Five students from St. John’s College at Cambridge University visited Forbes College for a week-long residential college exchange this past week and left Monday night.
Visiting students were originally supposed to stay with the five residents of Forbes College who completed a similar exchange duringspring break last year. Master of Forbes College Michael Hecht explained that since those students are now upperclassmen and have since left Forbes, the Cambridge students were instead housed by residential college advisers and resident graduate students in Forbes.
The trip consisted of attending classes with each visitor’s host student, touring the Princeton campus, spending time in the University’s eating clubs, visiting a Broadway show, spending a day in New York City and visiting the local farm Terhune Orchards.
Katherine Reggler, a second-year student at St. John’s College, was one of the students who visited Princeton this past week. She said that Princeton is much quieter than Cambridge, noting that the student population of Cambridge is more than double the size of Princeton, and the college is spread across the town rather than being concentrated in one location.
“This means that there is always something going on in the town, and it has been strange to be at a university but not experience the constant bustle of my normal university life,” she said.
While the quiet nature of the Princeton campus might have stuck out to some, Forbes resident William Paulson ’17 of the United Kingdom remarked that only a few British universities have student bodies as heterogeneous as Princeton’s.
“Although Oxford and Cambridge and a few other major universities in the U.K. such as [University College London] and [London School of Economics] attract applicants from the world over, very few others can boast an ethnic and cultural diversity as great as Princeton,” he said.
Hecht explained that he finds the program exciting because Princeton’s residential college system is to some extent modeled on Cambridge and Oxford, even though there are of course some dramatic differences. This contrast, he said, extends even more broadly.
“This is an opportunity for students to see what the similarities and differences are at the residential colleges, at the University, at the level of the surrounding country,” he said.
Reggler said that the best thing about her time at Princeton was spending time with the students.
“They have taken us to classes, eaten meals with us and shown us around, and I have had so much fun hanging out with them,” she said.
Associate News Editor Paul Phillips contributed reporting.