The unique history of Cambridge’s St Mary’s Church

As the leaves begin to fall and the streets fill with new students, St Mary’s Church stays standing between King’s College and The Market Hill. It remains one of the many confirmations that Cambridge has experienced so much history. We had the pleasure of discoverng it thanks to Gerald, our guide, during “Open Cambridge” on the 9th of September.

The front Tower of the Church

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A Cultural Experience: A visit to the Cambridge Mosque

After arriving at the Abu Bakr Mosque, we were welcomed by a man who showed us the entrance to the women’s room. Once inside we had to take off our shoes before entering a room covered in carpet, dedicated to prayer. This prayer room for women is located above the men’s prayer room in the mosque. There were big light-colored carpets all over the floor, with display stands in the four corners of the room presenting: The Quran in different languages, Hijab scarfs, some prayer accessories and prayer mats. There were also TV screens showing pictures of the “Kaaba” and other important religious places and objects. Continue reading

How to get around Beijing

In Beijing

Taxi: The most popular way of transportation is the taxi because it is easier at the beginning when you don’t know the city and it is very cheap. You should take the taxi when you arrive from France. Often you have to negotiate the price but you shouldn’t pay more than 200 yuan for this ride. Try to share your taxi! To go into the city centre, it will cost you around 40-50 yuan. In the city you will find different kind of taxis: official ones and non-official ones. You can recognize the official taxi thanks to their colours (often yellow and green, or white and green). Non-official taxis are cars with a red light at the front. They are the ones that often drive at night, and try to charge you more than official taxis. You must not forget to always have the counter on when you start your ride. However, you must be aware that there are 2 different prices for during the day and at night. We recommend to always take the ticket of the taxi when you leave it: if you have forgotten something inside, you will then be able to call the taxi to get your belongings. Continue reading

Discovering one of the most famous campuses in the world – Columbia University

As French people, we all have this image of American universities’ campuses from American blockbusters. Columbia University is one of the most represented universities in the movies. “Malcom X” (1992), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hitch” (2005) or “Casino Royale” (2006), to name a few of them, have in common the specificity of having been filmed on the Columbia University campus. During the campus visit on the first day of school, we immediately realized the vastness of the campus since the university is the third largest landowner in New York after the municipality and the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, on the Morningside campus, the university has buildings from the 109th Street to the 122nd street between Morningside Drive and Riverside Drive.

A great place to work! Photo: Butler Library

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A formal dinner at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

On the evening of the 8th of September, nine students attended the Open Cambridge dinner. This dinner took place in the historic splendour of the 19th century dining hall at Corpus Christi College. All of us dressed up to “impress”. It was a truly memorable evening.

Before the dinner, enjoying the magnificence of the Old Court

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