About our writer
Mark O’Brien is an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, and studies Philosophy. A veteran Mentor of Cambridge Immerse 2016, he loved it so much he had to come back this year.
He will be spending his time this year befriending students, practicing his punting technique, and probably debating why Cambridge is infinitely better than Oxford with students.
Sunday 23rd July 2017
It’s arrival day at Cambridge Immerse! The mentors enjoyed an early breakfast before breaking off to manage their individual sites and prepare for an exciting day moving in! As flights touched down from around the world, trains arrived from around the country and cars arrived in their droves, participants made their way to their colleges to receive welcome packs, which were complete with some very classy notebooks and pens, before settling into their brand new rooms.
To truly immerse students (excuse the pun), academic programme director Ore hosted an exciting welcome talk for participants to inform them of some of the great activities that participants could expect, ranging from personal statement workshops to personalised academic sessions and even a ghost tour of Cambridge!
That said, anxieties were running high. Here were over two hundred adolescents who had never met, coming from the widest spectrum of destinations from around the world; what if nobody was nice? To shatter this ‘illusion’, participants had the chance to take part in a variety of ‘Icebreaker’ games, cheerfully facilitated by our jocular team of Mentors. Sure enough, social awkwardness soon turned into friendly conversation, before quickly descending to tense rivalries between students. The classic icebreaker, Splat, went down particularly well.
As Sidney Sussex, Christ’s and St. Catharine’s slowly filled up, the day edged closer to evening, when everyone had the chance to enjoy dinner in Christ’s Upper Hall before taking part in more activities. To the envy of all, those who arrived after dinner were treated to the famous Nanna Mexico burritos, which is the place for a fabulous and filling burrito.
The Immerse mentors did a fantastic job of showing participants around and to their rooms throughout the day even amidst incredibly British, rainy weather (highly unusual for Cambridge at this time of year). The grim forecast stopped no-one though! Spirits remained high throughout the day until night, where applicants and mentors treated themselves to a well-deserved rest before beginning a busy and action-packed week.