Homerton College in Cambridge
I attended a week long summer school at Homerton College in Cambridge. It was a fantastic experience that I would thoroughly recommend to anybody wanting to experience life at a university. It involved experiencing a variety of lectures covering a multitude of subjects within the ‘arts and humanities’ range that the summer school was focused on. This included a fascinating lecture on espionage in WWII for history, as well as things such as Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, which is much more interesting than it may sound.
It isn’t as intimidating an experience as it sounds. I am terrified of near enough everything, including talking to people, but I got over the initial fear very quickly and sat next to the person with blue hair, which is quite possibly the best decision I made the entire week! I very quickly became friends with everyone at that table, which is not something I do very often, and we are still in contact now, talking about how university applications are going. In fact, the majority of them also ended up applying to Homerton, which shows how much we loved it there, as we’re hoping to go back. In all honesty, it’s incredibly exhausting because there is very little time to yourself, but it was still so enjoyable.
The most valuable part to me was being able to experience a supervision. For those that are unaware, Cambridge University uses a system of teaching which involves lectures with many students, and supervisions with usually around 3 students to allow for more individual learning and discussions with brilliant academics. The supervision was based on the subject that each student wanted to take at university, which in my case was English literature. We were given a short story to analyse with some prompt questions beforehand, then had a discussion about what we had thought of it, during the supervision. My supervision lead was Steve Watts, and I maintain to this day that he is one of the kindest and most encouraging people I have ever met, to the extent that his being a lecturer at Homerton was one of the deciding factors as to my application to this specific college.
Written by Holly Byrne