Author: Emily Neuharth

Location: Cambridge, England

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

My mom, my sister Eva, and I posing in front of one of the countless old doors which my family consistently wanted to stop and take a picture in front of.

During the month of March, I was very lucky to have some of my family and friends visit me where I got to show them around my little world of Cambridge. My friends Hayley, Sarah, and Alexis were in London during Spring Break because of Valpo’s “The London Stage” course, Maddie came over France where she has been studying abroad this semester, and my parents and younger sister Eva came for a long weekend during her spring break.

Maddie, Hayley, and I near the City Center of Cambridge

The following are some of the place that either had become important to me over the past two months, and/or was something that had always made me think of them.

Castle Mound

This is a little hill where an Ancient Roman watchtower once stood, you can see most of Cambridge from the top (but only when it’s not overcast). I am not really sure when or how, but Castle Mound has become one of Cambridge’s most important places to me. If I have time, I always try to walk up it and look around for a bit whenever I pass by (which is pretty often because it is in between the City Center and the Valpo Dorm).


Punting on the river Cam is the most quintessentially “Cambridge” thing there is! The Cam runs through the city (get it?? Cam-bridge?) and the Punt guides point out many of the famous colleges which surround it.

My dad and Eva punting on the Cam

The Market Place

There is a wonderful open-air market every day in the City Center with many stalls full of food (so much food), vintage clothes, records, souvenirs, bikes, books, you name it! Cambridge’s famous Crepe Cart is also near the Market, and I definitely took everybody there.

The Pickerel Inn

This is a pub I walk by almost daily and one of it’s claims to fame is that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to hang out there (it’s very near Magdalene College).

The Pickerel Inn

Cream Tea at Arundel House

The “stereotype” of British people and their tea, is really not that much of a stereotype— it’s a fact. I took my friends and family to Arundel House for Cream Tea which is where Dr. Brough took our cohort at the beginning of the semester. Cream Tea is the classic British tea served with a variety of finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, and fresh jam.

Pinkies up!

Some of the Cambridge Colleges

“Cambridge University” is actually made up of 31 separate colleges—there’s no main building or campus—which each have their own history, coat of arms, extensive list of impressive alumna, and buildings, libraries, courtyards, chapels, residence halls, etc. The students at Cambridge University take a lot of pride in which college they belong to (sometimes almost to the point of elitism and rivalry), but it is a rich source of community, camaraderie, and tradition.

We visited into Magdalene College which is where C.S. Lewis used to teach, and I really love wandering into their small Chapel dedicated to Mary. And I made sure to bring Hayley and Maddie into the Christ College courtyard since we all met through Valpo’s CC (even though ours is technically based off of the Christ College in Oxford).

We visited Trinity College’s Wren Library, which has an unfathomable amount of history and artifacts. Some of the highlights were original, hand-written lecture notes and journals of Sir Isaac Newton and Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the first published anthologies of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, and an original draft of Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, both went to Trinity College).

King’s College Chapel

Hayley and Maddie inside King’s Chapel

I walk through King’s College courtyard at least twice a week on the way back from my lectures, and its beauty never fails to give me a few goose bumps; it was really special to experience those kinds of moments with my family and friends because they can never truly be communicated via a Face-Time call or text message.

My mom and Eva outside of King’s Chapel (Unfortunately, when I first took my family to King’s they were not open for visitors because they were rehearsing for an upcoming choir concert but we ended up going to the concert later that evening so it all worked out wonderfully!)

Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour in London

Way back in December, once Hayley, Sarah, and I had all solidified our plans to travel abroad this semester, we bought tickets to go to the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. A couple months later, our dreams came true. There is no other way to describe the experience but magical.

Hayley and I, or Hagrid and Ron?? You tell me.

The opportunity to bring the people I care about so much into this new part of my life was incredibly affirming to my process of settling into Cambridge. Watching my friends and family experience England, allowed me to reflect on how quickly I had become so used to the things that had once amazed me as well. It was a good reminder to not take anything for granted, but it also felt good to realize that familiarity had become present too.