Off to Oxford!

Can you believe it’s already May? In the final month of this academic year, ambassadors will tell us what adventures await them this summer or, for some, after graduation. Senior Solveig starts us off by sharing how Cornell and Arts and Sciences helped prepare her for what lies ahead at Oxford. 

By Solveig van der Vegt ’18, Biological Sciences major, Mathematics minor

A view of Christchurch College at Oxford, taken when I visited Oxford with my cousin last summer.

31 months down, less than 1 to go. Graduation is getting really close and I am both super excited and a little scared. The past 4 years at Cornell have been amazing, but I also feel like it is time to move on. So at the end of May, I will be packing up my suitcases to go home for a few months. I will be doing a lot of traveling and relaxing over the summer and in October I will be starting my graduate studies at the University of Oxford! I have committed to the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences CDT, which is a combined masters and PhD program, and I couldn’t be more excited.


To be fair, I didn’t get here on my own. Graduate school applications aren’t easy, especially when you decided to that you want to go abroad. Luckily, I had some amazing people supporting me along the way, from the people at career services who reviewed all my application materials, to the wonderful faculty who agreed to write letters of recommendation and helped me decide which programs would be the best fit for me. All the opportunities that Cornell offered over the past four years – rigorous classes, research, volunteering – were also helpful in building a solid resume and having something interesting to talk about during interview.

The Radcliffe Camera at Oxford.

Applications are stressful, but meeting with faculty and staff and discovering that they are truly excited about the opportunities you are pursuing and want to help makes the whole process 10 times better. It takes a village, as they say, and I truly feel that at Cornell and in the College of Arts and Sciences, the village is there.