Application

 Cambridge

 Magdalene

 Oriental Studies

 2007

 offer made

Applicant

 Other qualifications

 pre-qualification

 EU

 Hungary

 Independent – selective

My high school was a foundation based school with alternative teaching programme.

 yes

Other qualifications

I did regular Hungarian Érettségi.
Higher level (similar to the Scottish one):English (100%),German(100%),Spanish(80%),History(80%)and Literature (74%).At higher level the equivalent of ‘A’ is from 60%, however I needed to pass with more than 70% in each subject (I asked college admissions tutors about this).
Basic level:Maths (73%, ‘B’), Biology (87%, ‘A’)
n.b.:Everybody has to do 5 exams at least (4 of these are compulsory:Maths,Literature,History and one foreign language but everybody can choose the level so it’s possible not to do any highers and still get into higher education in Hungary),most people do one or maximum two highers.

Details about the offer

 conditional

IELTS language exam: 7.0 overall result with no less than 7.0 in each module

yes

no

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Because I enjoyed the athmosphere, the college based supervison system, the course structure (it is possible to combin Arabic with Spanish and do some Linguistics also) and of course the possibilty to be taught by excellent lecturers.

Might seem weird but I always wanted to go to Cambridge since I first visited the town when I was 12.

Because I love languages and I am very interested in Middle Eastern cultures and Hispanic languages.

I reapplied after being pooled and rejected last year (from Trinity college).This time I didn’t consider financial matters and fame but how much I like the place and Magdalene was the ultimate ‘winner’.

Preparation

no

Try to read as much as possible (n.b. quality is more important than quantity) and discover your own personal interests, watch films and visit countries where your chosen languages are spoken.Use your knowledge as many times you can!Be open-minded and sure that you have the passion in you to do this course.

Interview

no

no

Yes,I had to submit 3 essays: one of them was a translation of my school project about Ballet Music, one of them was an essay in English on Islamic architecture and the third one was in Spanish, about abortion.

no

I enjoyed both of my interviews, they were very thoughtprovoking, I had to think a lot and use the best of my knowledge.However none of them felt as an exam, they were more like a conversation!

Arabic:I had to speak about the relationship between European and Middle Eastern cultures,then compare the Ottoman Empire with the Roman and finally I had some grammar questions in both Arabic and English.
Spanish:We discussed language history, the influence of different languages on eachother and I had to read a passage in Spanish and speak about it.

I wore my favourite skirt (dark jeans,knee length)and one my first day a dark read blouse, on my second day light pink blouse.I wore this because I felt comfortable and confident wearing these cloths and they suit my personality.

Impressions

There are real differences between colleges so I strongly advise to visit open days before applying!
I arranged a personal visit to Corpus Christi where I spoke with the admissions tutor but I felt rather claustrophobic there.I visited Emmanuel,Selwyn and Trinity also.In the first year I was pondering between Selwyn and Trinity.
Surprisingly enough I hadn’t visited Magdalene before applying I just looked around once but I really like the buildings and the place.

It was really good and cheap.

Very encouraging and nice people.

They were very cheered and helpful, they did their best to calm our (i.e. applicants) nerves before our interviews.

Final stage

Of course I was rather nervous since this was already my second application and I wanted to get an offer.

I received a letter in the first week of January.When I realised that I was accepted I began screaming,jumping and crying simultaneously.Then – still too thrilled to be able to speak- I called my boyfriend.

Looking back

Yes,yes and a million times yes.

You really can’t know what to expect. My first year interviews were awful,I felt terrible,particularly at the Arabic one.I felt it was an interrogation rather than an interview.Looking back I think I chose the wrong college, so my advice is that you should find the college that suits you!During my two days at Magdalene I felt as if I was home and this made me really calm.Try to enjoy the challenge and the preparation, it is a unique experience.