a couple of questions

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    Hi,


    Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong forum. I've been a TSR member for about 3 years but still haven't managed to get the hang of it, so feel free to move this thread where it should be.

    So I'm 21 years old, blind and from the EU, but I'm trilingual, so English isn't really a "foreign" language to me. It's been my dream (rather, my aim) to study English at a top UK university (ideally Oxbridge - originally I was thinking of applying to Oxford because their course also has a language component) for as long as I can remember. Needless to say, I'm well-read and have a lifelong passion for literature.
    I finished high school two years ago with top grades in all my subjects. I was going to apply straight to a UK university, but I didn't have an A-level (or equivalent) in English literature. Many people kept telling me "not to be silly", that unies know I can't take Englsih literature and tthat a my L3 qualification in Hungarian/German language and literature would do, but I knew this isn't true, and when I contacted Cambridge this year, it turned out that I was indeed right. My former high school obviously didn't offer English literature (and I knew nothing about the IB, international A-level specifications or the possibility of taking an A-level as a private candidate at that time), so I tried to apply to a UK college (Truro College) for the A-level programme. (I don't even understand why I insisted on taking the full A-level programme when I already had final exams in other subjects.) They offered me a place, but I couldn't start college in September because I had nowhere to live. I also tried applying for an IB scholarship (one of our British international schools offers two scholarship places every yearr), but that didn't work out either because their admissions tests weren't accessible (Long story short, they gave me two of the three tests in the wrong formats, plus the maths test was too hard for me.). I applied to a uni here to study English and American studies. My original plan was to just finish this course and then move over for my masters, but these two semesters have proved to me that this won't be possible. This course is a) too broad - it covers a bit of everything from business English through linguistics, applied linguistics to history and some literature as well), b) it's designed for foreign students with less background knowledge and a lower level of English, so what we do in seminars is not exactly what you'd call university level English literature (with one exception) Most students come here just to get a degree in something that doesn't seem too demanding, or even worse: to learn English, which is not exactly what this course is for. Linguistics and literature are often seen as "filler subjects".
    Back in February I had a conversation with one of my seminar tutors and she told me right there and then that if I'm serious about studying English I should apply to a top UK university right now, because seminars here are for 15 students, and 13 or 14 of them are only there because the seminars are compulsory. As the 4 mature colleges still had places available, I went ahead and contacted them. Three of them wouldn't take me because I didn't have the English A-level. Lucy Cavendish obviously thought that this degree course has given me the grounding in English they expect applicants to have, so they said they'd be happy to count my literature modules as an English lit A-level. I went ahead and filled in the application form. I applied to 4 other unis, and I got 4 offers (three unconditional ones), but I had to turn them down because they don't offer the funding (or the disability support I need in order to study in England. I got an interview at Cambridge, but unfortunately not an offer, because at interview it turned out that although I do have the aptitude and the motivation, I lack the grounding in English (technical terms, etc.) that an A-level would give. I was kind of expecting a rejection because I don't get taught close reading properly. I've tried teaching myself, but it's extremely hard to find reliable secondary sources in ebook format, and JStore is kind of hit and miss - sometimes I can use it, sometimes it wouldn't even open! but I haven't given up! I'm reapplying for 2017, this time to a standard-age college. After I got my feedback from the mature college I applied to, I contacted literally all colleges ad asked them for advice. I've also found out that Cambridge colleges expect applicants from Hungary to have taken at least 2 higher-level subjects (back in 2014 I could only take one), so I'm going to retake my literature-related subjects at HL in November.
    I have one British tutor at university. He wrote my reference and was there for me through the whole application process, and he offered to prepare me for an English A-level, which I'm hoping to take next summer. The mature college wouldn't insist on me taking the AS level, but I know that requirements vary from college to college. Is there anyone here who added one A-level to their existing ones years after sixth form (or even after taking a gap year) and then applied? If so, did you take the AS level as well? I know that A-levels are changing, and this is exactly what makes this confusing.

    Based on the replies I've got from the colleges, King's, Trinity and Selwyn would be ideal for me. Which do you think would be more suitable for a blind English student?


    Just in case you're wondering, yes, I do have a backup choice, and it's going to be UCL.


    Thanks a lot for reading this at all!
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    Have you contacted the University's Disability Resource Centre?
    http://www.disability.admin.cam.ac.uk/
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Have you contacted the University's Disability Resource Centre?
    http://www.disability.admin.cam.ac.uk/

    Yes I have, and I will contact them again when I reapply.
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    I have only just seen this reply, but thank you anyway.


    Update: It has turned out that the real issue last time was that I'd applied late and so most of the deadlines for financial help at other unis had already passed. I've managed to choose a college and have sent in my application to Cambridge and 3 other unis, including Durham and Exeter.
 
 
 
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