It’s the day after A-Level Results Day and we would like to congratulate all offer holders who are coming to Cambridge and Gonville & Caius College!
To give you a taste of what’s to come, here are the reflections of Law Student and Tapp Scholar Rita Lourenço Baião Dias on her first year at Caius.
When we asked Law student Rita Lourenço Baião Dias what she has enjoyed most about her first year at Caius, she responded: “definitely the people”. She added, “From those first days at Matriculation to the end of year May Balls, I’ve been surrounded by people who make Caius the welcoming and sociable college that it is. Even exams were made bearable by the fact that there was always someone in the Library that I could laugh off the stress with.” Reflecting on her first encounter of Caius at the Open Day she attended before applying, she remembered that “it felt like everyone who was there was friends”, and having volunteered as a student helper at the Open Day earlier this year, she said, “I can tell you that it’s true.”
The friendliness of the college does not stop with the student body. Rita said she “really appreciated the thoughtful conversations [she] had with everyone, from the Porters to the College Master and most certainly the Law Fellows.” She continued, “The people at Caius make the College, and they have most certainly been the best part of my year.”
As with all successful applicants to read Law at Caius, Rita was automatically considered for a Tapp Scholarship – awarded to the candidates applying to study Law at Caius who most impress the College’s Law Fellows and the Admissions Tutors in the course of the admissions process. Rita was one of two students awarded a Tapp Scholarship in 2018; each scholar is awarded £4,000 for each year of their course. After her first year, she reflected on the significance of the Scholarship: “Being awarded the Tapp scholarship has been an opportunity I am extremely grateful for. It has given me financial freedom, and I most definitely do not take that for granted.” She added, “At the same time, I can say the scholarship has encouraged me to work harder and try my best to live up to the confidence that was shown in me when I was awarded it. I hope that by the end of my time at Caius I will have succeeded in doing that!”
During her first year, Rita was able to pursue other interests by taking advantage of the unique teaching system at Cambridge. She said, “Studying Law itself has been really interesting, but what I’ve loved most is how you are given space to explore your own interests within the subject.” All first year lawyers at Caius have to take part in a Mooting competition organised by the Caius Law Society, and Rita “ended up absolutely loving it”. She continued to take part in other competitions, and earlier this year, was announced as the College’s Sir William McNair Moot Winner.
As she prepares for her second year, the Tapp Scholar reflects on her time at Caius: “The support you’re given whilst studying at Caius is brilliant.”
“I have always felt like I could ask for help if I didn’t understand something, but at the same time I’ve also been encouraged to read more and pursue what interests me, which has been invaluable.”