University Of Cambridge
From Immerse Education to University of Cambridge
Prior to learning about Immerse’s annual essay competition, Antonia hadn’t considered summer school in Cambridge before as she didn’t believe it was accessible to her. Antonia is from Bulgaria, though resident in the UK and studying at a UK secondary school.
“I chose the nature vs nurture genetics questions, and enjoyed the experience of referencing.” Antonia states.
Antonia won a 20% scholarship and participated in a Biology course in Cambridge in July 2021.
She is soon going to be an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge in Biological Sciences.
Why did you decide to attend an Immerse Education programme?
Antonia told Immerse that she saw the essay competition advertised and took a screenshot as a reminder. Upon writing her academic essay - answering the question “To What Extent is Human Behaviour Genetically Determined?” Antonia found out that she had won a partial scholarship to attend the programme thanks to her determination to participate in the competition.
Antonia was the key decision maker in her choice to attend Immerse Education, and introduced her parents to the idea with her scholarship win. Antonia had never considered going to a summer school before, but she decided that she wanted to study at the University of Cambridge when she was in year 10 of school.
Thanks to the Immerse Education Essay Competition, Antonia was able to refer back to her summer, and her academic essay within her personal statement.
What did you value most about studying Biology with Immerse Education?
"I valued my tutor most on the programme. The topics he taught us involved programming and that introduced me to an interesting, technology-focused view of biology.
I ended up building up my network and meeting people from all walks of life, and all kinds of places. Taking part in the course also helped me pick my college at Cambridge.
It's one thing going to see the place as a one-off and another to live there for two weeks."
How do you think the experience on your Immerse programme has prepared you for higher education?
The experience of getting thrown in the deep end really helped Antonia. She told the Immerse team that her tutor gave the class a piece of scientific code with mistakes added, and the group had to carry out independent research to work towards uncovering the issue. She found the problem-solving aspects of the course really satisfying, and it gave her newfound independence with studying.
No-one was chasing her do complete work and study on the programme, and she enjoyed having independence and trust to do her own work.
"Being a lot more independent has prepared me well for the start of university".
How did your experience at Immerse support you with your university application?
Her tutor really helped her in her application into university. She was even able to carry out a mock interview with her tutor’s support. The tutors (all of which have attended Cambridge or Oxford Universities themselves) were passionate about supporting students in their application process.
The Immerse programme made up a big part of her application to university, and mathematical biology and the coding elements of biology were new and not necessarily an area many students featured in their application so it made her stand out.
"‘It was the best thing I could have done for my application to Cambridge’. She’d say if you have the opportunity to get on the programme, it’s one of the best things you can do to supplement your application to Oxbridge."
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