We asked some of the previous Christ's English Taster Day/Series participants what they would say to future students considering an application for the event. Here's what they said!

Are there any particular skills that you feel the Taster Series has helped you to develop?Paradise Lost book

  • The lectures gave me an insight into the style of teaching to expect at University, which is something that I'd not had much experience of previously. The calibre of teaching and ideas (from the lecturers and participating students alike!) was unlike anything I'd been exposed to before and has inspired me to educate myself further on the works of John Milton and his cultural milieu.
  • To be confident enough to ask questions and take part
  • Making connections and parallels with themes across different texts
  • Being about to critically apply opinions and views on literature and to develop my knowledge of linguistic techniques
  • It's helped me to further critically engage in the subject and has shown me areas I wasn't familiar with before, that I can now look into and expand my reading.
  • Considering sources for literature and extending English Literature to drama and history as well.
  • I learnt how to more effectively select and use context related to the text. I also learnt how to try and expand and personalise what I was learning by forming questions based around my own reading.
  • Thinking about literature in correlation with its contexts. Consolidating what is heard, as I learned I would not be able to note everything down, just like how it would be in a university level setting.


What did you find the most suprising during the series?

  • How enjoyable and interactive it was! I pictured it to be just a lecture without exchange of ideas at the end.
  • Allowed me to view Literature in a totally different way, and showed me how broad the subject really is.
  • The impact that Paradise Lost had on writers. As well as the link between rhetoric and the poem was rather fascinating
  • In particular, the in-person taster day reassured me that Cambridge would be a good fit for me and that the students are just normal people! There's so much mythology that surrounds the University, which is undeniably a good thing, but can be daunting when considering applying. However, all of the people that I met on the day were super friendly and I felt at ease within the college environment. A few of the other girls and I now even have a group chat so that we can share our application journeys and keep in touch!
  • How in depth the lecturers knew about the subject in terms of answering any questions we had.
  • it was always engaging and I found that I could follow everything the lecturers were talking about!
  • For me, it was that John Milton also was a writer for drama. Id only ever known him talked in the context of poetry so it was really interesting to learn about his contributions to the performing arts community.
  • I was mainly surprised on the wide range of literature that Milton influenced 
  • Understanding of the wider impacts of an author/ text. The lecture on abolitionist literature and how Milton's Paradise Lost influenced one of the most significant abolitionist writers. Additionally, that Milton invented more neologisms that became words in the English Language than Shakespeare.


What did you enjoy most during/about the Taster Series?

  • Learning things that I wouldn't have learnt at sixth form; it was particularly helpful as I am currently studying Paradise Lost
  • Immersion in Cambridge academia, working through complex ideas with world-leading experts, without being dropped in entirely at the deep end! The sessions were the perfect balance of striking an academic and enquiring tone - leaving us with plenty of material to pursue further in our own time - without putting students on the spot or making them feel out of their depth.
  • Asking questions at the end/having a discussion
  • I enjoyed the different approaches the lecturers had to paradise lost and their differing ways of discussion.
  • My favourite thing about the series was learning more about the Cambridge learning style and seeing how lectures etc are completed.
  • The wide range of topics and more obscure takes of Milton
  • I liked the range that was covered from learning about theatrical context to a literary device, it felt very well rounded.
  • Learning about a new period in literature that I had not previously explored.
  • The opportunity to interact with Cambridge lecturers; asking questions to literatury specialists, scholar's and critics who was incredibly exciting and thought provoking.


How did you find the visit day?

  • I loved it. I was nervous before-hand as I didn't know anyone else on the course - I even brought a book as a last resort in the absence of anyone to talk to! However, I immediately bonded with a few of the other girls, who were all in the same position. It was so interesting to hear their different stories and the circumstances that had led us all to converge in Cambridge that day!
  • I found the visit day incredibly insightful into what life is like at Cambridge aswell as the course specifically. The food was great and the students were very helpful!
  • I loved the opportunity to speak to the students and get their perspectives on things! I've attended Christ zoom calls previously and they've been amazing with students from Cambridge but they've never included an English student! So this was really beneficial!
  • It was lovely to meet like-minded, highly acheiving, passionate students and to meet current students at Christ's. Additionally, the accomodation arrangement was really fantastic; breakfast was delicious and the room gave a real taste of what staying in a Cambridge college would be like.
  • Definitely worth attending! I learnt so much about life at Cambridge and really enjoyed the deep dive into Paradise Lost.

Back to the Christ's English Taster Series page / English at Christ's