On Friday 11th October, 15 students from Year 10 visited Cambridge University to learn more about university life as well as finding out more about applying to Oxford and Cambridge.
Upon our arrival at Churchill College, we were given an introductory presentation. To begin with, we learnt about the college itself, which also happens to be the national and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. Though not primarily geared towards STEM subjects, that is what the majority of pupils, who are at the college, study.
Cambridge University is widely renown to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and the talk covered the main reasons why that is so. The university offers some of the best facilities to study the diverse range of subjects there are on offer.
Additionally, the style of learning allows for pupils to be in small tutorial sizes, often with one-on-one supervision time. The presentation highlighted the importance of choosing suitable A-Level subjects in order to pursue one’s favourite subjects further. This was different for each course, and you don't even necessarily need to study your chosen subject at A-level to study it for a degree. What the presentation did mention was the need for more women to pursue a STEM career, and that was an extremely inspiring perspective.
We ended the talk by focussing on the application process. There was a strong emphasis on the importance of grades, but the university also highlighted the fact that potential applicants needed to be passionate about their subject. Therefore, it is extremely important to take advantage of all the extracurricular activities the school has to offer.
We followed the talk with a tour of some of the student accommodation, which helped us to understand more about how life as a student is at Cambridge University. After lunch, we walked through the town to Newnham College, one of the three female-only colleges at the university. Here (through a special tour by Mrs Ford – a past student of the college) we were able to appreciate the beautiful architecture. We spoke to Jasmine, a student and keen rower, who was very positive about her university experience.
Overall, the trip was an invaluable experience as it not only gave us a picture of what studying at university, specifically Cambridge, would be like, but it was also an insightful trip that gave us a much clearer idea of the subjects to pursue after GCSEs.
Madinah: “I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to visit Cambridge. It has been an immensely interesting experience to learn more about one of the world’s most prestigious universities. I believe having the chance to visit the colleges at such an early stage was very beneficial.”
Ria: “I loved visiting Newnham College and seeing the pretty and peaceful gardens it had. I also loved the old architecture of the buildings as well. I also liked learning about the different subjects and degrees that are associated with the different colleges in Cambridge.”
Sophia: “I enjoyed the experience and gained an insight into life at the university. I found it particularly helpful talking to current students and loved the beautiful scenery at Cambridge.”