Higham Ferrers student Amelia Mitchell has been trying out life as a Cambridge undergraduate, as one of 370 participants in the 2013 Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) Shadowing Scheme.
Amelia, 17, studies at The Ferrers Specialist Arts College. At Cambridge she teamed up with a student from Christ’s College, attending lectures, supervisions, and social events, for a taste of what undergraduate life at the University is really like.
The 2013 Shadowing Scheme was the biggest in its 13-year history. Organised annually by CUSU, the scheme aims to give bright young people from non-university backgrounds the opportunity to experience life at a top university.
Amelia, who is interested in studying Physics, said that her experience as a shadow really changed her thoughts about Cambridge.
She said:“I thought it would be formal and grand but everyone was really easy to get along with and were just like my friends at home.”
“I found the experience really interesting and helpful.”
Vicky Hudson, Access Officer for CUSU and one of the organisers of this year’s scheme, said the the Shadowing Scheme gives students a chance to get past the stereotypes and find out for themselves what Cambridge is like.
She added: “One of the great things about going to Cambridge is that you meet a range of different people from all kinds of backgrounds, and study the subject you love with other people who love it too. The Shadowing Scheme is one of the best ways of showing potential students the real Cambridge and I’m delighted that this year we were able to welcome almost 400 young people to the University.”
Priority for places on the shadowing scheme is given to young people with a strong academic track record, but who attend schools with little experience of sending students to Cambridge or Oxford, and who have few family members with experience of Higher Education.
‘Shadows’ stay in a Cambridge college, attend lectures with their undergraduate mentors, and try out social activities with the University’s student societies. Cambridge’s 600 societies cover almost every interest, from journalism, American football, and radio production to rowing.