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School: Christ Nagar International School, India
Studied: Cambridge International A Levels in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology
Went on to: A degree in International Relations at the University of British Columbia, Canada; Masters in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
Career plans: Research in international policy and practice
After deciding to study psychology at university, Madhumita Varma was faced with the choice between a BSc or BA degree course.
Despite a strong background in science from her Cambridge studies, she opted for the BA course, drawing on the wide range of academic skills she had already acquired.
'At school, I studied Cambridge International A Levels in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology and so I thought I would find the science option easier,’ she said. ’In fact I ended up starting a BA degree course and although it had its challenges, I was able to meet these by using the critical thinking and research skills I had developed during my Cambridge studies.’
Madhumita studied at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada where, she said, the Cambridge emphasis on independent study and ‘taking ownership of your learning’ really helped her. Madhumita also earned course credit for her Cambridge International A Levels Psychology and Chemistry.
‘UBC recognised that the knowledge I had gained in both subjects was equivalent to the first year of the university course,’ she said. ‘As a result I was given the option of fast-tracking my university degree with the possibility of graduating earlier than my peers.’
I truly believe the Cambridge curriculum sparks curiosity, and helps students to challenge paradigms, think critically and learn independently
During her time at UBC, Madhumita developed a real interest in international relations, ultimately changing her degree course and undertaking three exchange programmes, while also working as a research assistant for two professors.
After graduating with an International Relations degree, she is now pursuing a Masters in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
‘I’m majoring in global security, with minors in climate, environment, resources and sustainability,’ she said. ‘I hope to graduate in 2020 and then to follow a research career in order to help inform future policy and practice.’
For Madhumita, her Cambridge education was the ideal starting point for her future career, and as a result she recommends Cambridge qualifications for anyone considering a similar path.
‘I truly believe the Cambridge curriculum sparks curiosity, and helps students to challenge paradigms, think critically and learn independently,’ she said.
‘These are skills that I developed during my Cambridge studies and which have helped me throughout my academic career.’
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