What's life at Cambridge really like?
We know it isn’t easy choosing which university to go to and applying to Cambridge can feel like a big decision to make! As we’ve experienced this ourselves, we’d like to try answer any questions you might have and help you make informed decisions. From web pages on Colleges (where we live) to courses, social life to academic support, the CUSU Alternative Prospectus is the student insight to Cambridge: we’re not trying to ‘sell’ it to you – rather tell you our experience so you can decide for yourself.
Unfortunately, Cambridge is surrounded by many myths and stereotypes that prevent people from thinking that it’s worth applying. Hopefully, the student profiles and experiences on this website prove that Cambridge is actually made up of people from all sorts of backgrounds – this university is for everyone, no matter where you've come from, what your parents do for a living, or the type of school you went to. We promise it’s not all work, work, work, either – that myth is very wrong too!
Check out the Courses section for profiles on each undergraduate course, advice on choosing your course and info on academic life. The Colleges section tells you about where students live, with info on what a College actually is and profiles of each one. The town and university as a place to live is described in the Cambridge section. The Student Life and Applying sections are coming soon! You can ask questions to current students through each Course and College page and via our Ask a Student page, where you can find the answers to other questions that have been asked too.
Hi! Welcome to the Cambridge Alternative Prospectus. I’m Eireann (said Air-Run) and I’m the CUSU Access and Funding Officer 2016-2017. I recently graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge with a degree in Education. I’m in the first generation of my family to go on to study at university. Because of this, I had no clue what UCAS was, what universities were looking for, and I had absolutely no idea about Cambridge-specific things such as colleges and supervisions. However, I was really fortunate to take part in access schemes aimed at people like me, and soon realised that Cambridge was an achievable aim.
Before arriving, I had heard all kinds of negative things about what Cambridge was like, and I was convinced that I wouldn’t be allowed to wear trainers, or I’d have to change the way I speak. The good news is I didn’t (I even wore trainers to a couple of college balls!) and most of the stereotypes I believed in were thankfully false. To be honest, I’ve had an amazing time and really want others with similar worries to realise that Cambridge is a place with amazing social and academic opportunities.
It’s completely unfair that prospective students might miss out on such an amazing opportunity because of their background. If you want to know what studying and living at Cambridge is like- the best people to ask are current students. That’s why we’ve created the Alternative Prospectus- and we hope it provides answers to your questions.'
#CambTweet is CUSU’s Twitter-based project that helps you find out about student life at Cambridge. There’s one student volunteer per (nearly every) subject, and they’re tweeting daily about everything from what they’re studying to hanging out with friends. Search #CambTweet or @cambtweetcusu on Twitter to find them.