Cambridge Immerse Scholarship Winner
St Martin’s College Sixth Form is pleased to announce the winner of its Cambridge Immerse Scholarship. The Scholarship was awarded to first-year student Julienne Restall, who was chosen for her academic achievements in the College’s annual exams, attendance throughout the year, her letter of motivation, performance during the interview and exemplary school ethos.
Julienne will be travelling to Cambridge in August to follow a two-week course in English Literature. The course covers various topics such as Literary Criticism, Periodisation, Editing, Eloquence and Literary Biography. Besides structured lectures, the programme also includes a number of interesting activities such as a day trip to London, formal dining in Cambridge’s famous medieval banquet halls, a croquet tournament as well as a quintessential afternoon punting down the River Cam.
“I am very excited about this unique opportunity,” said Julienne. “I am looking forward to the very interesting course content, as well as meeting many different students from different countries. The Scholarship means a lot to me and I will make the most of every single day’s experience.”
We look forward to hearing all about Julienne’s learning in Cambridge.
Last June the school I attend, St Martin’s College Sixth Form, announced a scholarship for the Cambridge Immerse experience aimed at students sitting for their first year annual exams. I was thrilled to have won this, which entailed travelling to Cambridge in England for a two-week course in an area that complements the subjects we study at Advanced level. I chose the English Literature course.
All we had to do was have an excellent attendance record, write a motivational letter, perform well in an interview and obtain high grades in our end of year exams. Sounds easy right? WRONG. It took so much effort throughout the whole school year to get out of bed some days, let alone maintain perfect attendance. However, after many ‘doing-homework-past-midnight’ nights and amass of revision, the school year was over before I knew it, the letter of motivation submitted, and my annual examinations were done and dusted.
On the 6th of August 2017, I waved goodbye to my family and friends as I embarked on the greatest journey of my life. Not only would I be studying in one of the world’s leading universities on scholarship, but I was doing so all on my own. Upon arrival at Cambridge, I could not help but stand awe-stricken by the scenic landscape – it was postcard-perfect. Queens’ College, where I was staying, was located in the heart of Cambridge and undoubtedly had the best view of the river Cam, so much so that it actually flowed through the College, and to get from one side to the other, one would have to cross the famous ‘Mathematical Bridge’. The international participants attending the programme were immediately very welcoming and the staff were quick to showcase their great sense of organisation when allocating rooms and conducting activities, providing me with a sense of security. The intensity of the course was evident from the moment I stepped out of my room. I was instantly sucked into a whirlwind of ice-breaking games and trying oh-so-hard to remember everyone’s names in their respective languages. It was only the first day and I was already having such an enjoyable time, but the fun really started on the second day, when our lectures commenced.
Our lecturer, a soon-to-be Cambridge doctorate graduate, introduced himself and stressed that we address him as ‘Alex. Not ‘Mr.Wright’, nor ‘Mr.Alex’, neither ‘sir’. Just Alex.’ He emphasised this to make us feel as if we were working alongside him rather than being taught by him. Thus, the intense English Literature course began and saw my class of ten delving into a wide variety of texts. From Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ to Homer’s ‘Ilyiad’, the vast world of English literature suddenly became so much more appealing. The lecture on the art of rhetoric and its use throughout the ages was the most engaging, since a debate between the class took place with the topic ‘Should Literature be taught in schools?’ The most fascinating authors in my personal opinion were Alexander Pope and the Romantics, namely Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Blake, since Pope’s ‘Dunciad’, a mock epic of Homer, successfully criticised the times he was living in claiming the ‘Goddess of Dulness’ is decaying Britain by bringing imbecility to it. I would then go on to write my presentation comparing Coleridge’s 2 publications of ‘The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere’; one of which being post-Coleridge’s conversion to Protestantism, hence placing the protagonist in the image of Jesus Christ through use of corrections and notes. Aside from the undergraduate-level education I received, a great amount of daily excursions which one could choose from were made available such as punting down the River Cam, playing touch-rugby, day trips to London and Oxford as well as a talent show on one of the evenings for which I chose to sing.
The course ended too quickly, but I shall always treasure the lasting memories and the international friendships I made. I would like to sincerely thank St Martin’s College for this wonderful and unique learning opportunity. The experience gave me a terrific taste of how I can shape my future if I give this year my all to ensure success in my Advanced level examinations next May. This truly was a once in a lifetime experience!