[Official] Cambridge Languages Applicants Thread 2021

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esor123
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#1
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#1
Hey guys.
I noticed that there were no modern language applicants threads for 2021 so I thought I could start one. It would be great to help each other out in terms of prep. I'm thinking of applying for MML at Cambridge for Spanish and ab-initio Portuguese/Russian (not sure yet). Could you guys share what you're doing:
Languages you want to study:
A-Levels (and predicted grades):
Universities you're applying to:
Extra-Curriculars (books, films, etc):

If you're thinking of Oxbridge, what specific prep have you been doing?



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Last edited by 04MR17; 1 year ago
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Paralove
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#2
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#2
Studied MML French & ab initio Spanish 2014-18 so happy to answer any questions.

There are also a few other current/former MML students floating about too who I'm sure will also chip in!

If anyone is looking for a place to start on wider subject exploration, check out this document here (https://www.oxfordandcambridgeoutrea...ar-suggestions). Christ's have also collated a bunch of online learning resources by course and by A-Level - link toward the bottom of that document!
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Spanishstarfish
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#3
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#3
Hi!
I’m wanting to study spanish and beginners German I think.
Targeted A*A*A*A* in Spanish, English literature, history & philosophy. Doing an EPQ next year.
It’s so nice talking to people who are equally as passionate
Last edited by Spanishstarfish; 1 year ago
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esor123
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Spanishstarfish)
Hi!
I’m wanting to study spanish and beginners German I think.
Targeted A*A*A*A* in Spanish, English literature, history & philosophy.
It’s so nice talking to people who are equally as passionate
That's great! I'm just getting around to writing my PS. I'm a little stuck on what to write for my ab initio language (russian). Any tips would be sooo much help!
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Paralove
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#5
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#5
(Original post by esor123)
That's great! I'm just getting around to writing my PS. I'm a little stuck on what to write for my ab initio language (russian). Any tips would be sooo much help!
Relate to things in the news, history, literature? You don't have to read it in Russian!
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azby1098
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#6
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#6
i’m looking to study geography and geography with portuguese at glasgow!

predicted grades: A*A*A* (hopefully) geog english econ
gcse: 888887777A*
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gonpikachu
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#7
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#7
Hi! Does anyone know how universities view post-qual applicants for languages? I'm thinking about applying for 2021 entry but seeing as opportunities abroad won't be as plentiful compared to previous years, would universities such as Cambridge be likely to view me as a less competitive applicant if I couldn't travel?
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redmeercat
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#8
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#8
Like Paralove, I'm happy to answer any MML questions! I'm a 2020 applicant so the application process is fresh in my mind, although I haven't started the course yet so couldn't talk about actually being in Cambridge. I've also written a chapter for Oxford Mum's Cambridge Demystified, so that might be helpful for anyone interested in applying
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Paralove
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#9
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#9
(Original post by gonpikachu)
Hi! Does anyone know how universities view post-qual applicants for languages? I'm thinking about applying for 2021 entry but seeing as opportunities abroad won't be as plentiful compared to previous years, would universities such as Cambridge be likely to view me as a less competitive applicant if I couldn't travel?
This year, probably not. Tbh colleges will have varying views on gap years and what you do in them. You'll definitely want to keep your language/S up as much as possible; perhaps consider planning to go abroad for a period in the new year?

I'd get in touch with the admissions teams at the colleges you're considering and ask.
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gonpikachu
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Paralove)
This year, probably not. Tbh colleges will have varying views on gap years and what you do in them. You'll definitely want to keep your language/S up as much as possible; perhaps consider planning to go abroad for a period in the new year?

I'd get in touch with the admissions teams at the colleges you're considering and ask.
OK, thank you so much!
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Spanishstarfish
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#11
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#11
(Original post by esor123)
That's great! I'm just getting around to writing my PS. I'm a little stuck on what to write for my ab initio language (russian). Any tips would be sooo much help!
So I’m doing beginners German, and I intend to write about books I’ve read, a mooc I’ve done, my EPQ And a competition i entered briefly - I will try to link them all together and give an overall theme to my personal statement. At my school we don’t start them until summer so
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sadieallen
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#12
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#12
Hi! Not sure if I really belong here considering I'm looking to study History and French joint honours, but I'm here now!!
I'm taking History, French and English Literature A levels, and our school hasn't given us any sort of predicted grades yet, but I'm aiming for 3 A's.
I would like to apply to Warwick, Birmingham, Durham and I haven't decided on any others yet... maybe Exeter or Bristol?
For French, I'm currently just trying to familiarise myself with famous literature - Camus, de Maupassant, Voltaire etc. as my courses will be quite heavily literature based. As well as that, I keep up with the news (mostly Le Monde) and watch French movies and Netflix shows as much as possible!
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Polkadotkittycat
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Paralove)
Studied MML French & ab initio Spanish 2014-18 so happy to answer any questions.

There are also a few other current/former MML students floating about too who I'm sure will also chip in!

If anyone is looking for a place to start on wider subject exploration, check out this document here (https://www.oxfordandcambridgeoutrea...ar-suggestions). Christ's have also collated a bunch of online learning resources by course and by A-Level - link toward the bottom of that document!
Hi, I’m applying for the exact same course!
I was wondering how much of Spanish I’d need to know? Like do I have to mention it as much as French in my personal statement and will it be spoken about a lot at interview? My school has never had someone doing an ab initio language at Oxbridge so they don’t know either lol.
Thank you!
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aconstanthamlet
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#14
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#14
Let's see if we can get this thread trending to grab the attention of fellow language applicants!

Languages: French and German ab initio
A-Levels (achieved): A*A*A* in French, English Lit, History and A* in EPQ
Universities: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Manchester (haven't decided on my fifth choice yet)
Super-curriculars: 20th and 19th-century novels, 19th-century poetry, films and MFL ambassador for my school last year.

Honestly, I'm really worried about my application as a gap year student. I'm continuing to immerse myself in French as much as possible and beginning to familiarise myself with German, but with the pandemic I feel that my universities won't be impressed by my decision to take a year out when travel is nearly impossible. Hopefully, I'll be able to explain my reasons for taking a gap year to Cambridge on the SAQ, but I highly doubt I'll get an offer anyway. Still, if you never try you never know, right?
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Spanishstarfish
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#15
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#15
I’m applying for Spanish and German ab initio to Cambridge, Durham, York, Manchester and Bristol if they do my specific course. If not, probably Surrey? (Ideas for my 5th welcomed!)
Predicted A*A*A*(A*) in Spanish, English lit, History and my EPQ
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Spanishstarfish
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#16
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#16
(Original post by aconstanthamlet)
Let's see if we can get this thread trending to grab the attention of fellow language applicants!

Languages: French and German ab initio
A-Levels (achieved): A*A*A* in French, English Lit, History and A* in EPQ
Universities: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Manchester (haven't decided on my fifth choice yet)
Super-curriculars: 20th and 19th-century novels, 19th-century poetry, films and MFL ambassador for my school last year.

Honestly, I'm really worried about my application as a gap year student. I'm continuing to immerse myself in French as much as possible and beginning to familiarise myself with German, but with the pandemic I feel that my universities won't be impressed by my decision to take a year out when travel is nearly impossible. Hopefully, I'll be able to explain my reasons for taking a gap year to Cambridge on the SAQ, but I highly doubt I'll get an offer anyway. Still, if you never try you never know, right?
I didn’t take a year out, but I haven’t been to Spain or Germany so I hope that my lack of travel won’t go against me too!
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Paralove
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#17
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#17
(Original post by aconstanthamlet)
Let's see if we can get this thread trending to grab the attention of fellow language applicants!

Languages: French and German ab initio
A-Levels (achieved): A*A*A* in French, English Lit, History and A* in EPQ
Universities: Cambridge, Durham, Warwick, Manchester (haven't decided on my fifth choice yet)
Super-curriculars: 20th and 19th-century novels, 19th-century poetry, films and MFL ambassador for my school last year.

Honestly, I'm really worried about my application as a gap year student. I'm continuing to immerse myself in French as much as possible and beginning to familiarise myself with German, but with the pandemic I feel that my universities won't be impressed by my decision to take a year out when travel is nearly impossible. Hopefully, I'll be able to explain my reasons for taking a gap year to Cambridge on the SAQ, but I highly doubt I'll get an offer anyway. Still, if you never try you never know, right?
Do you have any plans to travel between say the spring and October next year? I wouldn't be surprised if you get asked about this in an interview and be encouraged to do so if you get an offer.

(Original post by Spanishstarfish)
I didn’t take a year out, but I haven’t been to Spain or Germany so I hope that my lack of travel won’t go against me too!
I applied to Cambridge for French and ab initio Spanish, having never been to Spain, whilst having a 4 day trip to France in Y9 and a one day trip in Y10, where I spoke no French whatsoever. I didn't get to speak it until the end of sixth form staying with my pen friend for a fortnight. They know it's not an affordable or viable option for everyone!
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Spanishstarfish
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Paralove)
Do you have any plans to travel between say the spring and October next year? I wouldn't be surprised if you get asked about this in an interview and be encouraged to do so if you get an offer.


I applied to Cambridge for French and ab initio Spanish, having never been to Spain, whilst having a 4 day trip to France in Y9 and a one day trip in Y10, where I spoke no French whatsoever. I didn't get to speak it until the end of sixth form staying with my pen friend for a fortnight. They know it's not an affordable or viable option for everyone!
Thank you for this- that is very re-assuring. I have had a part time job for the last year so at least in interview (if I get one!) I can say that I’ve been saving up and I am looking to visit Spain next summer 😊
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aconstanthamlet
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Paralove)
Do you have any plans to travel between say the spring and October next year? I wouldn't be surprised if you get asked about this in an interview and be encouraged to do so if you get an offer.


I applied to Cambridge for French and ab initio Spanish, having never been to Spain, whilst having a 4 day trip to France in Y9 and a one day trip in Y10, where I spoke no French whatsoever. I didn't get to speak it until the end of sixth form staying with my pen friend for a fortnight. They know it's not an affordable or viable option for everyone!
I'm trying to make plans at the moment! I'm currently working three days a week at my part-time job to save money for travel later in the year when the pandemic has hopefully calmed down a bit. I really hope I'll be able to do something because I'd love nothing more than to stay in France and immerse myself for a few months. I'm going to start looking at au-pair opportunities and work away, but if I can't find anything because of the uncertainty over vaccines I might just have to plan a solo trip around France and Germany respectively.

(Original post by Spanishstarfish)
I didn’t take a year out, but I haven’t been to Spain or Germany so I hope that my lack of travel won’t go against me too!
I've never visited my target countries either, aside from a three day trip to Berlin with the humanities department four years ago. Hopefully, if the SAQ allows for me to explain, Cambridge will understand my reasons for taking a year out which might help matters. At the moment I'm just immersing myself in my target languages as much as possible. How are you feeling about the application process? I feel as if my chances of getting an offer are pretty slim all things considered, so if I get as far as the interview stage I'll be proud!
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Spanishstarfish
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#20
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#20
(Original post by aconstanthamlet)
I'm trying to make plans at the moment! I'm currently working three days a week at my part-time job to save money for travel later in the year when the pandemic has hopefully calmed down a bit. I really hope I'll be able to do something because I'd love nothing more than to stay in France and immerse myself for a few months. I'm going to start looking at au-pair opportunities and work away, but if I can't find anything because of the uncertainty over vaccines I might just have to plan a solo trip around France and Germany respectively.


I've never visited my target countries either, aside from a three day trip to Berlin with the humanities department four years ago. Hopefully, if the SAQ allows for me to explain, Cambridge will understand my reasons for taking a year out which might help matters. At the moment I'm just immersing myself in my target languages as much as possible. How are you feeling about the application process? I feel as if my chances of getting an offer are pretty slim all things considered, so if I get as far as the interview stage I'll be proud!
If I got an interview I’d be buzzing. I think it’s all very exciting, and I guess someone has to get in, but I reckon my chances are pretty slim. I don’t know why a gap year would disadvantage you in a subject like MML, I think it’s one of the subjects where gap years are more commonly taken and accepted (in contrast with a science, for example) What college are you applying to?
Last edited by Spanishstarfish; 1 year ago
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