Cambridge, located on the banks of the River Cam, is home to the world's third-oldest university. Between the impressive King's College Chapel, the verdant English countryside, and the subtle play of light on the river, it's no wonder Cambridge has been called one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
15th century architecture and the smell of cold stone welcome visitors to Cambridge. Nonetheless, the city is more than its ancient history; Cambridge continues to be one of the best research and teaching universities in the world and is at the forefront in development. Just as the city's architecture has introduced modern buildings alongside the Gothic, the city of Cambridge embraces modern innovation while treasuring its venerable history.
Technology: Nicknamed the "Silicon Fen", Cambridge is at the heart of England's high-technology sector. Software and bioengineering technologies are particularly prominent among the many science parks around Cambridge, and the university provides fertile ground for start-ups. Cambridge Science Park, owned by Cambridge University's Trinity College is the largest R&D center in Europe. Many private companies, including Microsoft, also have research centers in Cambridge. A technology internship in Cambridge offers the opportunity to work in an environment where you are surrounded by extraordinarily qualified individuals. In addition to high-profile research projects, most of the staff and other interns are sourced from one of the world's most competitive universities. A tech internship in Cambridge can push you to really hone your skills and provide an environment of electric intelligence where you are inspired to achieve your full potential.
Business: "Silicon Fen" doesn't only bring prosperity to the research and development side of the technology industry; it also provides plenty of opportunities for those interested in business and marketing to get their start at one of the many innovative companies located around Cambridge. From start-ups to well-established businesses, Cambridge attracts investments of capital as well as talent. A business internship in Cambridge provides the opportunity for first-class networking as well as hands-on experience. As the site of a world-renowned university, Cambridge draws a plethora of conferences and has an internationally-minded population.
Theatre: Cambridge is known for its theatre scene, and many of Britain's most famous actors, including Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, John Oliver, John Cleese, and Eric Idle, are University of Cambridge members. In addition to the university theatre groups, there are also opportunities from acting to stagecraft at a number of community theatres. However, these kind of theatre internships are best paired with time spent studying in Cambridge, since the local theatre remains bound closely to university life.
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look for an Internship
It is possible to intern in Cambridge year-round. However, since the University is a major fixture in Cambridge life, and also is the venue through which many internships are offered, it might be more enjoyable to attend during one of the terms. While it is still more than possible to intern during the long vacation, the town may be less populous at that time. So, depending on whether you crave a bit of hustle and bustle in your daily life, plan accordingly.
Cost of Living in Cambridge
Cambridge is not a cheap city to live in, especially for those who are converting dollars to pounds. Fortunately, the city has excellent public transit and is extremely bike-able (flat, with low traffic congestion). Here are some average expenses to help you figure out your cost of living in Cambridge
- Rent (1 bed apartment, city center): 997.50 £
- Monthly Transit Pass: 40.00 £
- Apples, 1kg: 1.82 £
- Milk, 1 liter: 1.16 £
Work Culture in Cambridge
- Etiquette: There is a generational divide in British business expectations. Older professionals will tend to be more formal and rely more on protocol, while younger business folks will be much more relaxed and direct. Nevertheless, presenting yourself as polite, professional, and punctual, and keeping good eye contact with your associates is a step in the right direction across the board.
- Language: English is the official language in England, and most internships will require proficiency in English.
- Networking: Home to a world-class university, Cambridge attracts conferences and symposia in a wide range of fields. In addition there is a plethora of networking organizations that exist within Cambridge.
Work and Labor Laws in Cambridge
Currently, there are no specific restrictions on internships in England, however there are groups lobbying to regulate internships. Internships in England can be paid or unpaid, however unpaid internships are much more common. If you are studying in England under a Tier 4 visa, you are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week.
Contributed by Robin Goralka
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