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    So, I got the grades I needed to study Oriental Studies at Cambridge ( ) (I took the French baccalaureate, that's why I've already got my results) and even tough English is one the main reasons why I applied, I'm starting to worry about it. I learned it all from school, films, reading or exceptional travelling and never lived in an English-speaking country. I met the language requirements and did well at interview, but I know I'm bound to make some obvious mistakes in any essay, and I'm afraid I won't be able to write quickly enough and thus get behind with the work.

    So... Anybody in the same situation as me here?
    For current students: Did you have to work a lot more? Did you get significantly lower grades because of your English?
    And if you can't cope, are there English classes for foreigners held at Cambridge (esp. about writing essays)?
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    Alice, your English is great; just look at that post! When writing essays I guess it would be best to use a PC with spell check. Surely after your first term you'll be speaking English as well as any home student!
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    I'm in the same situation and have the same worries I know that there are English classes for international students, these are free and I plan to get some info on them. I've been writing essays for a native English who graduated at Cambridge but I still have obvious mistakes and write things in a way that no Englishman would do. However, I think that if we were admitted then the admissions tutors see some potential in us. I hope they're right
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    The only other person doing my course in my college is German. His english isn't as good as yours. Its going to be tough, but I'm sure your friends around you will be willing to help. I'll definitely help my classmate out as much as I possibly can! And like Phil said, it will be much better once you're used to it.
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    My friend is Finnish and, while her English is just as good (if not better!) than mine, she received extra time for her A Level exams and was allowed to take a dictionary in with her in case she needed to look up any words. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the provisions are at Cambridge for those whose first language isn't English.

    Congratulations on making your offer!
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    Congratulations on making your offer!
    Best thing you can do is *ask your friends* to correct you once you're here. Most people won't automatically correct you because either it's pointless or they feel it's rude. If you want them to let you know if you say something incorrectly, do ask them (particularly after the first few weeks, when you'll be getting to know people better).
    You will find that your English just gets better with use, though - so don't be self-conscious about it, just jump in there!
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    Hello! The examiners will look more at whether you understand the concepts you're discussing than at your grammar. Having said that, a good command of English will make it easier to convey your understanding and obviously an essay written with style will leave a favourable impression. I have struggled a lot with writing essays - having come from a school system where I virtually never had to write essays and not being a native speaker of English. Supervisors always comment that my written language is too informal or even slang However, all my supervisors have been very very supportive, providing detailed feedback when I asked for it or setting me some extra work specifically designed to help me improve. So although it has been frustrating at times, it is also rewarding to notice that you're improving! Don't worry about it too much; as far as I am aware, non-native English speakers don't tend to do worse
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    hey, I've got an offer for Japanese in Oct07 (still have to get 3 As though).
    from what I can tell, the first year is mainly learning the language and writing system, and non-language related topics (like economics, history, society...) come in the 2nd year, so there might not be too many english-language essays, but I don't know.
    learning Japanese from a language that isn't your native tongue is quite challenging (understatement), so they must have some way of knowing that you'd be able to handle it, if you did well in the interview...
    there'll probably be a french society, for french people (obviously) studying at Cambridge, so it might have tips for writing essays. With the tutorial system (where you get to spend some time per week with a tutor by yourself or with another student) you will get plenty of chances to ask your professor for help if you need it or advice or whatever...

    Here are a couple of societies I found, not sure if they'll help but you could contact them anyway...

    http://www.fbsalliance.com/
    http://www.srcf.ucam.org/cufs/
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    (Original post by Nono Seventeen)
    So, I got the grades I needed to study Oriental Studies at Cambridge ( ) (I took the French baccalaureate, that's why I've already got my results) and even tough English is one the main reasons why I applied, I'm starting to worry about it. I learned it all from school, films, reading or exceptional travelling and never lived in an English-speaking country. I met the language requirements and did well at interview, but I know I'm bound to make some obvious mistakes in any essay, and I'm afraid I won't be able to write quickly enough and thus get behind with the work.

    So... Anybody in the same situation as me here?
    For current students: Did you have to work a lot more? Did you get significantly lower grades because of your English?
    And if you can't cope, are there English classes for foreigners held at Cambridge (esp. about writing essays)?
    Well, I'm not in the same situation as you, but I understand what it's like to go to another country and pick up their language - and really, I wouldn't worry about it. The more you talk and talk and talk and talk, the easier and the more fluent it becomes. I can safely say that if your English was good enough to write that post, you will become sufficiently fluent in a matter of weeks. (Put it this way: you made two tiny grammatical mistakes in your post, and I barely noticed them - other than that, you sound like a native speaker. Most English people make more mistakes than that. While I appreciate it may have taken you about 10 minutes to put that post together, that kind of fluency comes automatically when you get to the country and start talking to people. Your understanding of the language is good enough for you to pick up anything you come into contact with.)
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    Don't worry about it.
 
 
 
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