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Ivy League beckons for Norwich sixth former

Published on 19/07/17

A student from Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form is heading to a prestigious American ‘Ivy League’ university after winning a place at a summer school for British students.

Lauren Culling, who’s in Year 12, will spend a week at Yale University, whose alumni include Hillary Clinton, inventors Samuel Morse and Eli Whitney, and 20 Nobel laureates.

She will get a taste of US higher education and culture, and visit other universities including Harvard, where Barack Obama, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg studied.

Lauren is one of 150 students from across the UK who won places on the scheme after a gruelling application process selected the best from over 1,000 applicants.

She submitted details of her academic and extracurricular achievements, five essays, and a video interview before being invited to a four-day residential in London for 175 finalists.

The finalists sat a challenging admissions exam and had to demonstrate their commitment to the study programme, and knowledge and enthusiasm about studying in the US.

The summer school programme is designed to give academically talented students a taster of university life in the US, and covers the cost of all residentials, travel, and accommodation for the students involved.

It is organised by the Sutton Trust, a charity which gives educational opportunities to children from less wealthy backgrounds, and the US-UK Fulbright Commission, which provides scholarships for British students to study in the US.

Lauren said: “The application process was really challenging and I wasn’t at all sure I would get a place.

“It was all worth it, though – when I found out I’d been accepted on the programme, it was a dream come true.”

Sir Isaac Newton’s careers co-ordinator Richard Champeney said: “We encourage our students to have the very highest academic aspirations, and our record of success in programmes like this continues to grow.

“We’re extremely proud of Lauren and look forward to hearing all about her experiences after the summer.”