Dhivya Sashidhar – Life at University of Cambridge, UK
Today we have Dhivya Sashidhar talking about life in Cambridge University.
* Brief Intro about yourself
I am Dhivya. I completed B.Tech ECE from NITT; Followed by M.Phil Micro- and Nano-technology Enterprise from University of Cambridge. I have been working as at Research Engineer, Royal Dutch Shell The Netherlands
* Entry Criteria:
– Approx CGPA range
9 and above
– Gre & Toefl scores range
GRE not required, TOEFL – 116 and above (out of 120)
– Research Experience at undergraduate level
Depending on the course you apply for; Obviously the more related experience you have the higher your leverage
– Does the graduate program favor PhD applications more ?
Yes, 12 out of 20 student go for a PhD, especially at Cambridge (or other UK universities, because Masters programs are only 10-12 months long and if you need more from the subject the most ideal next choice is a PhD). That said, the nature and subject of your course also decides the next move, as well as your personal motivations
– What are the general strengths of the departments ?
Science/Engineering departments are all extremely strong. Great presence in any field and any research/engineering facilities you might need are provided for. Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science – more strong than any other.
– Any advice for writing statement of purpose ?
A real and genuine expression of your motivation to apply and the actual match you see for yourself with the course you are applying to will fetch the admit.
– Any trend in the amount of Indians in the graduate program in the department ?
1 or maximum 2 students per year (class strength of probably 20-25)
– Is it advisable to email professors prior/during applying ?
Not really. Because the Cambridge Masters degrees are not sponsored by one Prof (like a US masters where you’d do a year long thesis under one Prof) That said, if you do manage to strike a real tie with a prof, who definitely wants you for your work, then he could be able to recommend you into the program
* After you get in:
– Aid scenario – #number of ppl who come in with aid, chances of aid after coming in, more details on RA/TA/small work around campus.
Generally lots of possibilities for a scholarship. But you need to do a lot of research on – the University scholarships, trust scholarships, specific college bursaries and course-specific scholarships. Each would need it’s own separate application. Chances of receiving an aid after entering the Univ or getting any kind of paid jobs after entering the course are almost nil. The course schedules are too tight and wouldnt allow for part time work either.
– how much money should one shell out for the entire course if it completely unfunded.
30-35 Lakhs INR
– What are the living expenses?
Quite high because the city is expensive in general. And depending on the accommodation you’d pick it can vary. Not able to provide an exact figure though, it’s worth checking with someone currently in the university if you plan to go.
– How easy it is to switch departments?
Masters programs are attached to a particular department (or a set of them). You cannot switch without switching programs
– switch from Phd to MS or vice versa?
Depending on the program – you could pick an MS+PhD sandwich and choose to skip the PhD. But the other way around means you complete your Masters and re-apply for a PhD. Usually Cam masters students (given ur MS research was good and a prof wants you) get PhDs easier
– Availability of public transport ?
– Any big concerns for weather ?
Perpetually dull, rainy and cold winters
– Any Indian activities or Indian associations?
* After the course:
– Career opportunities after the course?
Currently quite dull. EU in general is cutting back and the preference goes to students who wouldnt require a visa.