Erasmus student Mayu Uno shares her experiences of the friendliness of Fitzwilliam College and its welcoming student community.
How do you feel about the celebration of 40 years of women at Fitz?
I think that the celebration of 40 years of women at Fitz is definitely a milestone, proven by the many women who could lay the foundation for incredible careers thanks to their studies at this College. Nonetheless, 40 years also remind us of how recent this achievement is and that there is still a long way to go to attain complete equality for everyone, no matter what background or gender.
Do you have any advice for prospective undergraduate or postgraduate students?
First of all, I would recommend prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students to not worry too much and be troubled by self-doubts whether you really fit in or belong to Cambridge, if you are meeting all the requirements of the perfect Cambridge student. Especially as female students, we still find ourselves living and studying in a male-oriented world and have to face certain challenges, but we should feel empowered by the successes and achievements of former female students who have proven that you can excel and surpass any expectations imposed on you by society or your surrounding if you stay confident, work hard and believe in yourself.
Has anything surprised you about Cambridge? Have you faced any challenges?
I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming the community is, especially here at Fitz. This fact made it much easier for me to cope with challenges, such as my first supervision which was a thoroughly new and unknown form of teaching for me, especially for me as a student studying in Germany. Not only fellow students but also the staff at the university is more than welcoming and supportive which definitely helped me settle in and overcome any self-doubts.
What else do you do apart from your subject in Cambridge?
Apart from studying English, I regularly attend the film screening of the Cambridge World Cinema Society where we watch critically acclaimed films and documentaries from around the world in their original language. Besides that, I occasionally do creative writing and thoroughly enjoy the meetings of the Failed Novelist Society where we discuss other students' works and literary pieces and try to give constructive feedback. I am also a member of the Cambridge Union and regularly attend debates and discussions.
Why did you choose Cambridge? What made you choose Fitzwilliam?
Since I am an exchange student from the University of Bonn in Germany, studying in Cambridge under the Erasmus+ scheme of the European Union, I did not have the opportunity to choose my college. Nonetheless, I did not regret for a moment coming to Cambridge and studying at Fitzwilliam College. Not only is it, and I think not only in my mind, one of the friendliest colleges here in Cambridge, but it also offers a great learning atmosphere, a more than supportive staff, and a very welcoming student community.