A beautiful sunny day in July; I m walking on a street in the middle of a city, being surrounded by

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1 A Trip to Cambridge By Iina Lahti A beautiful sunny day in July; I m walking on a street in the middle of a city, being surrounded by stunning old buildings. Colleges and churches seem to be in every corner, people are rushing around. Some more dressed up than others; some are even wearing black ropes. Cambridge. By the look of it, I have definitely arrived in the university city of England. It is a graduation day and the city is full of people celebrating. I, on the other hand, am dragging around my bag, trying to find my accommodation for the next couple of days. Finally I see big black gates saying: Downing College. I check-in and walk across a huge lawn yard surrounded by beautiful old buildings. I can t help but be amazed by the sight. Impressive. But how did I end up in here? Last autumn there was a writing competition arranged by Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences (FUAS) and the prize was a trip to Cambridge to meet Professor Alan Barrell, the man behind the competition and also the one choosing the winners. The topic for the competition was Education without Borders. Each participant wrote their own thoughts about studying and working in an international atmosphere, learning about new cultures and how it all affects to us and our perceptions. It was a very interesting topic to both write and read about.

2 When I received an saying that I was one of the winners, I could barely hide my excitement! I just kept on smiling, wondering what the trip would bring along. I have never been in England before and now I was going to Cambridge; the home for many great scientists, entrepreneurs and even Nobel Prize winners. Together with Professor Barrell and the other winner, a Finnish girl called Anna, we agreed to meet in mid-july for a couple of days. As this would be my first visit to England, I decided to fly to London a day before meeting everyone else in Cambridge. A friend of mine picked me up from the airport and we spent the day exploring the sights of London. A beautiful city full of history and to my surprise: sunny! Against all my expectations it stayed sunny for the whole time in Cambridge as well. Something very unusual for England. On Saturday afternoon I arrived in Cambridge and met Anna shortly after finding my way to our accommodation. As we would meet Professor Barrell on Monday morning, we had almost two days to explore the city on our own. After walking around the city for a while, we decided to go punting in River Cam. It is a very popular activity in Cambridge, especially on a sunny weekend. We had a guide for our tour as punting by ourselves seemed rather challenging and we did not want to end up being soaked in the river. Plus, it was interesting to listen to the stories and history our guide told us about the colleges and other buildings located along the river. How they started as men onlycolleges and ended up having huge disagreements along the way. On Sunday we went to a river festival which was held in Bedford, about an hour bus drive from Cambridge. There was a lot of activities and things to see; World War I display, kayaking, rowing race, amusement park, live music, shows and various shops with food and souvenirs from all over the world. While exploring it all, another day of our trip just flew by.

3 Photo: Punting in the River Cam On Monday morning we finally met Professor Barrell at Downing College. Over breakfast we discussed about our studies and learned more about Professor Barrell s career and job. He definitely is a busy man with countless projects going on all the time. He teaches in the university, guides young entrepreneurs, acts as a visiting Professor abroad, especially in China, and somewhere in between runs a business. And that is just to name a few. I can t help but wonder; how does he find the time to do it all? Later in the morning we visited Judge Business School, one of the places where Professor Barrell works and teaches. We also met Professor Barrell s assistant Suzy from China. She studies education and is shadowing Professor Barrell to see what his work is like and assists him with lectures, visitors and everything else needed.

4 At the school Professor Barrell gave us a presentation about Entrepreneurship and the Cambridge Phenomenon. It was inspiring to learn how so many great inventions have been made in Cambridge and how scientists and entrepreneurs have built up their careers there. What was truly surprising to me was that Cambridge has produced more Nobel Laureates than any other university. That really tells something about the place. In the afternoon we had time to visit some of the ancient colleges. As the city is full of them, we decided to go see few of the best known ones, King s College and Trinity College being the biggest. For a small fee, visitors are allowed to go see the chapel (each college has their own!) and the courtyard. As the buildings look astonishing, it is a shame that you are not allowed to go see what they look like inside. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is graceful and oozes history and stories to tell. Photo: Trinity College in Cambridge

5 In the evening, together with Professor Barrell, we went to have dinner in of the best known places in Cambridge; The Eagle Pub. It is not famous just for its great British food but for the history the place holds. While it has its ghost stories, it is still probably the best known for being the place where the discovery of DNA was announced. The exact spot for the announcement is still marked in the pub. While enjoying our Fish & Chips, we discussed about internationalization and our plans after graduation. As Professor Barrell is a spokesperson for a World without Borders and frequently travels abroad, it was interesting to listen to his stories and views about internationalization. It definitely gave me a new view on how to become more international and how to build an international career in the future. Tuesday was our last day in Cambridge and in the morning we went to visit Fitz William museum. For anyone who loves art, this is definitely a place to visit. The museum is filled with amazing paintings and pieces of art. Already the building itself is worth seeing. Later in the morning we visited Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, one of the many places Professor Barrell works. As it was a holiday season, the office was rather quiet but we were still lucky enough to meet few of Professor Barrell s colleagues. Though everyone seemed to have their hands full of work, the feeling you got of the place was still relaxed and very welcoming. CfEL is a place where young people can make innovations and advance their ideas into an actual business while being supported by a group of entrepreneurs. The atmosphere is very supportive and free. Everyone listens and helps each other with new ideas and encourages them to strive forward. Definitely a great place for young students to enhance their business ideas and innovations and make them more international.

6 Photo: Brown s restaurant. (from left to right: Iina, Professor Barrell, Anna) Before it was time to farewell Cambridge and Professor Barrell, we had lunch at Brown s restaurant and discussed about our trip; what we had experienced and learned during our visit. Now I understand why Cambridge can be considered as the innovation and entrepreneurship centre of England. Knowledge is all over the place, if you are willing to see it. Innovations happen constantly and possibilities are limitless. People are very goal-driven and work hard to succeed in their own field. But still, do not forget to help each other out on the way. The atmosphere in Cambridge is very international, further supporting the exchange of ideas and cultures. On my behalf, all I can say is that I had a great time in Cambridge. What Professor Barrell and the trip taught me is that everyone can achieve great things if they are willing to work for it and open their eyes to all the knowledge around them. As Professor Barrell said We all start the same. You can be the next great scientist, entrepreneur or whatever you want to be. The options are limitless. For me, an international career and education without borders is a dream and now, further inspired by Cambridge, I am willing to work towards that goal.

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