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Highsted girl at Yale

Laura Tunbridge, 19, who has just started at Yale University
Laura Tunbridge, 19, who has just started at Yale University

Many proud parents are packing their teenagers off to college.

But one bright spark from Minster has travelled overseas to the United States to carry on her education at one of the world’s most famous universities.

Nineteen-year-old Laura Tunbridge has just started at Yale University.

Laura moved to the Island from Sittingbourne in 1995 with her mum and dad, Colin and Rose and younger sister Jennifer, now 18.

She went to Minster Primary School, then St George’s Middle School before passing her 11 plus and going to Highsted Grammar School in Sittingbourne, where she was head girl the year before last.

She achieved 13 A*s at GCSE and then four As and a B at A-level in English literature, ICT, maths, theatre studies and general studies.

Laura took a gap year after her A-levels when she worked at Highsted as a student ambassador.

She had interviews at a number of British universities, including Oxford, but was disappointed to be unsuccessful so she started looking into studying abroad.

High pass

In January this year, she took an American SAT exam, which is a requirement to study in the States.

Anything above 2,100 is considered a very high pass and Laura got 1,990.

Although she thought it would not be enough, she sent her results and application off to Yale and in March 31 this year, was offered a place at the university in Connecticut.

On August 23, Laura flew out to America to start her four years at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Her campus is at the Ezra Stiles College within the university and her parents and Jennifer flew out to help her move in on August 28.

Laura will do a year of a liberal arts course with requirements in language, quantitative reasoning, science, social science, writing and humanities. As long as she passes all those requirements first, she can choose any course in which to major in.

Laura is keen to work in the theatre, as a director or writer so her parents think she will carry on with English or drama.

Mr Tunbridge said: “We have always encouraged Laura to go for what she feels she wants to do. She has worked very hard to achieve what she has – we feel very proud of her.”

He said at Yale students are encouraged to get a job working within the campus so they can help fund their own entertainment and studying.

Mrs Tunbridge said: “It’s strange without her here, but she was going to go to uni anyway, the only difference is America is a bit further away. I’m so proud of her.”

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