3 Lifelong Lessons | Varsity Education

3 Lifelong Lessons from Varsity Education

Ping Rui Toong, a former student from the USA, shares three of the most important things he learned from his Varsity experience.

In the two weeks that I attended Cambridge Summer College, I learned important skills that I have consistently and successfully used in my educational career. These lessons have not only made me a better person, but they’ve also allowed me to be more efficient and make the most of the 24 hours I have every single day.


1. Always participate no matter how embarrassing it may feel


Before I went to Varsity Education, I was always a very shy student in class, never willing to speak up and voice my thoughts. I always felt apprehensive that my ideas would be laughed at and wouldn’t contribute to the class discussion. Yet, the small class sizes and the friendly environment at Varsity Education’s programme encouraged me to speak up and participate during discussions. Through Varsity Education, I became much more comfortable speaking out in class, giving my two cents about any topic, and then listening to what others had to say.

This skill has been crucial to my educational career, because you can only learn so much from a textbook, but when you speak your mind and listen to others, you learn so much more. Today, I am much more active in class discussions, and the ideas I’ve contributed have helped other students do well on exams and assignments. It doesn’t matter how small your idea is, voice it!

2. The class is not the limit


In one of the classes during the program, we discussed the legality of Turkey’s annexation of Northern Cyprus and how the history of conflict on the island led to the complex legal situation there. While I am primarily interested in studying law, history has always been an area of fascination for me too, and I wanted to learn more. After class I spent some time with my tutor asking him further questions. He was happy to discuss it, and told me that the internet would be a great resource to find out even more about the history of conflict in Cyprus. I followed his advice and read more about it that night in my dorm.

This proved very useful when the topic came up in my human geography class the following year. While in class we had only discussed the topic from a legal perspective, my research outside of class led me to a deeper understanding of the issue, and when the human geography exam asked about Cyprus, I knew exactly how to answer.

Never let what you learn in class be the limit. Feel free to investigate more beyond the classroom.

3. People make all the difference


Walking around in the streets of Cambridge and exploring all the different colleges is a magical experience. Doing that with the most amazing friends is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Varsity Education really encourages you to reach out and get to know new people from all around the world. The diverse and international group you spend two weeks with will really teach you a lot about their cultures and lifestyles, and the adventures and experiences you share with them will stay with you forever. The friends I met at Varsity Education not only made the two weeks of the programme especially memorable, but they continued to be in close contact with me after the programme, helping me out through the university application process. The friends I made in Cambridge have definitely been there and supported me long after the programme ended. Cherish the people you meet there.

Varsity Education isn’t just a programme to teach you about the subjects you are interested in. It is a life-changing experience that gives you exposure to places and people you would never have imagined. Make the most of your time with the team, and meet as many people as you can!


Relevant Articles

5 tips to make the most out of your Varsity Education experience

Read Article

10 must see places in Oxford and Cambridge

Read Article

How to prepare for your Varsity Education programme

Read Article