Fortunately, as a student who took part in the summer school organised by Cambridge International Academy, I spent approximately twenty days in England last summer. And I am going to share some pieces of precious memories and advice for those who are planning to participate in this summer school.
During the programme, most of time was spent in Clare College. Clare College began in 1326 as University Hall, but was reformed in 1338, when Lady Elizabeth de Clare came to its financial rescue. It also suffered two fires, which destroyed many of its early recordings. Additionally, Clare possesses Cambridge’s oldest stone bridge, built in 1638 by Thomas Grumbold. The chapel, which was consecrated in 1769, is exceptionally pretty, with its ethereally lit lantern tower and elegantly sainted glass, making Clare “more like a palace than a college”.
Each morning, after having a tasty traditional British breakfast at the buttery and saying “ morning” to the stone sculpture of Sir David Attenborough, you can stroll along the path where you can easily see the King’s Chapel adjacent to the Old Court. With songs of birds, you will roamed around Clare Fellow ’ s Gardens which are usually filled with the warmth of sunshine. Then you can walk across the Clare Bridge and a small junction to go back to the building where you will be given lectures. There are two gigantic pine trees standing in the front lawn next to the porter’s lodge, that are not able to be observed completely unless you turn your body round. Passing the library and turn right, you will see Lerner Court and The Gillespie Centre that have laundry and several study rooms.
Clare College is in the centre of university town, surrounded by King ’ s College, Trinity College and Queen’s College (the three most well-known ones) so you can pay a visit to them easily when you have spare time. While walking along the Trinity Lane, you will find yourself at a street market, where you can buy hearty food if you think the food offered in the buttery is not acceptable. You may find basically all what you can think of: Japanese sushi, Italian spaghetti, Chinese hotpot, to name but a few. Normally, you can go to museums (such as Sedgwick Museum of Geology, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Museum of Zoology and the famous Fitzwilliam Museum - they are not very far from the town centre!), galleries (Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery is recommended, you can buy souvenir postcards with
elegant paintings there. It is the one next to the Corpus Christi Clock) and bookstores (Blackwell, Cambridge University Press Bookstore etc.) after finishing all your assignments, but there are much more options: you can go to do some exercises (maybe in Blue Fitness, but you need to register a membership; or you can go punting on the River Cam) or visit the fantastic Botanic Garden (I am afraid you need to take a taxi as it is a little bit far from the town centre).
In addition, you will also be offered great opportunities to visit other top universities in England. I chose UCL, LSE, University of Bristol and University of Bath, and you can also opt for KCL, IC, University of Nottingham and Loughborough University if they are your preferences. You can communicate directly with officers who recruit new students, and have an authentic feeling of having seen your future universities.
There is much more to introduce, but I think I should keep some to myself. Cambridge is the town that accommodates a myriad of treasures awaiting for you to discover - enjoy it, embrace it, kiss it, and you will find a unique Cambridge that solely belongs to you.