The scholarship holder of the "Studenica" Foundation, Đorđe Ogrizović, is currently a master's student in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge student in sustainable development engineering at the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He decided to share with us interesting details about social life at the University.
The university is located in the city of Cambridge, which has about 125 thousand inhabitants, 25,000 of which are students. All students belong to one of the 31 colleges, which have administrative, social and educational roles. Colleges often have the role of dormitories. However, they are much more than places where students can sleep. Special, formal dinners, concerts, exhibitions and other events are often organized.
"The college I belong to is called Girton, founded in 1869, and it is the first institution in Great Britain where women were provided with higher education. At the very beginning of the academic year, new students are introduced to the college, relevant services and a tutor - a professor who is in charge of monitoring our progress. The goal of all events at the college is to encourage the exchange of ideas and the establishment of lasting acquaintances", explains Djordje.
He points out that Oxford and Cambridge are recognizable for organizing formal dinners that are held several times a week and last about two hours.
"On that occasion, specially prepared dishes are served. At Girton College, there will be about a hundred students and several professors at one such evening. At the beginning, the president of the college (Master or Mistress) greeted all those greets and blesses the dinner. During such a gathering, students are expected to be elegantly dressed, with the obligatory wearing of gowns, which differ corresponding to the wearer’s acquired academic degree", says Djordje.
Special attention is paid to the holidays, Djordje explained to us what the celebration of Christmas looks like and what the atmosphere is like among people in those days.
"This is a national holiday here, regardless of the religion to which the person belongs. Numerous charity concerts were organized. I also attended a big Christmas concert in St. John's Chapel, one of the most famous Christmas services in England. During the service, the St. John's College Boys 'Choir sings, which along with the Vienna Boys' Choir is among the most famous choirs, and the concert / service was broadcast by the BBC. A special service was also organized for the children, where the pastors explained the meaning of Christmas, gifts were distributed, and for those of us who are no longer children, cakes and mulled wine were distributed."
Numerous student competitions are also organized in Cambridge, and those related to environmental protection are very common. In one such competition, our scholarship holder achieved an excellent result.
"I am very happy to be in the group together with Filip Bosković, a doctoral student at the Department of Physics who led the group, and with Campbell Matthews, a doctoral student from New Zealand. We won the St. John's Climate Crisis Award for the project „The hum of bees is the voice of the garden“: Increasing College's impact on wildlife diversity via pollinator housing."
Cambridge also has a number of student associations specializing in various fields. One of them is the Association of Serbian Students, which consists of about thirty students, including Djordje. They carefully nurture the tradition.
"Recently, we organized the celebration of St. Sava's Day, preparing a feast cake and wheat, and I had the opportunity to hold a solemn speech on the occasion of this our biggest holiday", Ogrizovic proudly points out.
Learning is better when it is enriched with an active social life, and that is one of the characteristics of Cambridge.
"Our students come to the University of Cambridge every year, and here they have the opportunity to improve and advance, and it is especially nice when those who left Serbia for education decide to return. However, this often depends on a number of circumstances, not just the good will of the graduates. However, as Mihajlo Pupin, who also studied at Cambridge, said „Where there is a will, there is also skill!", concludes Djordje Ogrizovic.