Cambridge or St. Andrews?

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Report 17 years ago
Ok - can I ask you people for some advice?
My two fave UCAS offers are:
Cambridge - BA French & Spanish - 4 years - 38 points (IB)
St. Andrews - MA French, Spanish & Russian - 5 years - 30 points
..... and I have NO IDEA what to put down as my firm choice!
There is a hitch with Cambridge, as the offer is not from my first choice college, and I'm not hugely attached to the college that has given me the offer (Fitzwilliam).
I really love St.Andrews, and their course is PERFECT for me (and they gave me a brilliant offer!), but..... it's just not Cambridge....
I feel a bit cheeky turning down such a prestigious university, especially seeing as I had to go through all the hassle of the weird applications system....

Basically, I was just wondering if I could get some opinions - do you guys think that the university or the course is the biggest factor for coming to a decision? Also, how much difference does it make if a student ends up going to Oxbridge college x or y?

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Report 17 years ago

I honestly think that the course is the one to go for. You could go to Cambridge and have a good uni behind you but if the course isn't as enjoyable or if you don't get what you want out of it, then there just isn't much point in going. I understand how it must feel to be accepted by Cambridge of all universities but I do think that both Oxford and Cambridge are totally different from the more "regular" unis (I hope that sounds ok. It wasn't supposed to be *****y). Cambridge will probably have a different way of life to St Andrews. Have you considered looking at where they are both located? Do you live nearer to Cambridge or St Andrews? I was considering going to Scotland (Aberdeen and Stirling) but decided it was too far away as I lived in the Midlands and was not used to be so far away from my parents. Also, (I know this whole message is opinionated but...) I feel that the Scottish education system is so much better than the English one. You have more chances to study different subjects during your stay there, especially in a five year course. Another consideration, do you like the cold? Can you afford lots of jumpers, scarfs, gloves and a very very thick coat? It'll be freezing in Scotland (I feel the cold in Hull and I only moved from the Midlands). I'm sorry if I haven't helped much. In fact, all I've created even more questions for you to answer. I would say talk to a teacher or something like that but (no offence) I feel that some schools would pressurise you into going to Cambridge as they receive quite alot of credit for it. There was an all boys grammar school down the road from me and they based how good they were on how many of their pupils went on to Oxford or Cambridge. It seems like a status thing rather than whether the student actually wants to go. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it'll be for the best and stick to it. Don't start thinking "What if..." or "If only..." because that'll make you feel worse and you'll just be changing your mind everyday. Good luck in deciding. I'm sorry I didn't help much.

Helen Brownsell
Report 17 years ago
After University, people won't really care what you did at university, they'll care about where you did it. Seriously, Cambridge is fantastic, the course will be great (it'll be well structured and well taught, no matter what the subject matter) - so go to Cambridge.

You won't regret going to Cambridge. You will regret it if you choose St.Andrews.
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