“Trying to support myself without the bursary would have placed a significant financial burden on me and my family, as living costs in the UK are very different from those in Romania”
Miruna Rapeanu (U17) is a second year Engineering student from South Eastern Romania. She attended a state high school in Romania with a strong science profile, where she focused on Maths and Physics.
It was there that Miruna was given the opportunity to participate in nationwide contests in both natural sciences and literature; she won two Bronze medals in the Physics National Olympiad, as well as an International Reading Olympiad award. Through these competitions, she met with older students who ended up studying at Churchill and from whom she found out that Churchill was a great fit for her focus on science, as well as less traditional and more relaxed than other Cambridge colleges. Keen to study abroad – something Miruna had aspired to do from a young age – she picked Churchill and initially applied for Natural Sciences, but ultimately switched to Engineering after hearing about the more practical aspects of the Cambridge Engineering course.
Miruna benefits from a full Cambridge bursary that covers her accommodation costs at college so she doesn’t have to worry financially. In fact, having access to bursary support was one of the main reasons she chose to apply to Cambridge and Churchill. Trying to support herself without the bursary would have placed a significant financial burden on Miruna and her family, as ‘living costs in the UK are very different from those in Romania’. Therefore, the existence of bursary support was pivotal in helping her make a decision regarding university.
Miruna is very happy at Churchill and points to the provision of excellent on-site accommodation for all years as being one of the key reasons the College enjoys a strong sense of community. She also praises the facilities at Churchill, especially the ‘big, spacious rooms and the quality of the food’. A highlight of her time thus far has been the second-year robot building project, known as the ‘Integrated Design Project’. She hugely enjoyed the opportunity to apply her skills practically and was delighted when, out of the twelve teams involved, her team won the end-of-term competition!
Outside of her studies, Miruna has tried out archery and shooting and plans on joining the Cambridge University Trampoline club. She has also taken on the role of Publicity Officer for the 2019 Churchill Spring Ball and is a member of the Engineering Department’s Staff Student Joint Committee.
She secured an internship with Jaguar Land Rover in the 2018 summer vacation and is hoping to secure more work experience in another industry this year. She is particularly looking forward to studying aerospace and mechanical engineering in her third year and potentially doing a robotics course in her final year. Above all, she is very grateful for the bursary that has made it financially possible to take up her place at Cambridge with complete confidence.
Churchill College has the sort of environment that encourages you to do the best you can do without feeling under pressure. You benefit from living in a friendly community that provides you with additional support and access to help whenever you need it.