About our writer
Mark O’Brien is an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, and studies Philosophy. A veteran Mentor of Immerse Education 2016, he loved it so much he decided to take part again this year.
He will be spending his time this year making friends, practicing his punting technique, and inevitably debating why Cambridge is better than Oxford with students.
Another day, another splendid breakfast at Christ’s College. Students have settled in to the routine here, and exchanges have finally moved beyond the initial interrogative trio; “What is your name? Where are you from? And what course are you taking?”. Mentor and Mentee are at ease with one another, and the coffee and conversation flow in equal abundance. In direct parallel to the genuine university ‘Fresher’ experience, students are starting to open up a bit more, and there are a few less nervous introductions and much more joyful laughter.
As with every weekday at Immerse Education, when students finish their first round of classes, they offered the opportunity to tour a different college everyday. Wednesday was particularly special though, as students were treated to a jaunt around the best college in Cambridge; Gonville and Caius (pronounced Gonville and Keys). Although not as widely known as the fatuously overrated Trinty and Kings, it is surely the sparkling jewel in the crown of Cambridge. All joking aside, many students were taken in by the quaint and intimate setting of ‘my’ little College, and stood in awe of Professor Hawking’s own office (who is a Fellow there).
Coffee and Drumming
For afternoon activities, an eclectic duo of Brazilian Drumming and Chauffeured painting were on offer. Whilst I commend the students for their formidable skill and coordination in reproducing some of the distinct sounds of Brasil, I must admit that the sheer volume of their performance may have given me a slight headache… (it was either that, or the amount of coffee I’ve been drinking to retain my youthful vim).
The day was rounded off with a very ‘fancy’ formal dinner at St John’s College, which has one of the nicest Halls in all of Cambridge. Surrounded by portraits of the Greats, such as Alex Marshall (the father of modern economics), students enjoyed a four-course meal from one of the best kitchens in Cambridge, ranging from Quale to Duck to Coffee and Truffles.