On Tuesday the 5th of October 2017, I was part of a group of sixth form students who were invited to visit Gonville and Caius college in Cambridge. We were given a talk on student life at Cambridge university, as well as more general university related information which many of us- especially us year 12’s- were unaware of. This included information on student support and bursaries, as well as how accommodation works at Cambridge. The talk also dispelled some myths about applying for Oxbridge colleges, provided useful information that I was previously unaware of- such as how you can’t apply for both Oxford and Cambridge, for example- and certainly made me more confident in giving application a go next year! Cambridge university revealed itself to be much more accessible to state school students than I had previously thought, and Oxbridge as a whole has a much more intensive network of student support with weekly (or twice weekly) one-on-one meetings with academics and department members. We were also given tips for bolstering our personal statements and the sorts of things that competitive universities look for, as well as how the Oxbridge application process differs from other universities.
After this, we were given a tour of the college grounds and the library, which was basically a smaller version of Hogwarts! We were shown how extensive the resources provided for students are, and the fact that one out of thirty-three colleges had such a huge library impressed me greatly. We also ate lunch in the hall alongside actual students of the college and got experience of student life first-hand. Overall, it was a very useful trip and has made me more confident in applying for more competitive universities. I also enjoyed the freedom we were given, as we were also able to explore Cambridge city centre which gave us a feel of what it might me like to study there.