Cambridge Natural Sciences

Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: College Search and Selection: September 2003 Archive: Cambridge Natural Sciences
By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 07:13 pm: Edit

Am US student interested in applying to Cambridge to read natural sciences. I'm most interested in biology and chemistry, but love physics as well. Will apply fall of '04 for admission in fall of '05. Am doing research about the Cambridge colleges now. Here's what I want in a college - maybe you can help:

1. A Director of Studies for natural sciences attached to the college
2. A college not in the middle of the tourist route.
3. Very good computer connections.
4. Interesting architecture would be a plus although not essential.
5. Good library services and stock for natural sciences.
6. Need accomodations for all three years.
7. I like sports (rowing) if I can get it. Also enjoy swimming and tennis.

(I may end up applying as an open applicant, but would like to have a bit more information if I can get it.) Hope you can help. Thanks in advance.

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 07:31 am: Edit

1) It is highly unlikely that you will find a college without a Director of Studies in natural sciences. DoSes are just teaching Fellows of the college in the Tripos which you are studying.

2) This is slightly incompatible with desire 4). Tourists aren't really as big a problem as people make out, as they tend to come in the summer months when students are away. But the colleges that have large numbers of tourists are - Emmanuel, King's, Queens', Trinity and a few others.

3) I'm pretty sure all of the colleges have good computer connections now, but you might want to double check some of the ones you are interested in.

4) It's probably best to list those colleges that don't have interesting architecture - Churchill, Fitzwilliam, Homerton, New Hall, Robinson, St Catharine's.

5) It would be best to write to a college to check. There is always the University Library (which is a copyright library, like the Library of Congress in the US) and faculty libraries.

6) This won't be a problem for foreign students, who are given priority on housing. Most colleges offer accomodation for all three years to all students anyway.

7) How good are you? If you can't find a sports team in your college you'll be able to find it at university. Don't expect to row for the university team unless you are over 6'5" and very, very good. College boats are easier to get into, but still competitive.

By Gabypa (Gabypa) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 09:23 am: Edit

A real texan:

I'm very interested in all ur posts!

So, ure at cambridge? What college are u attending?

I am planning to apply to queens' college to read the SPS tripos. However, I would be willing to change my college selection if you could tell me which one is relatively easier to get into. MAinly, I chose Queens because of its multiple facilities, its dance group (very important for me!), and its excellent academics.

the problem is that im an intl student and probably wont have money nor time to do my interview. the thing's that im peruvian and live in brazil. i dont think they come recruit ppl here, so i douubt ill have the opportunity to have an interview... :-(

But im VERY interested in my subject. i just started learning about the whole uk university college process, so im kindda confused, but surviving ... i already filled my ucas form and wrote a personal statement for both the ucas and the CAF forms. what do u think one should concentrate on in those essays? the space provided for those is so infinitesimal! i only concentrated on why i chose my subject, btw.... cuz i had to omit eeeverything else. i think, though, that i will attach a lil "resume-like" thingy with my CAF, score reports, and all that stuff in order to really substantiate the passion for my subject w/ all that very important extracurricular info.

I dunno what my chances would be.... Could you plz give me an estimate of what kind of credentials intl students u know had? i study in an american school, so that probably make it easier for the admission tutors to compare how i stand in relation to IB/A-level candidates....

My states are in this page...
But since cambridge doesnt care about ecs, i might as well just post my "quantifiable" academic stats only now -

as of now, they are...

GPA: 4.0 - unweighted, 4.7 - weighted.
Class rank: 1 out of 42
SAT I: (October 2002) 1480. Consider I learned english only 3 years ago. I plan to re-take the test next October, though, and expect to score over 1550.
SAT II: (All taken in January 2003) Writing 800, Spanish 800, Biology-M 780, Math 2c 750.
May 2002 --> U.S. History 5 (with the class); German 5 / Spanish 5 / Environmental Science 5 / APIEL 5 (without the class)
May 2003--> Biology 5/ Comparative Government 5/ English Literature 5 / European History 5/ Microeconomics 5/ Macroeconomics 5( with the class); Calculus BC 5 AB Subscore 5(without the class)

That's all...I dunno if I could e-mail u more info bout me and my personal statement perhaps -- i dunno....i have so many ?s but dont want to appear too impertinent w/so many of them.....

thanks so much!

btw, my email is, just in case.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 12:21 pm: Edit

Thanks arealtexan.

1)Good to know about the DoSes
2)Yep, those are the ones I toured through as a tourist!
3)Nice to know about computer connection. Email is important when you are far away from home.
4)Some of those look like car parks. Don't mean to be insulting, but I'm not THAT desperate. St. Catharine looks okay and I believe it is close to NatSci lecture halls. Churchill has awful architecture, but I'll bet the facilities are fairly good.
5)Where is the University Library located? Central part of town? I'll take a look at a map and try to find it. Yes, and good idea to contact the individual college when I narrow things down.
6) Okay
7)I'm 6 feet now. Don't expect to ever reach 6'5". I swim and play tennis on a varsity level. Compete in state championships. I row (scull) at a private club. Don't have time to participate in crew. Probably I'm not good enough for more than a college boat.

For what it's worth, the two colleges that I'm most attracted to (from 6 thousand miles away) are Downing and Sydney Sussex.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 06:57 pm: Edit

Hey arealtexan!

I spent some time looking at the website for Churchill and I actually like it (despite the ugly architecture). I appreciate their committment to training scientists of the future and it looks like the facilities are pretty good. At least you don't have to walk across the court to take a shower! (Christ's)

I'll take a closer look at the other colleges you mentioned above although I would prefer not to sleep in a car park and walk a mile or two to get to Sainsbury's, the University library and all the pretty girls in the other colleges.

Probably I'll continue my web research throughout the year and visit Cambridge during my spring break. I've already visited the US schools which are most interesting to me and have a tentative short list of those.

Springtime in England would be fun. Any more pearls of wisdom from you would be appreciated.

Oh, just so you know what I'm about... I'm thinking of eventually doing an MD/PhD back here in the states (assuming I keep up the grades, interest and get good MCAT scores). Once you're into that, the chance of leaving your country for study is very limited - MAYBE in the post-graduate research fellowship years. Anyway, that's why I'm thinking of leaving the good ole' USofA as an undergraduate.

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 11:21 pm: Edit

Dude, you will only have to walk all the way to take a shower if you live in 1st Court, which is off-limits for 1st year undergrads - the rooms are reserved for scholars, organ-scholars and finalists very high on the room ballot. Christ's does not just revolve around 1st Court :). You would not normally need the university library as most undergraduate stuff is available in college or faculty libraries. Unless of course, you are doing some dissertation/research work. Nonetheless, you cannot borrow any books until your 3rd year. Why not Christ's? Good location and one of the top colleges academically :p.

By Gabypa (Gabypa) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 11:27 pm: Edit

what are the other top colleges academically?

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 11:45 pm: Edit

Good question. Can't really tell you the specifics as I haven't seen the full 2003 Tompkins Table yet- which ranks the colleges according to undergraduate exam results. In a recent article, Emmanuel is no 1 followed by Christ's. Pembroke who topped last year is in 4th position. Trinity and Queens' are normally somewhere up there. PS: It does not matter which college you go to. If you are good, you will get a 1st wherever you are...

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 11:57 pm: Edit

Well Crazycat, I'll tell ya... the more I look at Cambridge, the more I like it. Sorting through the colleges is like choosing goodies in a candy shop.

The alternative perspective (or whatever it's called) says that Christ's is in middle of Cambridge but off tourist trail (I like that). It has a slight bias toward Nat Sci and Maths (like that). Academically strong - one of the strongest (certainly like that). Sometimes rooms are a long way from shower or bath (don't like that but I can cope). Ugly first year accomodations (better that than 2nd or 3rd year). Boat house 1/2 mile from college (good). And the virtual tour was NICE!

This is what I'll probably end up doing. I'll research all the colleges, visit during my Spring break to take a closer look. Then I'll put all of my favorites on the wall and throw darts to decide where to apply next year. THEN I'll probably matriculate at Princeton! Ha! Who knows. Life is a lark.

By Gabypa (Gabypa) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 12:01 am: Edit


By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 04:20 am: Edit

Miakulpa. I actually listed the ones without nice architecture so that you could eliminate them from your search. I wasn't recommending them. ;)

Re: the Tompkins Table. I am not sure if this is true for Cambridge, but Oxford's Norrington Table is not an accurate reflection of the results. This is because students no longer have to declare their results, which makes compilation of the table impossible. The differences in the Tompkins Table are minute, and going to an 'academic' college usually means absolutely nothing.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 02:05 pm: Edit

Ohhhh. I gotcha. I thought you were sending me to the dumpy-looking schools. Good enough for our unwashed American brethren, eh? :0)

What I'm doing is going through all the Cambridge college websites one at a time (over time) and writing pertinent data on little 3x5 cards. Very scientific methodology. Then I'll do some sophisticated computer analysis of my data and at the very end I'll throw the cards out my bedroom window and the one I can still find days later will be one I apply to!

Sorry to run on so. Like to have a little fun, is all. I won't pay much attention to score sheets like Tompkins Table. I've had enough of USNews listing of US schools. I'm just going to make the application to Cambridge in the spirit of adventure. I love England. I also love the part of the US where I live now, but I want to leave for awhile and EXPLORE.

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 04:37 am: Edit

Might I recommend this website:

to help in your research of the different colleges. It's the 'Alternative Prospectus' produced by the University Student Union, which tells you things that the college websites don't - like that all the Fellows at King's have beards, or that the lager at Emmanuel tastes like chemicals.

If you hunt hard enough on college websites - or on college student union websites - you can usually find a small alternative prospectus for just that college.

Good luck with your search and applications.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 01:21 pm: Edit

Thanks Arealtexan. I've seen the 'Alternative Prospectus'. It's a good place to start. I've been gradually moving down the alphabetical list of colleges, reading the essay from the alt prospectus first, then clicking on the college website below and cruising that.

The Oxbridge University system of colleges and tutorials is such a great idea. I can see why some of our US schools are imitating them. Rice University in Texas is having great success with their use of the Oxbridge model of residential colleges. Williams College in Mass rightfully boasts about it's tutorial system, also based on Oxbridge.

In the opposite direction, I think MIT has had a great influence on Cambridge in recent years. It's smart when schools, countries borrow the best from one another. Your posts are helpful. Thanks.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 02:16 pm: Edit

Hey, Arealtexan! If you're still around I have another question. Just got an email from one of the Cambridge admissions tutors with the suggestion that I look up the GCE 'A' level syllabus on the web and compare it with the Biology I am studying here - to see if I have any gaps that I can work on.

I'm looking around but don't yet see a website with that information. If you happen to know of one, could you fill me in? Thanks.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 02:49 pm: Edit

I found it, Arealtexan. On the CIE website.

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 02:43 pm: Edit

Miakulpa, another point that may be of interest to you but will be disappointing to know: After some curious scrounging of admission pages, I found out that only 3 offers were made to Americans in 2001 or 2002? (not sure) on the basis of SAT/ACT results throughout the uni for first degree entry - (was on Pembroke's website). They said it was due to the different education systems...etc.... (I am sure u know). Many Americans apply at the postgrad level. This probably means you would have a tight fight ahead. When I reflect back at my college, Christ's, we haven't taken any Americans in the last 3 years I reckon for undergraduate entry. Nonetheless, there is a significant international student population here. There is one Canadian who is the sole representative from the North American continent doing Physics and one of my best friends. Anyway, all the best and hope you make it. PS: I cox...and we are off racing soon in the Peterborough Summer Regatta :).

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 03:12 pm: Edit

Just an addendum to Crazycat's post, there is the link for the page he is talking about. For all the candidates applying, don't let it put you off - the fact that 3 offers were made means you still have a chance.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 06:46 am: Edit

This does sound bleak. Well, I have one year before I need to apply and two years before I graduate, so I guess I have my work cut out for me. I took a gander at the 'A' level syllabus in biology and nothing there scares me. I'll do the same with chemistry - maybe physics. Anyway, the open days and (possible) interview will enable me to visit the UK again! I was born in London - have been back several times and always enjoy myself.

Also, I have a good idea of where I will apply in the US and the colleges here ain't too shabby. It would be fun to go abroad as an undergraduate, because once I hit grad school and hopefully med school, I'm stuck here for the looooong haul.

By Eeyore8116 (Eeyore8116) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 02:13 pm: Edit

i hail originally from England (moved here 1 year ago)and i think that if you are looking to read natural sciences then you should consider Downing College (the website has a link explaining how natural sciences are approached at Cambridge)
My dad went there, focusing on chemistry, and is currently a director of chemical research for a company in NY.

By Liwenchao (Liwenchao) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 02:11 pm: Edit

How about Caius? Is Caius good in Natural Science?

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 03:53 am: Edit

Caius has a reputation for being good in the sciences. However, the colleges are more or less the same for each subject (apart from the ones that don't offer subject X). With the sciences differences between the colleges have considerably less of an impact than in arts or humanities subjects, as you do a lot of work in the labs in the various faculty buildings.

By Emma (Emma) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 06:03 am: Edit

I'd be interested to see your personal statement. It is a HUGE factor in English admissions, do not understate its importance!

By Emma (Emma) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 06:11 am: Edit

Have a look at my post int he admissions section about personal statements.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 02:23 pm: Edit

Hi. I am going cambridge this year. My college is fitzwilliam. I heard it is not good in reputation among the colleges. is that true? by the way, where to find tompkin's table? anyone knows? thanks a lot

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 04:06 pm: Edit

Fitzwilliam only has a bad reputation because of poor architecture. No colleges have bad academic reputations - so no, it is not true in the least.

Here is the most recent Tompkins Table, as far as I am aware:


By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 04:09 pm: Edit

Sorry, that link is messing up. If you go here:

and pick the second distinct hit down, the one with a link to a page on that has the Tompkins Table.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 10:18 pm: Edit

Thank a lot! it's quite helpful. but it seems that fitz is quite down in the list. in fact, the reason I was wondering is because as a foreign student, I applied the overseas trust, which was quite important to my family. While all my friends from similar background got 4000 to 6000, I got nothing. And I was quite sure that my academic performance was one of the best. Thus, I suspected it might be my college. Anyway, do you have any idea how this trust evalutes a student? many thanks!

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 02:29 am: Edit

The difference between Fitzwilliam and the top college is 7.31 points out of a possible 100. That isn't a difference worth mentioning - so no, it is not down to the college you applied to. The Tompkins Table is not something that will affect any aspect of your time in Cambridge. Nobody is going to withhold anything from you based on the college you attend - I've been awarded a pretty hefty Army scholarship and I'll be at the second 'worst' college, according to the Tompkins Table.

What offer did you receive? That will tell you if your academic performance was good or not.

Which overseas trust did you apply to? The Overseas Student Bursary or one of the scholarships? As far as I am aware awards from the Commonwealth Trust are not based on academics, but on demonstrated financial need.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 05:32 am: Edit

thanks! I am glad to know that Fitzwilliam is not hell in the least! I applied the Cambridge Overseas Trust, which is always mentioned together with the commonwealth trust. The office handles applications for both two.

I simply received a letter saying that since there is a large pool of competitive applicants, I am sorry ..blahblahbla.. I think it doesn't say anything at all. everyone would receive the same letter.

but from the word "competitive" I guess that there is academic factor involved although financial need may be as important. but I compared my academic performance with my friends and I really think it is better than most of them. So is it because I have applied too much? 7500 pounds.About 500 pounds more than theirs per year. Also, the percentage of solid savings is relatively low and the that of income is relative high. So they might think that hey, this guy is impossible to help.

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 06:43 am: Edit

Which subject are you going to be reading? Because for Arts and Humanities, £7,000 covers the tuition for one year. You might have applied for too much from the trust. Whereabouts are you coming from? That could be a factor as well.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 10:09 am: Edit

Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I am going to study economics. and the tuition fee is about 9000 pounds. thus the total financial guarantee is about 16400 pounds.I am from China. but all these applied to my friends as well.

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 11:27 am: Edit

Academic performance plays a part but it not THE sole criterion. Which college you are in makes no difference. Trust decisions can be crapshoot as they are dependent on many other factors. There is financial need which is equally or more important than just academic prowess. The Trusts have been moving towards need-based policies in the past few years. One question, are you coming into residence this Oct? If you are, then you could probably afford it (My apologies,never intended to be mean :) ). There are a few deserving students who received almost full funding but it rarely occurs for international students. Then, your tutor/admissions tutor needs to write good rec. letters. Nationality is a factor as I know some friends from Malaysia and Singapore who have been given substantial grants. A year mate from Canada also received 4000 pounds from the Trust. What about your application form? Did you do it properly? The references? Those might have pulled you down.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 01:29 pm: Edit

Thanks a lot for your explanation. I think I can only come if I borrow from a lot relatives and make my parents work crazily. I mean I am sure that most of the students who apply and eventually are given can come without the award, but with tremendous sacrifice, for example, selling their house or using the money intended when the parents are old and so on. thus, the question is how much sacrifice one's family needs to make. if the sacrifice is really unbearable, the trust should consider.
As for the references, I am wondering that how one's college tutor could write without seeing this particular student for once? purely based on personal essay, interview, written test and A-level results? a bit strange.
anyway, your help is very useful. thanks! :)

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 03:51 pm: Edit

Have you been in touch with your college tutor at all? Has he/she sent you reading lists, etc.?

Economics is a Band 1A fees subject. It costs £7416 a year in tuition fees. Is the £9,000 including college fees?

The Economist recently had an article about the UK becoming the most popular destination for Chinese students going overseas, did you see it?

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 11:25 pm: Edit

Yes, I have received a reading list. but I have never contacted my college tutor personally. I believe the 9000 pounds includes college fees. Thanks a lot for you reminder.
I am considering applying again for cambridge overseas trust next year if I can show them an excellent result in the first year and my finanical need. Do you think that is possible? Or you know anyone who has succesfully tried this before?
Yes, Britain has become the most popular place instead of the US. The reasons are quite straightforward. first of all, the cost of studying in Britain is cheaper. secondly, many UK universities, not including oxbridge, lse and a few renowned schools, are much easier to get in than those US universities. Thirdly and most importantly, a british visa is much easier to obtain. Thus, it is in fact expected that UK will be the most popular place. Australia and Newzealand are also quite popular these days. But their universities are inferior in quality.
What do you study?

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 05:25 am: Edit

There are a couple of other trusts you can apply to once you are in residence - the Isaac Newton Trust is one, but I'm not sure if they give bursaries to foreign students. You might want to try again in your second year, I'm sure that it's possible. But I'm not in residence yet so I'm not the person to ask.

I'll study History at Peterhouse from 2005. I'm spending a year at RMA Sandhurst prior to going up, and have a couple of weeks before I start there.

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 09:52 am: Edit

After asking my international friends, you can apply for the trusts in the 2nd year. I am not sure about the actual application procedure and circumstances though. The Isaac Newton Trust does not give out awards to international students.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:23 am: Edit

Hi, Arealtexan and Crazycat! thanks a lot for your help! it's very useful and encouraging. Hope can see you guys eventually at Cambridge! by the way, Crazycat, do you mean it is possible theoretically to apply in the second year or have you heard anyone who has done it. Because, many times, a lot of things are possible theoretically but not feasible in practice. Anyway thanks a lot! Crazycat, which college are you from? Arealtexan, hope to see you in 2005.

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:37 am: Edit

Friends have done it. I am in Christ's.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 01:05 pm: Edit

Great! It brings much hope! thanks a lot! what does one need to show to the trust commitee? Just an excellent result slip? Or have to show the office that there is a change in financial situation?
It's really great knowing you guys !

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 02:42 pm: Edit

You must understand one thing: just waving that excellent result slip is not going to get u anywhere. I have already explained earlier that Trust awards are predominantly need-based. Then again, I might be wrong. Just follow the same application procedures and ask for advice from ur tutors once you come into residence. You can't knock on the office as there isn't one (I think I am correct about this). Else, everyone qualified in Cambridge will do that.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Thanks! Of course what I mean is not to knock their door and wave a result slip to them.:) What I mean is to enhance the chance of getting it, I have to demonstrate first of all, need and then convince them with academic performance, shown by result.
I think to ask for advice from tutors is a good idea.Thanks!

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 05:43 am: Edit

Hi, crazycat, the people from the trust office told me the chance of getting the award in the second year is almost zero but if you wait for one year and apply again, it is possible. your friends have done it successfully in their second year at Cambridge or they waited at home for one year and applied again?

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 07:59 am: Edit

They did it at Cambridge. From what I understand, free money is not easy these days. If you do come into residence, talk to your tutors. Something hopefully can be done about it. may not be a stroll in the park but ppl have done there you go. I must warn you that you are very unlikely to get full/substantial funding this way. I think it is somewhere between 3000? pounds per annum which may or may not help your financial situation.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 10:37 am: Edit

Thanks! I will try my best to come to Cambridge. It has been one of the greatest places in my heart since I was a child. Yes, indeed, i should seek help from my tutors in the second year.
Really, many thanks! your information is very important!

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 10:40 am: Edit

Thanks! I will try my best to come to Cambridge. It has been one of the greatest places in my heart since I was a child. Yes, indeed, i should seek help from my tutors in the second year.
Really, many thanks! your information is very important! btw, may I have the email address of your friend who has done so, please? perhaps, their experience would be very helpful.

By Crazycat (Crazycat) on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 10:49 am: Edit

my sincere apologies but he wants to remain anonymous on this matter. Am not pulling your leg as he doesn't want to be inconvenienced. Maybe selfish on his part, but this is the best I can do for you. He recognises he is one of the rare internationals that got some money from the trusts later on. The process is the same - that's what he tells me. You need support from ur tutor though. Hope you get the money though.

By Superphoton (Superphoton) on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 12:19 am: Edit

Thanks A lot for helping me ask! i understand his feelings and I am sorry to cause inconveniences to you. I will try my best in the second year. :)

By Ant (Ant) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 11:58 am: Edit

Hi Miakulpa,

I'm British, did Languages at Emmanuel. It's a fine place; but as an American, you may be interested to know that there's a long-standing connection with Harvard (John Harvard was at Emma c 1630), and scholarships etc...

As regards rowing, if you have any skill whatever, you'll be welcomed with open oars by any college boat club. Much college rowing and coxing is of a criminally low standard, involving multiple pile ups on a narrow and twisty river. I know whereof I speak. Enough said.

Good luck.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 01:24 pm: Edit

Thanks Ant,
I know about the Harvard/Emma connection. I'm always happy for a hand-out (financially) but I'm fortunate that I don't really need anything. Not that my family is rolling in the dough, but my parents started saving for my college when I was just a babe. So I can afford the overseas fares, travel, living, fun, etc. It's one load off my mind.

Emma looks attractive. I am not interested in attending Harvard as an undergraduate - if you were suggesting that. I think I might be considered "Harvard grade material", but will not apply there as an undergraduate.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 03:10 pm: Edit

Ant, Arealtexan, others...

Here's my tentative list of Cambridge colleges for next summer open days and application. Ten is too many. Would like to get it down to about 5. Do you have any "pearls of wisdom" regarding these? Downing, Emma, Jesus, Christs, Magdalene, Trinity Hall, Corpus Christi, Sydney Sussex, St. Cats, Pembroke. Thanks in advance.

By Mat334 (Mat334) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 11:06 pm: Edit


Looks to me like Jesus should be your college of choice.
- It has quite a few natsci professors
- It is ranked in the top ten (of 30) and has a good academic reputation
- Its not #1 so you stand a better chance of being given an offer
-Its just off the tourist trail, hidden but still in the centre of town
- Computer connections everywhere with a well run network
- Medium sized college
- Beautiful grounds, courtyards, sculptures... the architecture is great, you fall in love with the buildings (this is the real old cambridge though not as grand as King's, which is good in itself)
- IMHO the best library, recently renovated (2000)
- Accomodation in college for years 1 and 3 and in houses a stone's throw away in houses on the perimeter of the college (unlike many colleges that put many students in 60's flats 10 mins cycle away)
- Beatiful grounds extending to the nearby river with a college boathouse -perfect for rowing

Clearly I sound like a tutor there or student... I'm not - I applied there last year and was rejected... above are the reasons why I applied there. If you're really stuck for where to go then consider an open application but bare in mind that often this can lead to your application being sent for consideration by a less popular college.

One other thing... Fitzwilliam and another college (forgotten its name but its quite far away from the centre... all the way up a hill if i remember rightly) are not so well thought of because of their remoteness. Most students use bikes to get around or just walk so you dont want to have to be trekking for a quarter of an hour to half an hour just to go out for a drink in town or to class. Or even worse returning on a cold January night in the rain.

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 12:10 am: Edit

Thanks about the info re: Jesus. I received a prospectus in the mail just the other week. Yes to all you have said, and the library looks very special!
May I ask you, did you apply for natural science? Any words of wisdom regarding the application process? I'm a year away and would like to be considered a strong candidate. I think I will be. Actually, even if I am not accepted, there is a certain adventure to applying to Cambridge (or am I just rationalizing and preparing myself for likely failure - oh, what the hell).

By Arealtexan (Arealtexan) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 09:27 am: Edit

Jesus is very nice. An elderly customer of my family's shop who was my "mentor" throughout the application process went there, back in the days when it was full of the Welsh.

By Shelinda (Shelinda) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 11:15 am: Edit

There's nothing wrong with the Welsh... (it's the Irish you've got to watch out for )

By Miakulpa (Miakulpa) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 12:10 pm: Edit

Ooooo. Gotta watch those women named Shelinda. Anytime you see "She" in front of a name, tread carefully. :)

The only Welsh I know is "Cadfael". Hey, I climbed or shall I say "walked" up Mt Snowdon once. Enough of a welsh connection there?

Any words about the other colleges I listed?

By Tonn (Tonn) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 11:02 pm: Edit

Did all these 6 Chinese students recruited from mainland last winter get into fitzwilliam? I thought you would study engineering because it was the only subject avaliable in China, wasn't it?

Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page