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MULTILINGUAL student Neina Shinohara has been offered a place to read Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) at the University of Cambridge.

Neina, an Upper Sixth student at Durham High School who studies multiple languages in her own time alongside her A Level work, intends to specialise in French and Russian at the prestigious university on securing the required grades this summer.

The 18–year-old, who is taking French, Classics, and English Literature at A Level, as well as an AS in Textiles, said: “I’m very excited and a little nervous! I love languages and have dabbled in many… alongside studying French at school, I’m actively learning Dutch, Ukrainian, Slovene, and a little Serbo-Croatian.”

Neina, who hopes to pursue a future in linguistics beyond university, took an online Slovene language course through the University of Ljubljana last term and also wants to improve on her Japanese – the native language of her paternal family.

She praised Durham High School for fostering a love of languages among its pupils, from Pre-Prep through to Sixth Form, and for the support she received when applying to universities.

“It’s such a nurturing environment here, the teachers do everything they can to support you and help you to succeed,” said Neina, who had two interviews at Cambridge before being offered a conditional place on Wednesday.

Head of Sixth Form, Clare Wheeler, who is the school’s UCAS and Oxbridge coordinator, said: “We work closely with the girls to develop their personal statements and arrange mock interviews, to help them showcase their unique strengths, build their confidence and ensure they are well-equipped to face the competitive landscape of higher education and beyond.

“It’s been wonderful to support Neina through the Sixth Form and watch her grow into such a capable and passionate linguist. She works incredibly hard and is very deserving of this offer from Cambridge.”