Ava Ramsden shares Cambridge experience

Published 9:15 am Thursday, September 28, 2023

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(Editor’s Note: The following is Ava Ramsden’s first person account of her experience at the University of Cambridge.)

Earlier this year I was blessed to be named the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation 2023 International Studies Fellow. As the recipient of this Fellowship, I was able to spend four weeks at The University of Cambridge International Summer Program.

As some people may know, my father grew up in England and immigrated to the United States when he was 18. Before my four weeks at Cambridge, my father and I visited family whom I have not seen in more than 10 years. Studying abroad always interested me, and this scholarship program allowed me to experience it in a place that means so much to me.

I chose to stay in Selwyn College throughout my time at the University. I was very nervous about making friends while I was here. However, I quickly met other students and Selwyn College has given me some lifelong friends from all over the world.

I took seven courses while at Cambridge. One of my favorites was The Essentials of Astronomy and Space: Governance and Colonization. I learned a lot about space that I did not know before. Did you know that the universe is constantly expanding? I also enjoyed my Egyptology course. Over the course of the week, we explored and discussed pictures of Egyptian artifacts. On the last day of the course, we took a field trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge’s city center. This museum has many different exhibits ranging from Egyptian times to 20th century England.

My weekends were full of lots of exploring! On the first weekend at Cambridge, I went to London and rode the London Eye with my new friends. I visited family and Stonehenge on the second weekend of my trip. On the final weekend of my visit, I took a University-sponsored excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare’s birthplace. After touring the city, we watched Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

I am so thankful for this opportunity and will take the experiences and memories with me through the rest of my life.

— Ava Ramsden is a University of Alabama senior majoring in elementary education. In addition to the courses she referenced, her six courses at the University of Cambridge included: Immunology and infection, Cell biology and precision medicine, Astronomy, English Cathedrals, and French Gothic Architecture.