International Student Comments & Student Profiles
This page is part of the International Students (EU and non-EU) section on the Christ's College, Cambridge website. It shares the thoughts and experiences of current international students and provides a window onto student life here.
Quick Comments from our international students
“I think once I got my head around the difference of the UK approach – Cambridge's focusing far more on a passion for your course and on thinking deeply and critically about your subject - applying to Cambridge was much less daunting. I found settling in to life at Christ's and the rhythm of Cambridge to be fairly quick, as everyone arrives in Cambridge not really knowing what to expect – you don't feel any more out of place than a student coming from somewhere in the UK.”
Rosie - History and Politics (Washington, US)
"I was worried that studying for Spanish 'Bachillerato' rather than A-levels or IB would look bad on my application, but it didn't matter. At Cambridge they look for the best students, and you get an outstanding academic education. Moreover, university life here also differs a lot from what you would get in Spain, it involves much more than the academic part: societies, sports and living in College. You have friends from all over the world, but there is also a nice Spanish community university-wide. Life at Christ's is amazing, it wasn't hard to settle in at all, and I would truly recommend applying!"
Maria - Mathematics (Madrid, Spain).
Read more from Maria in her student profile.
"Cambridge and Christ's are both amazing places to be an international student. The college has plenty of international students who I met right when I arrived, and there is a small army of college staff who genuinely care about ensuring we get all the support we need. The University has an active Brazilian society, and there's even a Brazilian stall in the town's market that sells pão de queijo and guaraná!"
Jack - Human, Social and Political Sciences (São Paulo, Brazil). Read more in Jack's student profile.
"Christ's college is a very friendly environment. I have found that having friends you can trust not only makes settling at Christ's easier but also makes your study at Cambridge much more enjoyable. I would highly recommend Christ's College."
Chisom - Engineering (Abuja, Nigeria)
"Moving abroad for university was something that excited me, however I was also a bit worried about settling in, meeting new people and making new friends. Nevertheless, Cambridge has been great in making me feel welcome. From a brilliantly organised international fresher’s week that gave me some time to fit in while also meeting people from college who were going through the same experience of moving abroad, to the College Family system- I was never short of support and company. I strongly feel that Christ’s College has done a great job in welcoming me, and the College system is amazing as you are able to develop deeper friendships in the College community. The College staff is always kind and helpful. In addition, the central location of College and the Upper Hall where I could eat and talk with friends daily, made socialising much easier. Throughout the year, College events helped me have fun and relax. If you are a student from abroad, I definitely recommend Christ’s. You will feel like home."
Christ's is a good choice for a college. Education which depends on the college side (mainly supervisions) is great. Also college provides good accommodation and is in a quite convenient, yet not very crowded, central part of town. Moving here was not difficult at all as the college staff was quite helpful."
Antanas - Mathematics (Vilnius, Lithuania)
"I didn't know what to expect, but I am pleased with what Christ's turned out to be. Both socially and academically, there is not a thing that has disappointed me here, and I have received all the support I asked for."
"The admissions team were extraordinarily helpful and encouraging throughout the whole process, helping me put to rest many of the concerns I had about applying with less common international qualifications.”
Martin - Offer holder for Economics (Copenhagen, Denmark). See our country-specific page for students from Denmark.
"You will be surprised how much Christ‘s College and Lithuania have in common. This is not only due to a considerable fraction of Lithuanian students who choose to study at Christ‘s (currently ~10), but also because of quite a few Lithuanian alumni of the college. One of the most known alumni of the college is Dr Yusuf Hamied. He has partial Lithuanian origins and was born in Lithuanian capital Vilnius in 1936. Dr Hamied is a chairman of the biggest pharmaceuticals company in India, and, therefore, he is amongst most honorouble people of Christ‘s College. A huge theatre in the New Court is even named after him.
"Christ‘s College is one of the most successful in terms of academic results, and this is reflected in the Tompkins Table (1st place for 2017-18!). This college may offer you help in your academic development via competent Directors of Studies and supervisors. Hard work should be rewarded and Christ‘s College knows that. There are many monetary funds to encourage students taking e.g. summer internships (Long Vacation Travel Grant) and many others. If you‘re getting a first class result, you may also expect some financial award. There is a certain scholarship called Blyth Eastern European Bursary established for students from Eastern European countries and the Baltic States who have successfully participated in any international science olympiad and won a medal. If this applies to you, you will straightaway get an award provided you are admitted to the college.
"Last but not least, there is a friendly atmosphere among Christ‘s students, also among the students and the staff. You will meet very kind people like nurse and chaplain, a very bright librarian for whom it took 5 seconds to identify my Lithuanian origins judging from the name ending, and, surely you will meet many charming squirrels each time you enter the Fellows‘ Garden."
Gilbertas - Natural Sciences (Klaipėda, Lithuania)
"Hey! I am Arqum Anwar from Karachi, Pakistan and I recently graduated with a B.A. in Natural Sciences. As the first in my family to study abroad, I remember feeling excited yet angsty when applying to Cambridge. Although I chose Christ’s without attending an open day, I have found it to be a welcoming community of students and educators. From my own time as the International Officer of the student union (the JCR), I have seen the position being used more proactively to support international students and their welfare. The college has also been keen to cater to my religious needs, for example, with meals during Ramadan. If you are a Pakistani student considering to apply, know that there are several resources and many helpful faces to help you settle in. I am excited to know that another student from my school will be joining Christ’s next year and I hope the number of Pakistanis, local or internationals, continues to increase."
Arqum - Natural Sciences (Karachi, Pakistan). Read more from Arqum in his student profile.
"At first glance it seems pretty intimidating to move to a foreign country, away from everything you know. I think it's really important to not be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone to meet people. Everything about life and studying in England seemed a bit foreign at first, so I think it's important to ask if you don't understand something - even if it's just a pop culture reference. People are happy to help, so you shouldn't be embarrassed!"
Diana - Human, Social and Political Sciences (Poland). Read more from Diana in her student profile and see our country-specific page for students from Poland.
"Christ’s College, is a college that I have found most friendly and easiest to settle in / get used to for Chinese applicants. Given its moderate size, the procedure for everything is straightforward and paperwork is minimum. This college has the best students’ canteen among all the colleges that I know, in case you cannot or are not interested in cooking for yourselves. Christ’s is also one among the few colleges that offer options to not vacate your room for vacations even if you are not here - a feature of envy for every single one of my friends’ from outside college.
I find it one of the best choices I have ever made to come to this college. It is a place you can call home."
Tianhou - Engineering (Harbin, China)
"I have met so many new friends from different countries at Christ’s, and spending time with them has been enjoyable. Having the gym two-minute walk from my room, it was fantastic! Furthermore, the older students, my tutor and my college family made me feel as if I was at home. The formal hall is a great place to invite friends from other colleges as well as to celebrate your birthday."
"Christ's is really homely - just the right size so you don't feel overwhelmed, yet not so small that you are unable to find anyone with things in common with you. There's a really lovely network of international students here - last Chinese New Year the Christ's Southeast Asians got together for steamboat in one of our rooms. Last year we had six Malaysian freshers - it was nice to see familiar faces and hear familiar slang 😉 . I'm really happy to be at Christ's!"
"Being an international student at Christ's, I feel really welcome here and don't regret choosing it. Since the number of Lithuanians in College grows really quickly, it's easy to find someone to chat with in your native language at any time.
Elvinas - Natural Sciences Physical (Mažeikiai, Lithuania)
When I arrived, I found the College to be visually beautiful but also quite cosy and shielded away from the busy streets outside, which meant that it felt like my "home away from home" much sooner than I had expected.
"My favourite spot in college is probably the chapel, I am neither Christian nor religious, but I have had some of my loveliest evenings there watching my friends sing in the choir, or participating in or watching concerts and recitals. It’s a beautiful, serene setting and I am always left in awe of all the talented musicians Christ’s has."
Mira - Education (Mumbai, India). Read more from Mira in her student profile.
"Being a Malaysian expat living in Dubai for about 10 years has people at Cambridge intrigued about how life in Dubai is. They have been excited to hear stories of the vibrant city of Dubai and the UAE, especially those who have never been there. This has been the simplest ice-breaking topic for me in making new friends at Cambridge.
I have made many wonderful friends in my first year at Cambridge and this has really changed my overall perception of life there. The welcoming and friendly environment at this university got rid of any nervousness I had before coming to Cambridge.
In the end, moving to Cambridge (and Christ’s) was much easier than I thought. With everything being only 2-3 minutes away, there is no question that Christ’s, with its inclusiveness, is the college to be in.
I therefore encourage more students from the UAE to apply into Cambridge, particularly to Christ’s College, and to be part of the exciting community here."
Amritz - Engineering (Dubai, UAE)
"Coming to a new country all by yourself is already very intimidating, more so when the place that you are going to is Cambridge. However, Christ's college provided me with a lot of support that I needed when it comes to academic writing, which really helped me to improve the quality of my work. Our college is willing to provide all the support that you need to ensure you wellbeing and that you could achieve the best that you could, all the staff that I have encountered so far are all very supportive and enthusiastic. Also, Christ's college is allocated at the centre of the city, which is well suited for people like me who lived my whole life in a busy, vibrant city like Hong Kong!"
Katherine - Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (Sha Tin, Hong Kong). See the country-specific page for students from Hong Kong
“The lovely people here, the caring staff, and the inspiring fellows make Christ’s a very special place to study – and all the hard work worthwhile.”
"Most of my friends are from Christ’s, and I feel like every time I sit down in the college cafeteria for dinner I end up learning something new by talking with other students."
Pascual - Geography (Colombia / Washington, US). Read more from Pascual in his student profile.
"Remember that good marks are a necessity but not a guarantee for admission. If you develop your academic interests further by exploring relevant maths/science concepts in your spare time or getting involved in projects, this can be a key indicator that you are not just a good student who reads the books and solves the problems, but a curious scientist-to-be who can’t keep the excitement in. Read about the topics that interest you most and perhaps start a project like building a computer game or an RC car (alone or with friends from school), or go after relevant summer experience to get a feel for the field you’re about to go into and naturally add to your bio – this should be fun and interesting for you regardless of your CV and Cambridge application."
Stratos - Natural Sciences (Athens, Greece). Read more from Stratos in his student profile.
"I am a bit of a pseudo-international. I'm from New York, but I'm a dual US-UK citizen and before Cambridge, I went to boarding school in the UK. I think what I enjoy most at Christ's is that feeling you get when it starts to feel like home. So, whether I’m walking to lectures, heading to the library, or sitting and reading for a short period in the Fellows' Garden at a certain point it all begins to feel comfortable and even comforting. I was quite surprised at how quickly I was able to begin to feel that way. I find that simple things like feeling comfortable actually have a larger impact on your overall enjoyment than anything more specific and tangible."
Max - History (New York, US). Read more from Max in his student profile.
Student Profiles: a more detailed account!
Do you want to read in more detail about student life, studying, applying and the College environment here? Do have a look through some of these student profiles, kindly written by our international students.
- Jack from São Paulo, Brazil
- Emily from Ipoh, Malaysia
- Maria from Madrid, Spain
- Arqum from Karachi, Pakistan
- Diana from Poland
- Max from New York, US
- Stratos from Athens, Greece
- Xin-Yi from Singapore
- Simeon from Yambol, Bulgaria
- Oscar from Kowloon, Hong Kong
- Elise from Zurich, Switzerland
- Pascual from Columbia / Washington, US
- Anissa from Lakatameia, Cyprus
- Emma from Toronto, Canada
- Mira from Mumbai, India
- Xinhua from Henan, China
- Neophytos from Nicosia, Cyprus
- Belinda from the Eastern District of Hong Kong
More profiles (including those written by our UK students) are available on the student profiles page.