Clare College Cambridge

Weronika Wrzos-Kaminska

I decided to study maths at Cambridge for the obvious reasons: Cambridge, because of its outstanding quality of education, and maths, because I really like doing maths.

Having chosen the university and the course, I was then faced with the much harder dilemma of which college to apply to. .After doing some research, Clare was among my top candidates: It had a nice medium size, a central location and a reputation as “the friendly college”. However, it wasn’t until I actually visited Cambridge that I made the decision. Towards the end of a long day of looking at colleges, I walked into Clare, and, as cliché as it may sound, it just felt right.

As an international student, I found the whole application process a bit daunting. Neither my family, friends nor even my school had any experience with applying to Cambridge, so it took some effort to understand the system and to put together an application. However, it was certainly doable, and definitely 100% worth it.

Two years later, I believe that applying to Cambridge and Clare is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Clare is a great place both to live and study. It has more than lived up to its reputation as the friendly college, with both students and staff being incredibly warm, open and supportive.

The mathematics course has, unsurprisingly, turned out to be challenging and intense. However, that is precisely what makes it so rewarding, and I probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much otherwise. In first year, there are 12 hours of lectures a week (In later years, the number of lectures will depend on what courses you choose to do). The bulk of the time goes to self-study in the form of doing example sheets (which confusingly enough don’t contain examples, but problems for you to solve). Each example sheet is followed by a supervision where your supervisor goes over the solutions and shows you and your supervision partner what you could have done differently. If this sounds scary, then don’t worry – supervisions are generally very relaxed, and they are a great opportunity to ask questions and to get help with the parts of the course that you may find difficult.

Of course, Cambridge isn’t just about the work– There are plenty of other activities to get involved in. Both the university and the college offer a wide range of societies. I have myself been a keen volleyball player for a long time, and volleyball has remained my favourite activity here at Cambridge. Whatever your hobbies are, I am sure that you will be able to pursue them.