Students of our summer programs enjoy the sunshine and flowers of the warmer months, but Cambridge is equally beautiful in the colder seasons. We were delighted to welcome Singapore Chinese Girls’ School to a winter wonderland for their tailor-made Media & Philosophy course in December.
With just a week in the UK, the group made sure to see and experience as much of the UK’s rich heritage as possible, beginning with a first day full of activities! After arriving in London, we started the trip with a quick stop to see Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Once everyone had arrived in Cambridge, there was a quick tour of the historic city centre, a chance to try some traditional English food – Cornish pasties – and a chauffeured punting trip along the River Cam. This was a great opportunity to see inside some of the colleges, including the famous Kings College, by travelling along what locals call ‘The Backs’, and the tour guides had plenty of fun facts and interesting stories that even the Reach Cambridge staff hadn’t heard before!
Students learnt about a range of topics during the course, from social constructionist philosophy to social anthropology, environmental issues to cyberwellness. Classes were taught in a range of styles – from a film analysis session (complete with movie snacks!) to art analysis in the Fitzwilliam Museum, and it was great to see all the students taking part with huge enthusiasm during debates on media ethics.
The group also went on excursions to explore what England has to offer outside Cambridge. These trips combined two of my favourite things – sightseeing and food! First up was a trip to Ely, a nearby historic city that is home to the magnificent Ely Cathedral, and students also had the chance to try a traditional cream tea (with very positive reviews!) There was also a visit to Oxford (fondly known as ‘The Other Place’ in Cambridge) and a tour of Cadbury Word, where students discovered more about the history of this iconic company and got lots of free chocolate samples!
As the course fell during the festive season, we made sure to include some seasonal activities! There was a concert from a Cambridge University Band, with a festival of Christmas trees throughout the venue, covered in decorations and twinkly lights. On the group’s last night in Cambridge, we all celebrated the course with a special Christmas dinner, complete with Christmas crackers! The whole evening was magical, but a highlight was the certificate presentation, as it was a great chance to recognise all the hard work the students had put in throughout the week. Another brilliant moment was at the end, when the whole group burst into song, working through some Christmas classics like ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’, before serenading us with the SCGS anthem.
No trip to the UK would be complete without a visit to London, and that’s where the students headed on their last day (there was even a surprise chance for shopping!) We were so sad to see the lovely students and their supportive teachers leave, but delighted they had fun during an academically exciting and culturally enriching course.
Find out more about Reach Cambridge groups at www.reachcambridge.com/groups