Plaistow teen who spoke little English four years ago wins a place at Cambridge University

Raluca Popan has won a place at Cambridge University. Picture credit: LAE.

Raluca Popan has won a place at Cambridge University. Picture credit: LAE. - Credit: Archant

A Romanian teenager from Plaistow who barely spoke English when she arrived in the UK just four years ago has won a place at Cambridge University.

Raluca Popan will read French and History at Homerton College in September after passing a rigorous entrance exam and impressing during a series of interviews.

The 18-year-old was offered extra tuition at The Cumberland School in Canning Town, which gained her the skills to go on and study for her A-Levels in History, French and English Literature at London Academy of Excellence (LAE) in Stratford.

She said: “I was shocked, more than shocked. People from my background don’t win places at Oxford or Cambridge, it just doesn’t happen.”

Gillian Dineen, Cumberland headteacher, added: “Raluca is not only an extremely gifted pupil she is also a shining example to others at this school of what can be achieved with the right motivation and support.”