The Pembroke Kings Program: University of Cambridge

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Spend 8 weeks of your next summer in the prestigious Pembroke-King's Programme (PKP) through the University of Cambridge. Choose from a list of about 45 courses to study at Pemroke or King's Colleges, all of which are taught in the traditional "Cambridge" style.

The program recently opened its applicant pool to students around the world, so all who are interested should apply. Check out the "Visit Our Website" link above for more info today!

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9 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 66.67%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
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  • Academics 6.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
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Yes, I recommend this program

High teea, spies, and The Globe!

I participated in the Pembroke-Kings program in summer of 2012, which was during the London Olympics. It was possibly the best 8 weeks of my life! The group of us all bonded pretty quickly due to the small size of the group and how contained all our classes were. The initial trip to Edinburgh at the beginning of the trip was a great time to get to know people quickly and form friendships that lasted through the summer and beyond. I met so many cool people during this program, one of whom is still one of my best friends.

The classes were interesting and challenging enough to keep me engaged without making me sacrifice fun experiences, whether that was visiting Amsterdam for the weekend or spending a Sunday punting down the Cam river. One of my classes, which covered the beginnings of the American CIA and the British MI-5 and MI-6, also gave me the opportunity to see Bletchley Park, which was a definite highlight for a history nerd. Getting to see Richard III performed at The Globe theater was also a memorable experience.

The accommodations were also great--most people had single rooms! The area we stayed at felt very safe, and we would often go out to pubs at night and walk home through the square, stopping of course at the schwarma truck that was open until 3am. Since I went to a large university, I was really looking forward to having a small liberal arts college experience for the summer, and that's exactly what I got!

Overall, the Pembroke-Kings program fulfilled all of my hopes for a summer of studying abroad in Cambridge. My only regret was that it was only 8 weeks!

What would you improve about this program?
There were a few weekend trips organized by the staff, but they filled up so quickly I didn't get to visit Bath, which is still on my bucket list!
1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

How I Became a Cambridge Local

Two months are all you need to master the quaint, quiet town of Cambridge. Officially part of Cambridgeshire, the town gives off a distinctively English university vibe-- no surprise, as the massive towers of King's Chapel dominate the skyline. Stumbling home drunk at 2 AM, after a Monday night at Lola Lo's nightclub and a pitstop at the Trailer of Life for "chips", is a completely safe, and a totally normal, activity for many. PKP (Pembroke-King's College) students benefit from the benevolent porters lending spare keys, making it possible for the (generally) 19 - 22 year olds to get a few hours of sleep before class the next morning.

Class times vary based on course classification-- modules 1 and 2 operate for a month each, July and August respectively, whereas module 3 courses span seven weeks. With a three course minimum, students have the opportunity to supplement one class with a "supervision:" the chance to work with a graduate student or (if you're lucky!) a lecturer on a term paper of your choosing.
I unfortunately did not realize that most courses were taught by graduate students until I got there; nevertheless, I had one laughably easy class and one extremely demanding one. My supervision, once so eagerly anticipated, resulted in a total disaster, with me ultimately deciding to drop the unhelpful graduate student assigned to me and writing the 25-page thesis on my own.

Other than the disappointment of academics, which were modified from the typical Cambridge-style to appeal to us (mostly) Americans, the program activities--including a voyage to Edinburgh, Scotland, plenary lectures with prestigious speakers, wine receptions, formal halls, trips to London, croquet, punting, and trivia nights at the Cambridge Union Society's bar--all made for an extremely fun two months. With several small airports around, flying to another country could be a matter of less than $100 and a few hours, and many of us traveled extensively. Accommodations vary, slightly frustratingly--for the same price as someone with a bathroom, I was stuck in essentially a closet. But after mentioning this to the directors, I was moved into the most gorgeous room I believe exists in the program. As a result, I rarely went to the libraries, though those are spectacular as well. The grounds are absolutely beautiful (especially Pembroke), and despite much of the complaining about the food, I found it to be much better than I had expected (for British cuisine). The Programme Assistants are Cambridge students themselves, keen to plan events for their PKPers, and the Directors and lecturers mingle freely with the students, making for a very entertaining number of different friendships.

And the people you meet... everyone in the program is intelligent and friendly, and it's easy to find people who align with any number of your interests. It's very easy to become extremely close, extremely quickly. I came away missing my PKP network, and despite the sunshine and comfort of my Californian home, missed England and Europe far more than I'd like to!

Basically, if you are coming from a top-tier university, the academic level at Cambridge's summer program might disappoint; they seemed to simplify the normal system as to adjust it to us, but as the British system favors a heavy reading load and a final exam, it's not too hectic until the last week or so. But everything else was spectacular, as you might expect one of the most famous universities in the world to be. If you have the summer and the money, go to Cambridge (and on the weekends, go everywhere else).

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Midst english gardens and dim yellow lights

The rather proper nature of the rules and regulations of the Cambridge University was undertoned yet still appreciated by the vibrant summer class students, mostly coming from United States. The courses offered ranged from very challenging to those that gave plenty of freedom to roam the rest of the continent, yet intellectually engage you. The program arranged trips to natural beauty spots; from the trossachs of Edinburgh, Scotland to entertainment by WWII plane airshows that took you on a history tour. Weekends, minus before week of exams, could be spent at any of the hotspots in europe with the convenience of one-hour ryanair rides. It was so very exciting to book a flight with a group of friends and be roaming around Versailles gardens, swimming around in Venice, strolling around in Colloseum ruins to beautifully created Vatican Museum in Rome. The destination spots were endless to choose from, but even if you stayed in Cambridge itself, the architectural details of the countless churches and teahouses would have certaintly tickled your artistic fancy.

1 person found this review helpful.