10 April 2018
When applying to university, the campus is just as important as the university itself. For a course such as Paramedic Science, the environment you are in can make or break the whole experience, so it is important to focus on what’s important for you.
I originally applied to study at the Cambridge campus, yet ended up at Chelmsford. This turned out to be the best thing that happened to me.
Firstly, the cohort consisted of just 20 students for September 2017 intake. The idea of being a small group really appealed to me, knowing the relationships I would have with colleagues and lecturers were likely to be better.
Cambridge as a city is beautiful. Full of shops, cafes and bars, it is one of the best cities to be in for a student. It has everything and more, and for those of you who love history and architecture, Cambridge is the place to go.
More personally, going to Cambridge meant I would live at home (I live just outside of Cambridge) and initially this appealed to me because it was cost effective. Living at home meant I could save my parents a lot of money, an option definitely worth considering. I had to remind myself I was going to university to get a degree, for the career I would love – it didn’t matter where I ended up going.
Firstly, although initially daunting, a cohort of 80 people has meant I’ve worked with people from all backgrounds with a range of experiences. The opportunity to see how differently people work and overcome issues has influenced me into becoming the best paramedic I can become. My relationships with colleagues and lecturers have not flailed because of the group size, if anything I have made more friends and have got lecturers who work to make us the best practitioners we can be.
Chelmsford city surprised me. Cambridge is known for being a great city and not knowing much about Chelmsford, I was pleasantly surprised at how much was there. From a great town centre, with all the shops, to Hylands Park which is great in nice weather, there’s always plenty to do.
Chelmsford's campus is only a two-minute walk to the student halls – where I am currently living. Living in halls has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, where I have become independent for the first time. I have been incredibly fortunate to live with four girls (three of whom study Paramedic Science) who have become my best friends. Even better than that, we are surrounded by medical/health students who are all experiencing the same.
By studying at Chelmsford campus, it means I get to work with London Ambulance Service (LAS) for my placement blocks. The opportunity to work with the biggest ambulance service in the world, and in the capital city is a privilege which I don’t intend to waste. Working in London does have its increased risks, however I firmly believe that if I can tackle London, then I will be able to work anywhere in the country. Is there really a better place to learn than in London itself?
As you can see both Cambridge and Chelmsford campus have their advantages, which is why making the decision is incredibly difficult. My advice would be to look around both and know what factors are most important to you – for example accommodation, course set up, distance from home. Ultimately, you will know where you are meant to end up from the gut feeling you get.