On the 19th of December CantaBulgarian held a presentation at Imperial Hotel, Plovdiv. The aim of the event was presenting the opportunities for prospective students that the University of Cambridge provides in terms of education, extra-circular activities and funding and explaining the application process. More than fifty students and parents attended.
The panel discussion was led by the president of the society Victor Kouzmanov who started with an overview of the road from high school to studying in the prestigious university. The first part of the presentation focused on the process of applying for undergraduate study. Three distinguished natural science students shared insights on writing excellent personal statements and performing well at interviews. With regard to the former, they emphasized the ability to demonstrate the qualities that make one an exceptional candidate. The main advice for interviews was to think logically about the questions and not be discouraged by an incorrect answer. Overall, all speakers highlighted the importance of early preparation for all stages of the application process.
In the second half of the discussion three students who have graduated from the university presented different aspects of students’ life at Cambridge and the process of continuing education/applying for graduate studies. It was noted that in terms of student finance, Cambridge provides financial help in the form of bursaries that is not available in most other universities, which significantly lowers the costs of education. In addition, the university provides plenty of opportunities for participation in student societies, events on various topics, and sports. An important aspect of the Cambridge life is balancing academic with extra-curricular activities.
Regarding applications for postgraduate studies or continued education/readmissions to masters and doctoral programs, it was noted that applications depend on performance at undergraduate level. Some programs pose specific requirements, such as presenting a research proposal. Overall, postgraduate studies at Cambridge provide the opportunity of choosing a specific area of interest and studying and researching it in an enabling academic environment.
Another topic that was discussed was the choice of a college. Coming from four different Cambridge colleges, the panel speakers explained that each one has its own history and traditions. The rights choice is more important for undergraduate students who could make an informed decision by taking into consideration the number of applicants and places in each college. Graduate students apply at first instance to a department and are then allocated college membership.
The event was followed by an hour of networking during which many students and parents came to ask specific questions about different degree programs. Detailed information was given on undergraduate and graduates studies in natural sciences, social sciences and the arts and humanities. People who did not have the opportunity to personally attend the event are welcome to contact the CantaBulgarian team via the website or Facebook page and will be connected to a person with knowledge of the particular program or question they are interested in.