The University of Cambridge was founded in 1208 and is the second oldest English university. This University is formed by thirty-one colleges, having its oldest one founded in 1284 and named Peterhouse.Show more
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After I completed a degree with the Open University I was so interested in my last course on family and local history that I applied for the above diploma. It was a very interesting course and I had great fun going to different archives and being able to get involved first-hand with original documents. The dissertation for the diploma was based on the fishing villages of Leigh on Sea, Essex, Paglesham, Essex and Lowestoft, Suffolk. The course was for one year so was quite intense as I also had a full-time job. It was really good though as it was my first real experience of being part of a university with lots of students and lectures that I could attend if I wished to. The tutor for the diploma also became my supervisor for my Masters degree at Cambridge and we were able to build a good relationship.
I completed a part-time Master of Studies in Local and Regional History. It was a very interesting course and I loved being able to use the university library and the college libraries as well as other collections such as at the British Library. It was only a small group of people – about 20. We attended Homerton College once a week during the first year during which time we had to complete and pass essays in related subjects. In the second year we had a tutor that we met regularly. My thesis was on the Old Poor Law in Terling, Paglesham and March, Essex from 1780 to 1834.
It was quite a hard course for me to do as I had another full-time job working in London. I had to ask for extra time to complete the course which was agreed – I was the only course member to have a full-time job as well as completing the course. I enjoyed my time on the course but I would have liked to have been able to do the course full-time so that I could make full use of the Cambridge facilities. At times I felt quite isolated from other university students – we never really met many apart from at some dinners as we were part-time and didn’t go to their lectures.
Cambridge is a demanding yet rewarding institution. The teaching format (based on a constant interaction with the professors) alongside the quality of the lectures ensure a vibrant intellectual experience. Moreover, the different extracurricular activities (theater, journalism, sports…) ensure a great deal of personal development. However, it is intense and each term drains you until you’re absolutely exhausted by the end.
At Ridley Hall, I was in the summer of 2002 learning English, I sent my company to be an American multinational company and because of the need of the job that a future had to occupy, we just did a level exam and like almost all Spaniards The level of reading, writing and grammar was more than acceptable, but the level of speaking and Listening was very low, with the lime put me at an intermediate level and less bad, since in the class we were a maximum of 8 people and Each of different nationalities, so if you did not understand something you had to say everything in English, any comment had to be done in English since it was the only language that everyone (even a little) could talk, even the teacher only I know English, I think it’s a great way to learn English.
Despite the intimidating reputation and stereotypes, there are lovely, humble people and the town is magical. If you really love theory and taking your subject to the deepest level, this is the place (for U.K). You will get to regularly talk to, be supervised by leading experts in your field – which are always fulfilling experiences! There are also plenty of activities for any student.
However, the teaching could be improved by making the syllabuses more up-to-date.