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Experiences at the University of Cambridge

9 Nov 2023

Here are some reflections from Sienna (Year 11) on her residential course at the University of Cambridge. Speak with Mrs Rieger to learn more about enrichment opportunities like this one. Sienna took part in the Brain Bee Challenge in Year 10 (an extension opportunity offered at Concordia) which helped her realise her love for neuroscience.

What study did you complete in July?

I did a residential neuroscience course over a two-and-a-half-week program at the University of Cambridge. This course consisted of several topics, such as the neuroscience behind human intelligence, dorsal-ventral areas of the optical neural tract, and anatomic research. We looked at clinical methods and practices and explored the technology behind diagnostic tools like CT and MRI scanners.

What 3 words would you use to describe the experience overall?

Adventurous. Exciting. Collaboration.

What is one moment from the trip that will live in your memory forever?

I will always remember when a few friends and I were able to wander through the streets of Cambridge at sunset. We were able to compare cultures and I was able to teach them some Australian slang.

Tell us about what an average day involved?

An average day starts with classes beginning at nine, but breakfast was given to us in the dining hall. The first class could be theory work, a guest speaker, an excursion into town to a museum, or a test. After the first lesson, we were free to have lunch. Lunch was often bought in the markets from the variety of stalls. The second class of the day would then start at two and go until four, often consisting of class study sessions in a café or park in town, and free time to work on our academic papers. In the times between dinner and the last class, we had the freedom to do anything we wished. People would often catch up and go on outings to town. Dinner was provided to us. Afterwards, there was more free time - various optional events for us to do, such as mixers, going to the movies or bowling.

How has this experience changed you?

I feel like this experience has had a profound impact on me. I grew as an individual, as I had to learn how to be fully independent. I also had a greater appreciation for what the world has to offer and the opportunities available to get what you want out of life.

What are you currently considering doing after you complete Year 12?

I want to pursue medicine after school. I hope to study my undergraduate in Adelaide and this trip has inspired me to get my doctorate overseas.