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See The World in Cambridge

An International City

Initially founded by the Romans, Saxons, and Vikings (though not at the same time!), the roots of Cambridge spread far across the globe, and have never stopped reaching.  It goes without saying that the University of Cambridge draws amazing minds from around the world, students and leading academics alike. But there are many reasons why Cambridge is an international hub that are not related to the University. It won’t surprise you to learn that at Reach, we believe that internationality brings diversity, understanding and all-round enrichment. Read on to find out how staying with us in Cambridge can enrich your life and broaden your horizons!

Exports: Cambridge serves the world

Did you know that the city of Cambridge has an international precedent all of its own?  Take Parker’s Piece, a favourite location for Reach Cambridge students to play a game of Ultimate Frisbee or football… Well, the first ever recorded game of Association Football (i.e. played by Association Football rules) was played on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge city centre!

Two students play football on a green field. One student has red hair and is wearing their own sports kit, and the other student is wearing a customised 'Reach Cambridge' T-shirt. They are both running for the ball.

Reach Cambridge FC in action!

Music fans also have reason to consider Cambridge a place of pilgrimage. Several members of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd met at school in Cambridge (yes, the same musicians who went on to write ‘we don’t need no education…’!). Turns out the Dark Side of the Moon is a little closer than you’d think… That’s not to mention all the internationally acclaimed musicians who studied at the University, refining their skills in concerts and venues around Cambridge city centre. Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood, recent Royal Harpist Anne Denholm, Eurovision UK 2018 representative Surie, Spamalot musical writer Eric Idle, and Hugh Laurie (yes, Doctor House does jazz now!) all spring to mind. Similarly, electro-orchestral group Clean Bandit would say there’s No Place They’d Rather Be than Cambridge – that’s where they met!

When it comes to culinary delights, you can sample food from all around the world in Cambridge. Whether it’s tasting some fresh Vietnamese noodles, Chinese fried rice or Belgian waffles in the world-famous Marketplace, or whether it’s sampling the diverse restaurants in town (from established chains to quirky independent eateries), there’s cuisine from all around the world on your doorstep.  And we could never forget the famous Chelsea Buns from Fitzbillies, swirly sticky pillars of history, which are such an institution that they are sent all around the world by post!

Close-up of a pile of Fitzbillies Chelsea Buns, looking sticky and golden.

Fitzbillies Chelsea buns: taken by Duncan Hull, available under Creative Commons 2.0

Legacy: Cambridge impacts the world

Two female students lean over a Petri dish. They are wearing blue rubber gloves and are bent over the table, getting a close look at their experiment.

Scientific research in action – in a Reach Cambridge class!

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the medical legacy that Cambridge has previously set, and continues to set, on the world’s stage.  Renowned teaching hospital and research centre, Addenbrooke’s, is internationally famous for transplants, being the first in the world to achieve several specialist transplants such as the combined liver and pancreas transplant.  It also has the largest neurological intensive care unit of its kind in Europe.  Where research is concerned, the trials done here in Cambridge provide the data for medical breakthroughs with international impact; for example, just last year it was announced that scientists in Cambridge had collaborated with scientists in Sweden to develop a new way to target the toxic particles thought to cause Alzheimer’s.  The breakthrough is the first of its kind and could result in the development of a cure for dementia – talk about world-changing!


Finally (but by no means the end of this extensive list), Cambridge is also home to one of the most important technology centres in Europe.  Named in reference to Silicon Valley in California, ‘Silicon Fen’ is a cluster of high-tech businesses built on the Fens (a coastal plain in Eastern England, part of which is situated in Cambridgeshire).  Over 60,000 tech wizards from all over the world have made Cambridge their home so they can work at Silicon Fen, in local headquarters of established companies and also for many start-ups.  We’re guessing that nearby Cambridge airport (yes, an airport!) must be handy for business trips!

Museums: Cambridge represents the world

Given its status as an international centre of academic excellence, it’s unsurprising that there are some amazing museums in Cambridge. In Fitzwilliam Museum (the University of Cambridge’s art and antiquities museum), you can find original artwork by Titian (Italian), Rubens (Flemish), van Goyen (Dutch), Picasso (Spanish), Renoir and Monet (French). You can also gaze at beautiful antiquities from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as modern rugs and samplers from China and Japan. Indeed, if you like antiquities, there’s also the Museum of Classical Archaeology, one of the world’s few surviving collections of plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture (outside of Greece and Rome, of course!).  You might also enjoy the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, where you can literally see the world without leaving the building by taking in its archaeological and ethnographic artefacts from all over the globe.

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It’s not just the ancient world at your fingertips in Cambridge.  The Scott Polar Research Institute is not only home to a fantastic museum dedicated to Robert Falcon Scott’s famous Antarctic Expedition ( 1910-13). The Institute is still in action as a centre for research into worldwide glaciology and the polar regions.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (part of the International Council for Science) meets at the Institute.  The museum keeps the world’s most comprehensive polar library and archives – and you can go to see artefacts from the Expedition as well as brush up on contemporary environmental and social science research into the polar regions.  We reckon Robert Scott would be very proud to see what the Institute is doing in his name.

Another way to see the world in Cambridge…

… On a Reach Cambridge course, of course!

Watch our ‘Global Hello’ student testimonial video here!

Whether you’re used to small-town life or big-city living, Cambridge will always offer something unique to each visitor, infused with aromas from all around the world. As you can see from our students, Reach Cambridge programs provide a fantastic doorway into this international city. It’s the perfect place to expand your horizons and broaden your mind. Check out our programs today!

A wide-angle selfie of all of the students from a summer program. The Reach staff are at the front in orange T-shirts, looking happy and excited. The students are all standing behind, smiling.

Reach Program Selfie!