Choosing a university can be tough. You have to spend at least three years there, often away from your family and school friends. That can be exciting though too, your undergraduate years can be the best three years of your life. So how do you choose where to go? That obviously depends on your personal preferences and to be honest, you’ll probably have a great time and get a good education at most UK universities. Draw up a list of places you might like to go and read up about them online; all universities will have websites about admissions, student life and student societies. The best way to decide if you can live somewhere for three years though is to go and see the place! Universities hold open days where you can tour the facilities and city and hear talks about what it’s like there, all free of course. Cambridge does the same; you can find out about our open days here.
Cambridge University is a great place to study. It’s a great experience to be following in the footsteps of some of the most famous scientists to have lived. The teaching facilities are excellent too, the university has it’s own museums and botanic gardens, modern teaching labs and excellent lecturers.
The city itself is beautiful, full of fantastic old buildings and open greens and parks. When you’re not studying you can relax by the river, or go punting up and down it, or you can go out and enjoy the many hundreds of pubs which range from the good old fashioned fire-place and a pint of ale pubs to trendy, sleek modern ones. Like any city Cambridge also has its fair share of clubs.
There are a few things that make Cambridge different from other universities. One is that it is a collegiate university. That means as well as being a member of the university you become a member of your chosen college (the chosen college of Darwin, and the people who built this website was Christ’s College). The College is where you live and eat, it provides your accommodation and that’s where a lot your time is spent. Colleges range in size but are all small compared to the University as a whole! This means it’s really easy to get to know people and make friends. You can get involved in lots of sports teams and things even if you’re a beginner, and really make the most of your student years. Being part of a college is great as they have a real family atmosphere. All the colleges have open days so you can come and see them for yourself. If you can’t decide, come to Christ’s! It’s strong academically, great fun, top of the alphabetical list of colleges and it was formerly home to John Milton, Charles Darwin, CP Snow and Ali G.
Lectures, practical classes and exams are arranged by the University and its departments, so you get the same education regardless of your college, plus there are university clubs and societies too in case you want to take your hobby to a higher level.
For some reason many people seem to think studying at Cambridge is more expensive, but this isn’t true at all. You pay the same fees as anywhere else and because the Colleges provide accommodation the rent and utilities bills are less expensive. So it can actually be cheaper!