Sita Shah

I didn’t know much about Cambridge when I applied as I did not have any close friends or family who had studied here before. I chose Clare as it ticked all the right boxes for me: it was close to the town centre, medium-sized, offered some of the best accommodation in the university; but the point that caught my eye was that it was described as ‘the friendly college’. This has definitely held true throughout my time here, and I even remember feeling slightly less nervous than I could have been before my interviews and assessments due to this welcoming atmosphere. The students and staff all greeted me with a smile and were happy to help when I couldn’t navigate my way around the beautiful buildings and gardens.

I had applied for the direct Engineering course and was given the opportunity to attend an interview and assessment day where I had two interviews and also took the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). Both interviews were quite daunting as I wanted to do my best, but at the same time I felt reassured that the interviewers were not there to point out my faults, rather encourage me to ‘think outside the box’. After my first year here I realised that this was a concept that was embedded into the objectives of the engineering department to develop our knowledge and skills, and to nurture innovative thinking.

The engineering course is a challenge as you study all its branches e.g. electrical or structural, in the first two years until the third and fourth years when you can begin to choose the modules that you are most interested in and want to specialise in. Engineering is a demanding course, but very rewarding to be able to have a grasp of the various engineering fields as most real-life problems that engineers will be solving will span more than one specialisation. There is also a lot of work involved, but there are also (almost) equal amounts of fun to balance it out: The University offers a huge number of societies and clubs to get involved with, and Clare College is known for its musical background, but other college activities such as sports are also popular to get a healthy break away from work. With all this to choose from, I have tried a number of different activities during my time here such as badminton and netball at college, kickboxing with the university club, and playing in a band for a college production. I am also in the University India, Hindu, and Engineering societies which provide even more opportunities than college already offers to socialise with people from outside of college!

I have had such an incredible time at Clare, and hope that you would consider applying here because it is one great experience.  Wishing you the best of luck!