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Alumni trip to Cambridge University
Visiting Corpus Christi College with Speakers Trust was an amazing experience that I never thought I’d be able to have. I was really nervous going into it; worried about what questions to ask, how to make a good impression, what I needed to know. But it ended up being a wonderful and enjoyable learning experience!
When we arrived, we were greeted by the beautiful stone entrance to Corpus Christi, we were welcomed in and taken to a smaller classroom area. Here we met Dr Sarah Fine, an Associate Professor of Political Philosophy, Ethics and History of Social and Political Philosophy. We got a taster of what we could learn about in Cambridge, engaging in a very engaging lesson on the topic, “What is Democracy?” We discussed broader thinking on what it is, why we should have it and the difference between instrumental/non-instrumental reasons. It was extremely interesting to see the kind of deeper learning we would be able to participate in at a university level.
After this, we were taken to eat lunch in the beautiful Corpus dining hall at the heart of the college- located between the new and old courts. It was extremely ornate, in new gothic style. We also had the chance to meet and talk to Erin Stoner, a previous winner of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge and current student at Cambridge and in Corpus!
We were then given a tour of Corpus Christi by Joe (another student). We learned about the history (including rumours of a ghost!) of the 6th oldest college in Cambridge. We learnt that unlike many other colleges, it was founded by the townspeople and not a individual patron. We visited the student bar, the chapel and walked around the area.
One of the most interesting parts of our trip was visiting the Parker library, a rare books library made up of books Matthew Parker (1504-75) collected throughout his life. We were able to see up close, beautifully detailed manuscripts. We were also shown decorated and illuminated manuscripts and learnt, in great detail, when they were from and how they were made. It was amazing to see the effort and precision put into these works.
Finally, we returned to the smaller classroom and were given advice on the admissions process and how to apply to Cambridge. It was a really enlightening to learn about what I needed to start considering for my future university applications. It was really helpful to know before choosing my A level options and helped me understand the Cambridge application process a lot better!
I am so glad I had this opportunity to learn more about Cambridge and how the university application process works. It was an extremely enjoyable experience and see what it is like to be in that environment, and it made me feel less worried about my future. It was great to see the other speak out finalists and see new things together! Thank you so much to Speakers Trust for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to have a new, amazing experience!
Mayumi Staunton, “Speak Out” Challenge! Champion 2020-21