.

In his presentation, Kuba gave advice to our students on the application process, writing your personal statement and preparing your application pack with reading and comparing courses, universities and colleges. With Oxford and Cambridge, you can only apply to one through UCAS and you apply to the colleges, not the universities. Studying overseas can be costly, Kuba also offered advice on funding streams through local sponsor organisations in the Czech Republic that you can apply to for scholarships.

For our audience, Year 11 and 12 students and parents, Jakub Surga’s presentation was aspirational, inspirational and motivational. An alumnus showing younger peers that it can be done and how it can be done. Now all they have to do is go out there and do the same or more!!!!

Emma Emerich
University and Careers Adviser