I was very lucky to attend a Headstart General Science course at the University of East Anglia. It was a great experience – not only did I get to meet many new people as enthusiastic about science as me, but I also experienced studying science at a top university with much better equipment and facilities than we had available at college.
The course lasted for 5 days and included sample undergraduate lectures, a chemistry lab class and information sessions on applying to university. A particular highlight was a trip to a nearby plant sciences research park where they are investigating plant genetics. Here we were given a detailed tour by one of the researchers and learnt about some of the important work they are doing. Throughout the week, we were able to talk to current undergraduates about their experiences as well as network with the lecturers.
During the course, we lived in the student accommodation on campus. This included ensuite rooms and a large kitchen/ social area. Since all the students were staying in the same block, we were able to socialise with each other and make new friends very easily.
The Headstart course was an excellent addition to my UCAS form, and also helped me when deciding what course to apply for (SCIENCE!!!). I also really enjoyed experiencing subjects I hadn’t been able to study at college, such as Pharmacy and Plant Sciences.
For anyone considering completing a Headstart course or similar summer program I would highly recommend it – it is such a good way to experience life at university and the support provided means that even if it is your first residential program away from home you can feel safe and welcome.