Clare College Cambridge

Veterinary Medicine

Josie Faulkner

Comprehensive school, Surrey


Unlike a lot of people here, going to Cambridge wasn’t one of my life ambitions. I spent most of my life growing up in Africa so wasn’t even aware it existed until I was 16! I applied because people said I should, and was really wary when I took up the offer. But I am so glad I’m here. There probably isn’t much difference between the vet schools. Admittedly you may have to write more essays here and do a slightly more science based course for the first few years, but it’s such good background and really interesting! And despite the rumours, we do get to work with live animals in our first few years. The main thing that is so different about Cambridge is the opportunity to meet so many other people teaching and doing other subjects, I’ve learnt so much about the world through them.

I started off my first term by wanting to do absolutely everything, but soon realised I was pushing myself to the limit. The vet course is demanding time-wise, so I did struggle to fit sport, work, sleep and friends into my life for a while. I cut down a little and am definitely enjoying myself more. This year I’m captain of the ladies’ university water polo team, but I do sub in for college rowing and play basketball sometimes. I also go to ride the horses at the vet school once a week. Having college as well as university level sport is great because you can choose how much commitment to put in. Clare College is really musical and I’m not. But I feel like I’m becoming more cultured just absorbing the brilliance around me!

Cambridge is a gorgeous city, everything is so accessible either by bike or on foot, it doesn’t rain too much which is a bonus. The best thing about Clare is that it IS the friendly college! And due to its “medium size” you recognise everyone in your year, so you have the best chance to find friends who suit you. The accommodation is really good and so is the food, despite a lot of people moaning. The gardens are amazing, especially in the summer, and in the winter tea parties are the answer to every work crisis!