By Sarah Langford, Communications Manager
I had the pleasure this week of meeting three of our new postgrads on the Lower Lawn. Two were just out of quarantine and making the most of the fresh air, exploring College, and enjoying the company of new friends in their household. I was struck by their resilience, positivity, and thoughtfulness in supporting the health and wellbeing of their student peers and all those around College and Cambridge, without complaint. What a lesson for us all.
I was particularly touched by the comments they made about their experience of quarantine and how they were looked after so I wanted to share these. All of them have travelled a long way to be here and were unsure about what to expect, especially given the current situation with COVID-19, isolating and other social restrictions.
Pranav Verma (left) is from India and has taken up his place to do a Master of Law: “I was apprehensive about starting my studies so far from home in these uncertain times, but having been in Cambridge, and having seen the meticulous planning done by Hughes Hall for our welfare and safety, I feel confident that I made the right decision!
“Having to self-isolate for 14 days could not have been possible without the extremely helpful and responsive staff, who did their best to make my stay as comfortable as possible. The housekeeping and the catering staff were prompt to respond and attend to any query or request I had. I look forward to my time at Cambridge and being part of the wonderful community that Hughes Hall is!”.
Kenny Kwok (right) is from Hong Kong and is also doing his Master of Law with us: ‘It is very nice to be in Hughes where everyone is so nice and helpful. The Porters are very professional and they helped me a lot with the tons of parcels that I have received during the first few days. The cafeteria staff are also super nice so my first week at Hughes has been absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to meet everyone in the near future and I hope you would find Hughes a lovely place to live and study as well.’
Another LLM postgrad, Aditya Manubarwala (centre) has travelled from India to join Hughes Hall: “Upon my arrival to Cambridge, I was very apprehensive about what the 14-day quarantine would be like. However, the quarantine time proved to be very relaxing and comfortable, this experience was possible only because of the synchronization of physical, mental and emotional care. The porters were prompt to address any concerns, in fact they were kind enough to chat with me every day (following social distancing) just to make sure the isolation didn’t get to my head. They were caring and very receptive to my needs.
“Regular updates from Hughes Hall and social networking events organised by the student MCR team were stupendous, to say the least. I thank Zainab, Nikki and their teams for their efforts. Hughes Hall truly is the most friendly college of Cambridge, their actions speak louder than their words. I express my heartfelt gratitude”
Dr Anthony Freeling, our President, commented: “Self-isolating when we need to is the most important single thing we can do to reduce our community’s risk from the virus. I am proud to hear of the good-natured and selfless way in which our students are conducting themselves. Pranav, Kenny and Aditya are a credit to Hughes Hall and I wish them all the very best for their time with us. Also, to our MCR and staff who often go above and beyond in order to support those in residence with us – thank you. I have no doubt that together we will overcome all that is thrown at us this year.”
Sarah Langford, Communications Manager