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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Modern and Medieval Languages - Clara Percival

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    About Me​

    The first time I visited Cambridge I was fifteen and on holiday with my family. I remember walking around and joking with my parents how cool it would be to study in this beautiful town and how lucky those who get here are.

    Yet here I am four years later, only having decided to apply to Cambridge after my AS Level results and with some encouragement from my teachers and family. I had never really considered Cambridge before, as it seemed to me that going to a comprehensive school in Sheffield and not having had the 'opportunities' others had had, meant that studying here was unattainable. However, clearly I was wrong.


    Enjoying my subject

    Within MML you study two languages, either both post A-Level or one ab-initio (from scratch) and one post A-Level. In my case, I study German and Spanish post A-Level. The great thing about MML is the diversity of language combinations which means that we are quite a large faculty and you can get to know a fair few people in your year, and also the year above (or below) when they have taken an ab-initio language.​

    Although important, learning how to speak and write the language is not the only focus here. Literature, history, philosophy and linguistics from varying periods are studied, which gives you a broader understanding of the cultures surrounding your chosen languages.​

    Of course most exciting is the Year Abroad! You can plan this fairly flexibly and there are plenty of opportunities for funding (although currently Brexit dependent). Having the Year Abroad does mean that when you get back for your fourth year, many of your friends will have graduated, however this just means that you form very close friendships with the people on your course too, as well as within college.


    My Week

    A typical week in MML means anything between 8-15 contact hours. This is due to certain classes taking place every other week and when supervisions work out. However, generally I am at the Sidgwick site most week days with one or two classes/lectures. This then gives me the flexibility to either stay at faculty and work in the MML library or go back to college which is only a short cycle away.​

    About half of my supervisions take place in college, as Murray Edwards has a lot of MML Fellows based here which is very useful, especially if you tend to be running late like me! Otherwise, I would go to language supervisions at faculty or a different college, which is always fun to be nosy about how the other colleges are.​

    The weekends are when I get most of my work done, especially the essays. However, brunch is always on my timetable on Saturdays, which gives me a chance to socialise with friends. I also do sport at the weekend; I have just started rowing this term and I also play badminton which again breaks up your day nicely! There are plenty of chances to do other things during the week too. I go to talks at the union with guests like Lord Sugar and Calvin Klein or go to the ADC theatre to see a show by the footlights, which is great when you need a good laugh!


    Murray Edwards College

    Murray Edwards itself is such a great college and I can't believe that I didn't apply here directly as it completely fits my personality and so many other people's too! The laid back atmosphere of Medwards creates a real sense of community and promotes working together. Being an all-girls college, means that everyone is very supportive and the collection of art that we have by female artists is just incredible! The gardens too are a huge part of life at Murray Edwards, with people picking flowers to decorate their rooms or picking spinach to get some iron during exam term.​

    Medwards also provides amazing academic opportunities through Gateway, which allowed me to go on a study trip to Spain last year (before my speaking exam) and also to go interrailing over the summer. I also applied for an internship over the summer with Gateway and received funding to pay for my costs.​

    The support and opportunities you get here are phenomenal and I can really recommend applying!