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Meet the Team: Rosie Lawrence

Rosie is a Programmes Administrator in the IP department. Here she writes about her experiences as part of the PKP team.

I joined the International Programmes team at Pembroke College in October 2016 and nine short months later found myself standing in King’s College, bright and early, welcoming students from all over the world to my first ever PKP. Sitting at the welcome desk listening to the sound of suitcase wheels growing louder, I realised I was probably more nervous than the students! But as they started to arrive, exhausted from their travels but faces full of excitement, I knew it would be a fantastic summer. And I wasn’t wrong.

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PKP students exploring Pembroke at the start of the programme

A few days ago we waved goodbye to the PKP 2018 students who made my second summer on PKP just as incredible as my first. For six weeks Cambridge became their home, and it was such a delight to see everyone settle in so effortlessly and make the most of their time here. Seeing the students full of the excitement that comes with exploring a new place, the curiosity to learn about a new culture and the willingness to try new things during what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity brought a sense of nostalgia to me, reminding me of the time I spent in Japan as part of my undergraduate degree.

It’s amazing how quickly the first week of both programmes flew by, with students enthusiastically throwing themselves into their busy class schedules and the Programme Assistants (PAs) whisking them around Cambridge on tours of the Colleges and the city. Despite the jam-packed first weeks, students still found the time to come up to the PKP Office to say a quick ‘hello’, and it was lovely to finally be able to put names to faces after so many months of correspondence over email.

Some of the most magical moments the programme had to offer were undoubtedly the Formal Halls. Experiencing a tradition that dates back hundreds of years is, in itself, incredible but add to that dining on a delicious three course meal by candlelight in the company of friends and Lecturers in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings and it’s difficult not to look back fondly on those memories.

Although the students on PKP come from different countries, different academic fields and different walks of life, during the past two summers it has become increasingly apparent that they all share an abundance of ambition, passion and enthusiasm. It’s the students who make the programme, and I therefore feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to engage with such dynamic groups of people. I’m also extremely honoured to have worked alongside such an incredible team, both the PAs and the other members of Pembroke’s International Programmes Department, to make the programme an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.

Drinks before formal hall

Drinks before formal hall

Now that PKP has come to an end Cambridge feels almost empty without the buzz of the students around the city, but I hope that they now consider Cambridge a home away from home and will come back if they ever have the chance. With applications for 2019 opening imminently, it’s exciting to know that in just 10 months’ time the new PKP students will be in residence, and Cambridge will once again be filled with that same liveliness – PKP 2019 we’re waiting for you!

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