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Jardine Scholar Phoebe Bintoro: ‘the scholarship has unlocked so many opportunities for me to pursue my passions’

First-year Natural Sciences student and Jardine Scholar Phoebe Bintoro describes her experience of Cambridge so far.

How did you come to study at Trinity/Cambridge?

Because of my interdisciplinary background, I wanted to find a course that could accommodate my different interests. I was amazed by the breadth but also depth of courses on the Natural Sciences degree, even in the first year, which was one of the main reasons I decided to apply to Cambridge. Furthermore, Trinity’s academic profile, reputation and beauty made it one of my top College choices.

How important is the Jardine Scholarship to you?

Without the Jardine Scholarship, I would not have attended Cambridge for my undergraduate studies. As an international student, the scholarship has unlocked so many opportunities for me to pursue my passions in a different country, which I am very grateful for.

How have you found life at Cambridge?

Living in Cambridge has been a completely different experience to the metropolitan area I come from. My city is always packed and fast-paced, walking or cycling to places is unheard of. Back home, I would leave the house in the early mornings to go to school, without very much time to observe and enjoy the environment around me. Now, I munch on my croissant as I walk through King’s Parade to go to my lecture halls.

I really love how small, yet compact Cambridge is – being in a place where everything is within your reach is very convenient. And, being surrounded by people from many different nationalities and backgrounds has enriched my experience, I have learnt so many ideas and perspectives from them and made such great friends. The workload is challenging, but I am fascinated by the sheer amount of knowledge and new perspectives I encounter daily.

Phoebe, in the bow seat, on the River Cam.

Beyond your studies, how do you spend your free time?

I row for the First and Third Trinity Boat Club. Rowing gets me out of my room and away from constant study, and I have come to enjoy my early morning cycles to the river. I have got to know more people from other subjects and levels of study, who all come from different backgrounds and cultures.

What do you hope to do in the future

I hope to dive into research and academia in my future years, specifically about biomaterials and biotechnology. Because of the immense breadth of subjects in science, I might change my area of interest depending on what modules I take as an undergraduate.

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