Christ's College

Everything you are about to read has been written by current and recently graduated students at the University of Cambridge, to give you honest information about what it’s like to be a student at Cambridge.

Christ’s is one of the most central colleges (less than a minute’s walk to Sainsbury’s and the nearest club, around 5 minutes’ walk to many of the science faculties), so living here is really convenient. You wouldn’t think that Christ’s is in the centre of a city, though: it’s been described as a “Tardis college” because it looks small from the outside, but actually has quite a lot of grounds, and once you’re on the main college site, it’s really peaceful. There are 125 students or so in each year, which is about average for Cambridge, and which means that Christ’s students tend to know most – or all – of the students in their year. The college also has great facilities, including a library that is open 24/7, its own theatre and gym, and even an outdoor swimming pool!

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Christs College

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    10 minute cycle
  • Gym
    Yes (free to use)
  • Music Practice Rooms
    Yes (chapel also used)
  • Prayer spaces
    Chapel (open to all faiths)
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian & Vegan: 1 per meal, 2 on Monday
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Caters for allergies, halal option
  • Theatre space
    100+ seats

What is your favourite thing about Christ’s?

Nicholas - Natural Sciences, 1st year
Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Ryan - Medieval Languages, 4th year
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

Nicholas: There are two things which I particularly love about Christ’s. Firstly, the college has an incredibly friendly atmosphere. There is a lot of mixing between year groups, which helps with getting to know people and creates a real sense of community. This is helped by the college’s size - not too small to feel claustrophobic and not too big to feel lost amongst the crowd. This is especially comforting when arriving at university for the first time but also means that you’re never without support during term time too. Secondly, Christ’s somehow manages to be in an amazing central location and yet very peaceful, giving you the convenience of town amenities and a quiet space to both work and unwind.

Shadab: There are so many great things about Christ’s, including its size, location and atmosphere. As a medium sized college it’s so easy to get to know everyone in your year as well as people in all the other years. This means people further on in their time here can offer lots of help and a more experienced insight into life here, it also means you can meet an even wider range of people, which is one of the best things about university in general.

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Juliette - Modern and Medieval Languages, 1st year
Modern and Medieval Languages, 3rd year

Christ’s is a very friendly college and you tend to know people in both your year and other years, partly because first years and third years often live near each other on the main college site, and partly because you meet people through college societies and other events. I like this as it meant that, when I started at Christ’s in October (2015), it felt like I was joining a proper community. It’s a very open-minded college, too: this year, for the first time, the LGBT+ flag was flown above Christ’s, to mark the beginning of LGBT+ History Month. There are always loads of events and societies going on, so college is a very exciting, sociable place to live in. For example, I’m a fan of the mid-term blues nights in the Function Room, when the college jazz band play.

What is the accommodation like?

Ryan - Medieval Languages, 4th year
Modern and Medieval Languages
Ryan - Medieval Languages, 4th year
Natural Sciences, 3rd Year

Ryan: Nearly everyone at Christ’s lives on the main college site, which adds to the close-knit community feel. There’s a wide variety of rooms available, banded according to price, so this means there’s lots of choice. I live in Third Court, which has really spacious rooms. There’s a shared bathroom on our floor, but I’ve never had to queue for the shower! The newest rooms, on New Court, are fitted with en-suites. They’re smaller, but a good choice if you don’t fancy sharing facilities. Some students in the second year live in college-owned houses on Jesus Lane, which are right next to the college, so it’s not isolated. I lived in Jesus Lane in my second year and it was great – there’s a balloting system from first year so you can live with friends and you’ll know all of your neighbours.

Shadab: When arriving as a fresher, everyone is allocated a room based on preferences you state once your place is confirmed. These include rent prices, bathroom facilities and vacation category (whether you have to move things in and out over the holidays). You can also add any extra information that might be useful so the room is suitable. The vast majority of accommodation is onsite, which adds to the tight knit feel. There are a row of houses on Jesus Lane for second year students to move into, about half choose this option as it is a different experience from living in college! Rooms vary in size, whether they have ensuites and kitchen facilities, as well as the room aesthetic - some are hundreds years old, others less than fifty. About 6 weeks into term, freshers can choose up to three other friends to ballot with. A random ballot is then generated, with second years having first choice within the ballot groups, followed by first years. The ballot remains confined to the same groups but is reversed the following year, to keep it fair.

How good is the food?

Ryan - Medieval Languages, 4th year
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

It’s really impressive the varieties of food available in upper hall, in particular for those of us with special dietary requirements. On a normal weekday, the options consist of 2 meat, 1 fish, 1 vegetarian and 1 vegan option. Green monday is an exception, where two vegetarian and two vegan options are served. The chefs were recently all sent on vegetarian and vegan cooking course, and have become pioneers across the university for exciting and delicious food for everyone regardless of their requirements. And not to brag, but curly fry day might be the best day ever. If you prefer to cook your own food, there are some kitchen facilities, which largely consists of induction hobs and a microwave, except for first court rooms which only have a microwave.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Nicholas - Natural Sciences, 1st year
Natural Sciences, 1st year

There are a whole host of societies at Christ’s, catering for a wide range of interests. To name just a few there are Christ’s College Music Society, which perform regular concerts throughout term, Christ’s Amateur Dramatics Society, which perform plays at the end of each term in our theatre, and even a board games society! From a sporting perspective, Christ’s is involved with everything from rowing to ultimate frisbee, and all sports can be played at both a college and university level. At the start and end of each term, the JCR puts on themed parties called bops - this term we end with a rock and roll bop which, as an active member of the university’s dance societies, I am very much looking forward to!

What welfare support is there?

Ryan - Medieval Languages, 4th year
Modern and Medieval Languages, 4th year

Christ’s has a very friendly reputation and this is reflected in the huge amount of support available to us. We elect two students as Welfare Officers to our college JCR (students’ union), as well as students who represent International, Ethnic Minority and LGBT+ students. They put on events throughout the year and are happy to talk to students anytime. We also have lots of personal support from dedicated Tutors, who look after our pastoral care and wellbeing. Every student also has a Director of Studies who can help them through any academic issues. There’s also a College Nurse, who can be seen during the week without appointment. The College Chaplain is happy to talk to students of any or no faith in complete confidence and he can always be counted on for a cup of tea and a chat.

What about your College would you change?

Christ's, Natural Sciences, 1st year

Nicholas: While the buildings at Christ’s are very beautiful, New Court could definitely look better - it’s not nicknamed “The Typewriter” for nothing! I also tend to lament the lack of vegetables at our Formal Hall, as there never seems to be quite enough to go around. These things are minor details however, as a college is its community not its buildings and you will eat more in Upper Hall than Formal Hall - both of these aspects of Christ’s are great! It’s hard to think of anything else I dislike as the college really does have very few flaws. It is an amazing place to work, play and live in and is a perfect place at which to experience Cambridge University.

What has been going on at Christ's College?

- Recent Events -

The Lion King at Christ's Films

Christ's Films, the college's student cinema, rounded off a successful season with a sing-a-long showing of Disney classic 'The Lion King' in the college theatre.

CCMS Lent Term Concert

Christ's College Music Society (CCMS) held their Lent Term concert in the Chapel, featuring pieces from student groups, including the college orchestra, non-audition choir and jazz band.

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