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Students from JFK School experience Cambridge life

JFK school students outside the Main Hall at St John's
JFK school students outside the Main Hall at St John's

A group of enterprising students from a Hertfordshire school gave themselves a taste of Cambridge University life after spotting an opportunity on St John's College website.

The students, from JFK Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead, wanted to experience a behind the scenes look at a world-leading educational institution to help prepare them for their own university applications. When they found that St John’s offered opportunities for school groups, they decided to organise a visit for themselves.

Chiagozie Ezennia, who is studying for her A-levels at JFK, was browsing university websites when she saw that St John’s provided visits to help young people learn about what to expect from studying at Cambridge. She said:

“I thought that a visit to St John’s would be a great opportunity for me and my class to experience Cambridge life and learn about the University, so we contacted the College and arranged a trip.”

During their day in Cambridge, the pupils got to hear about the University admission process, take part in a workshop on writing personal statements for their applications, tour the College and also talk to current students and academics to learn more about studying and living at Cambridge.

Chiagozie said: “Before I came on the visit to St John’s, I had thought that Cambridge would be really posh and intimidating, but it wasn’t like that at all. The students I met were very welcoming and clearly enthusiastic about their College and their studies. Talking to them showed me that Cambridge can be for everyone who is passionate about their subject and able to succeed.”

Dominic Prince, another of the JFK students who visited the College, was at first intimidated by the application process, but said that the visit reassured him: “Learning more about how to apply to Cambridge made the whole process seem much more manageable. The visit to St John’s has helped me realise that the University isn’t trying to ask trick questions or catch anyone out, but just wants to make sure that the best students succeed, regardless of background.”

Dominic said: “I really enjoyed speaking to the students on our tour of the College. They were all very down-to-earth and not at all pompous. I got a real sense that they love living and studying at Cambridge, which has inspired me to consider applying to the University.”

For more information on applying to St John's, or school visits to the College, please contact Carly Walsh, Access Officer. Email: c.walsh@joh.cam.ac.uk, Tel: 01223 339361.

For more information on this story, please contact Ryan Cronin, PPC Officer. Email rcc40@cam.ac.uk, Tel: 01223 338711.