Cambridge University




rival heritage great/greater/greatest
design deliver produce (2)
main charming throughout
guide insider catch/caught/caught
urban keep (3) porter (2)
mix medieval in charge of
design lodge (2) monitor (2)
set (2) browse eat/ate/eaten
pray public (3) sleep/slept/slept
gate exclusive charge (2)
scatter court (3) come/came/come
gown keep off go/went/gone
quite heritage feel/felt/felt (2)
proud literary on display
local treasure groundbreaking
quality treatise courtyard
lawn backyard centerpiece
stain esteemed reputation
chapel survive build/built/built
Gothic example architecture
along vertical impressive
span emphasis perpendicular
vault glorious collection
roof complete Renaissance
fan (2) line (2) stained glass
adore wander masterpiece
handy caption closed captioning
alter existence read/read/read
prize founded next door
great campus rich/richer/richest (2)
pull face (2) big/bigger/biggest
clap graduate win/won/won
echo calculate teach/taught/taught
speed sound (2) foot/feet (2)
levity altitude mile (1.6 km)
lush deal (3) senior (3)
hire exclusive riverbank
enjoy narration combine (2)
witty area (3) maneuver
pull exquisite Nobel Prize
push tough/tougher/toughest






England’s greatest universities, Oxford and Cambridge, have been rivals since the 1300s. We’ll visit Oxford later. Each has the same basic heritage and design. No main campus — instead, the many colleges are scattered throughout the charming town center.

By catching one of the many guided town walks, you’ll get an insider’s look at an urban mix of what locals “town and gown.”

Tour Guide: “In medieval Europe, it was the church that was in charge of higher education, and here in Cambridge, we have 31 colleges, all with the same design:

You have a beautiful green court. Set around the court are buildings where the students eat, sleep, pray, and study.”

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Many colleges welcome the public to browse around. At their historic front gates, you’ll find a porter’s lodge. The porter delivers mail, monitors who comes and goes, and keeps people off the grass.

Colleges have centuries of heritage, and you feel that in their exquisite libraries.

Here in Corpus Christi’s Parker Library, that college’s literary treasures are proudly on display, such as letters from Anne Boleyn before husband Henry VIII lopped off her head. And a first edition of Newton’s groundbreaking treatise, Principia Mathematica.

The exclusive putting-green quality of the courtyard lawns is a huge deal here. Generally, only senior professors can walk on the courts, the centerpiece of each college campus.

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One of the powerhouse colleges at Cambridge is Kings, which has a central courtyard to match its esteemed reputation.

The 500-year-old Kings College Chapel, built by Henrys VI through VIII, is England’s best surviving example of late Gothic architecture. With its emphasis on vertical lines, it’s called Perpendicular Gothic.

This is the most impressive building in Cambridge, with the largest single span of vaulted roof anywhere — 2,000 tons of glorious fan vaulting.

Here, you can enjoy the most complete collection of original 16th-century Renaissance stained glass in existence. With the help of this closed captioning, handy if you can read Latin, you can wander through the entire Bible.

And the “Adoration of the Magi,” a masterpiece by Rubens, adorns the altar.

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Trinity College, just next door, was founded in 1546 by Henry VIII. It’s the richest and biggest in town. Cambridge has produced nearly a hundred (100) Nobel Prize winners, and about a third (1/3) of them were Trinity graduates.

The great mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, who both studied and taught at Trinity, famously clapped his hands and timed the echo to calculate the speed of sound.

Huh, 1,120 feet per second or 761 miles per hour at this altitude.

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The colleges that face the Cam River each have garden-like backyards that combine to make the riverbank feel like a lush and exclusive park.

A beloved Cambridge tradition is a romantic and graceful glide past these colleges in a traditional flat-bottomed punt. Skilled locals make the ride look effortless.

Punt Guide: “So this is Trinity College, and this is the Wren Library.”

You can hire a boat to enjoy a witty narration by a student as you’re pulled past fine college architecture.

Punt Guide: “Yeah, these are called the “Backs,” the backs of the river. There’s eight colleges along the river. So this area is called the Backs because, quite simply, it’s the back of those colleges. The only way you can see the backs of these colleges is along the river, so the best way to see the backs of all the colleges is by punting.”

Or, for a little levity and probably more exercise than you really want, why not rent one yourself? The punts are tougher to maneuver than they look.

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Cambridge. In the video, Cambridge and Oxford are football clubs. True or false?

Oxford. Are all the departments and faculties of Cambridge University housed in one huge building? Are the college buildings ancient, medieval, Baroque, Rococo, neo-classical, or modern?

London. Do students come to Cambridge University only to study and conduct research, and then go home?

Manchester. The libraries at Cambridge only contain journals, articles and new textbooks. Is this right or wrong?

Liverpool. Are all the buildings in Cambridge the same age? Are they all related to scholasticism, study, research, books and archives?

Birmingham. Cambridge University only focuses and specializes in history, literature, theology, art and architecture. Is this correct or incorrect? What did the presenter do?

Cornwall. Cambridge University is near the sea, and students often go to the beach. Yes or no? Are the punts very easy to steer and move?
Cardiff. What are some elite or top universities or institutes of learning in your city, region or country?

Edinburgh. What are some ancient, medieval or historical institutes of learning?

Glasgow. What do you classmates and young people in general plan to do after high school?

Belfast. Would your friends like to study at Cambridge University or abroad? Do many students from your country study abroad?

Dublin. What might happen in the future?

York. What could or should people, universities and governments do?

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