Home » Academic life

Lambeth students experience life at Cambridge

Saint Gabriel’s students examine 20th century physicist Fred Hoyle's telescope
Saint Gabriel’s students examine 20th century physicist Fred Hoyle's telescope

Year 9 pupils from Saint Gabriel’s College, Lambeth, got to experience student life at Cambridge on a recent visit to St John’s College.

Students from Saint Gabriel’s College in Lambeth got a taste of university life by visiting one of Cambridge University’s largest Colleges.

A group of top-set Year 9 Science and Maths pupils came to St John’s College to learn more about higher education and what they might expect if they went on to study at Cambridge.

The class were given talks about how different university life is to school, the various science-based courses they could study at Cambridge, careers beyond university and the wide range of financial and welfare support available for students. They also had the chance to talk to current Cambridge students – who themselves had attended school in Lambeth - and go on a tour of the College, including lecture halls, sports grounds and even a rare behind the scenes glimpse into a typical student room.

The group also explored the historic and academic sides of Cambridge, with a visit to the 17th century Old Library at St John’s, still in use today by researchers from around the world, and a workshop about animal evolution where they got to handle skeletons and specimens from the University's Department of Zoology.

St John’s has had close links to the Lambeth area since the 1880s, when the College established educational and cultural activities and visits for local residents. Today, the College still works closely with several Lambeth schools and hosts events to encourage young people of all backgrounds to consider applying to Cambridge when making their higher education choices.

Saint Gabriel’s student Aaron Osei Senyah was particularly struck by the way Cambridge University is organised into 31 different Colleges, all of which have their own unique character, and which act as home for undergraduate and graduate students for the duration of their studies. He said: “I thought Cambridge was just one great big College, and I also thought that it would be very old-fashioned and would separate boys from girls. I was glad to find out just how modern and welcoming Cambridge actually is, and the sports facilities at St John’s are brilliant”.

“I thought Cambridge was going to be quite intimidating, and full of very clever people, but everyone was really normal and nice", said Norah Abu Serrieh, another student from Saint Gabriels. "I particularly enjoyed learning about zoology and evolution and chatting with some of the current students. I’d definitely like to study at St John’s when I’m a bit older”.

For more information about school visits to St John's College, click HERE or contact the Access Officer by email at accessofficer@joh.cam.ac.uk.