Pembroke and St Catharine’s Colleges welcomed almost 50 GCSE students from schools in Southwark, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire on a day designed to help them start thinking about university choices.

It’s never too early to start thinking about university.

Laura McGarty, Schools Liaison Officer for St Catharine’s and Pembroke Colleges

The Visit Days aim to give high-flying pupils from state schools a chance to explore Cambridge, see behind the scenes at the college, and find out more about studying at university.

A highly-competitive round of “Guess My Degree” made the point that choosing a subject is not always the same as choosing a career – otherwise Sacha Baron Cohen would be a historian, and Gabby Logan would be a lawyer.

Students were given a guided tour of the undergraduate accommodation at St Catharine’s, before setting out on a treasure-hunt around the city.

Eleanor Norman, Assistant Gifted and Talented Co-Ordinator for Comberton Village College, said “The input today has been really helpful, especially for those of our students who haven’t really started thinking about university yet.

“Our 6th Form at Comberton Village College is quite new, and it’s really valuable to the College to be able to bring our high achievers on a day like this.”

Comberton students David and Lucy particularly enjoyed the chance to see behind the scenes with current undergraduates, and the chance to explore some university prospectuses.

“The tour was interesting,” said David. “It was a true insight into college life, especially showing the social side.”

“Looking at different prospectuses has been helpful, showing what different universities have to offer,” he added.

Lucy said “There’s a real myth that Cambridge students are really intellectual – but they’re talking about normal things!  This made Cambridge seem less intimidating to me.”

Encouraging the students to keep in touch, Laura McGarty, Schools Liaison Officer for St Catharine’s and Pembroke Colleges, and the organiser of the day, said “We’re here to give you as much information as possible so that you can make the best decisions possible,

“It’s never too early to start thinking about university.”

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