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University of Cambridge, Pembroke College
Cambridge, England (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Fall Semester,
Spring Semester
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Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Budget Sheets Spring Semester
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Fact Sheet:
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Dept Offering Program: Study Abroad OIP Program Type: Study Abroad (semester)
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No
Program Features: Academic Study Degree Level: 3 - Sophomore, 4 - Junior, 5 - Senior
Time Away: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester Housing options: Dormitory
Program Group: Study Abroad OIP Program Adviser: Claire Hu
Program Description:
Program Description:

University of Cambridge, Pembroke College

Please be reminded that you may need to meet different deadlines when applying to this program. Pembroke applications are now open for Fall 2020.  Admissions is rolling, so the sooner you apply the better. 
  • Pembroke online application deadlines: 
    • Fall 2020: May 1, 2020 (January/February applications encouraged)
  • GPS deadline: April 30, 2020

The University

The University of Cambridge is one of the world's oldest universities and leading academic centers, and a self-governed community of scholars. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges. Students live, eat and socialize in one of the University’s 31 autonomous Colleges. Undergraduates receive College supervisions – small group teaching sessions – regarded as one of the best teaching models in the world. Pembroke College, founded in 1347 by Marie de St Pol, Countess of Pembroke, is proud of its traditions. Located in the heart of the University city, Pembroke presents a tranquil environment with varied architectural styles framing beautiful gardens and open courts.

Pembroke is an intimate yet diverse community, committed to welcoming students of exceptional talent regardless of their social, cultural or educational background, and giving them the benefit of contact with a large and distinguished Fellowship. Students also enjoy extracurricular pursuits such as music, drama and sport as well as actively engaging in outreach and charity work. 



Visiting students are often drawn to Cambridge by its supervision system. The supervision system is one of the distinctive features of the Cambridge undergraduate teaching system. Cambridge students attend lectures and seminars offered by the University but also typically attend a one-hour weekly supervision, either individually or in small groups, with an expert in the course, or "paper", they are taking. The supervisor will set weekly essays based upon lengthy reading lists and material from relevant lecture and seminar courses. The emphasis is not on ‘contact hours’ but on closely guided, research-based essay writing and problem-solving.

Cambridge offers courses in Economics; Education; English; History; Human, Social, and Political Sciences; Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; Archaeology; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Classics; History of Art; Linguistics; Philosophy; Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion. Within all faculties, though, there will be papers that are unavailable to take. This will be discussed with you on a case-by-case basis during the application process.

Note: There may be certain limitations to the courses available for students. Some courses are suitable only if you have completed pre-requisites, e.g. in econometrics, while other papers in the spring semester may be unavailable if vital lectures are delivered in the fall term. 

Once you are admitted to the program you will receive advice on how to choose your papers. A list of papers can be found on the relevant faculty and department websites

Academic Calendar

Note that the Cambridge academic year consists of three terms: Michaelmas (October to early December), Lent (January to early March), and Easter (April to mid-June).  Princeton fall semester participants must arrive in Cambridge approximately 1 month before the start of Michaelmas to start their supervisions work early. Spring semester participants must complete both the Lent and Easter terms. Either way, Princeton students will still receive the equivalent of a full semester of credit.

Fall students will arrive in early September and begin supervisions for their first course soon after. Fall students will begin their second supervision at the start of October, so the two will overlap in October as students will have 8 weekly supervisions for each course. The fall semester is a bit shorter than the spring semester, but it still is a great option for students who are interested in Cambridge and is equivalent to a full Princeton semester credit load. Spring semester students will take one supervision in the Lent term and one in the Easter term. 


As a semester student, you will be assigned a personal tutor, usually an academic or an administrator, who will take a close interest in the progress of your studies and also in your other interests and activities. Beside an interest in your academic work, he or she is also there to help in matters of general welfare and to give guidance, advice and help when this is wanted; and to help you get the most out of being in Cambridge and Pembroke. You will have regular meetings with your tutor throughout the semester to ensure you are settling in well, and you can also call on your tutor at any time with personal issues, concerns, etc.


On this program, you will be allocated housing in University housing in the city or in one of the Cambridge Colleges. Housing does vary from year to year, but generally, students will be housed in Pembroke College ‘hostels’ (College-owned shared houses) with other Semester students, within a 15 minute walk of the main college site. Keep in mind that Cambridge is not a campus university, and the colleges, accommodation, departments, faculties, libraries, etc. are all spread across the city. Student rooms are single-occupancy and have washbasins and internet access. 

Dining is an important part of College life. All colleges have a servery (sometimes referred to as a buttery) and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cambridge undergraduates tend to eat the majority of their meals in their College as it is good way to catch up with fellow students. The Pembroke servery offers a wide variety of breakfast items, ranging from croissants, cereal and yoghurts to a full English breakfast. For lunch and dinner there are always fish, meat and vegetarian options, together with an array of vegetable side dishes and dessert choices. Light meals and snacks are also available at Café Pembroke.

You can also attend College dinners known as ‘Formal Halls’. These are three-course candlelit meals enjoyed in beautiful dining halls with your fellow students and faculty, a Cambridge tradition dating back hundreds of years. You can find out more about catering at Pembroke through the Kitchen’s blog.

Student Life

The semester gets off to a great start with a welcome buffet and orientation sessions and winds up in style at the farewell drinks reception. Students will also get to attend a drinks reception with the Master of Pembroke College, attend a formal hall, and take two trips out of Cambridge, included in your program fees. Although both fall and spring semester students will take the same number of papers, the experience is a bit different in each semester, which would impact the organization of your social life and traveling time as well.

Fall semester students:
  • You will be taking both papers in the Michaelmas term.
  • Previous students have also recommended using September to get acclimated to both Cambridge and your larger surroundings.
Spring semester students:
  • You will be taking one paper in the Lent term and one paper in the Easter term. As such, you will have a spring break in between the two terms that the fall semester students do not have. Please see here for an example schedule.
All semester students will matriculate as Pembroke College members. As a Semester student you will be a Cambridge student and consequently there are plenty of extracurricular activities you can get involved in. Whether you’re interested in sports, music, acting, politics or journalism, there will be a student club, or Society as they are called in Cambridge, you can join.

Colleges are hubs of social activity. Each college has a bar and a Junior Common Room (JCR) which is the focus of undergraduate life. Pembroke’s JCR is actually called the Junior Parlour (JP) and its website gives a flavour of what College life has to offer. At the University level too there will be more opportunities for you to explore extracurricular interests. The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) represents Cambridge students at the University level, and provides central services, support and entertainment for all students. University societies involve students from all the Colleges and there is a huge variety of societies.

Money Matters

Students who receive financial aid at Princeton continue to receive Princeton financial aid for the approved costs of study abroad programs during the academic year. For detailed information about financial aid, program fees, and billing for study abroad, please visit the Money Matters section of the Study Abroad website.

Passport and Visa

Most students will enter the country on a short term study visa, which will be acquired at the border (no need to apply in advance). This allows you to study in the U.K. for fewer than six months. Under no circumstances should you apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa to attend the semester program. If you are a non-visa national, and the UKVI website informs you that you do not require a visa, you must present the short term study letter (and carry supporting documentation) at the UK border and request a short term study visa stamp in your passport, even if not prompted.  You are able to apply for a short term study visa if you are from outside the EEA (European Economic Areas) and Switzerland and meet the other eligibility requirements:
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You have been offered a place on a course at Cambridge and intend to leave the UK at the end of the study or at the end of the six months, whichever is sooner
  • You have evidence of sufficient money to support yourself, and pay for your return journey, without working or using help from public funds
If you are a visa national, or are planning to spend more than 6 months in the UK, you should discuss your visa situation with both your Princeton study abroad adviser and Pembroke.

Please read the UK visa and immigration guide on other documents to include in your application. 


Successful applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher to be considered by Pembroke. For Princeton approval, participants must have at least a 3.0/ B average for the fall and spring semesters prior to the semester of study abroad. 

Application Process

Places are in high demand; apply very early!  Students interested in applying to this program must complete two separate processes:
  • Apply directly to the Pembroke College program by their deadline. Visit the program website directly for application instructions, deadline, and further information. Please note that Pembroke accepts students on a rolling basis, and the program typically fills well before their posted deadline. Apply early!
  • Click "apply now" here on this GPS brochure to access the Princeton application. You may download the course approval form and instructions from your GPS application. Click “apply now” on this brochure to access these items.
As part of the application process, students designate the supervisions they wish to take while at Cambridge. Applicants should be sure to plan their supervisions with the help of the appropriate departmental representative at Princeton. Acceptance at Cambridge will be contingent upon finding tutors in the areas listed on the application.

Pembroke College will make the final admission decisions.

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What would you say to a student considering this study abroad program or study abroad in general?
I had an overwhelmingly positive academic experience and would highly recommend studying abroad in the location that you're studying academically. Relevant resources including manuscripts and artifacts were readily available near by (for example, I was able to look at the physical manuscripts in Cambridge's Parker Library that I was writing papers about for my Paleography and Codicology class, and travel to locations related to my spring JP topics). Additionally, studying abroad provided me with excellent academic contacts and invaluable information regarding potential graduate programs.
     — Brigid Ehrmantraut, Spring Semester 2017
Read what others have said about this program.
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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2021 10/16/2020 10/20/2020 01/17/2021 06/25/2021
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