One hundred students from UK state schools attended the first ‘World of Words’ residential organised by Christ’s with King’s College, Cambridge.

Participants aged 16 and 17 had the opportunity to experience a range of academic sessions themed around languages, literatures, histories and cultures as well as to find out more about student life and the University of Cambridge.

Grace from Weston Favell Academy, Northampton said:

“Before coming to the event, I was having some doubts about whether I wanted to study English literature but the programme reassured me that it was a safe option for careers in the future and reminded me of how much I actually enjoy it as a subject, which is extremely important to me.”

Sessions included an introduction to reading hieroglyphs with Christ’s Fellow, Dr Alex Loktionov; a seminar on ‘Translation and Translating the Odyssey’ with classicist Dr Matthew Ward and a session called ‘Bad Love Poetry’ with Junior Research Fellow Dr Katie Mennis.

Other sessions included post-war Art Cinema, a ‘Quick Introduction to Latin and Greek’ and a poetry-based workshop.

Amy, from Nene Park Academy, Peterborough, said: 

“This event has definitely made me more certain in the fact I definitely want to study a language at university…However, the experience has also made me more open to the idea of studying a language from scratch that I wouldn’t have considered previously, such as Arabic.”

Group of people in front of a large screen
The World of Words Residential. Credit: Ϻ College Cambridge

Attendees, who stayed overnight in College accommodation, also met current undergraduates studying European and Classical languages and literature as well as Linguistics to find out more these subjects as well as learning what it was like to live and study in Cambridge. 

Jessica from Strode’s College, Windsor said:

“I enjoyed having a platform to actually say what I wanted to say, as this is not something that people of my age frequently have the opportunity to do. I also loved how kind and friendly everyone was. All of my questions were answered immediately and fully leaving me with plenty of information.”

Outreach Officer, Ellie Wood said: 

“As a graduate of the MML tripos, it has been a delight to be able to share that passion for all things languages, literatures, and cultures with young people from across the UK. 

Providing an opportunity to get a real insight into what such courses at university might entail through academic tasters and our fantastic student ambassadors, we hope has demonstrated to attendees the value of the skills these degrees develop and that these routes will in fact broaden their future options, not narrow them.” 

Students currently in Year 11 in England/Wales, Year 12 in Northern Ireland and S4 students in Scotland who will be commencing sixth form studies this autumn can now register their interest in the 2025 event.