Churchill 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.

Churchill College is a hill college, meaning it is about a 15-20 minute walk, or 10 minute cycle from the centre of town. We have the biggest college site; providing room for a gym, music centre, library, tennis courts, netball courts, squash courts, sports fields and accommodation for all undergraduates. Around 70% of students take science subjects. Here at Churchill everyone is welcome.

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Churchill CollegeCredit: Cambridge University

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    On site
  • Gym
  • Music Practice Rooms
  • Prayer spaces
    Chapel and Quiet Room
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: Daily Vegan: Salad bar daily, main meals sometimes
  • Theatre space
    Wolfson Hall/Music Centre

What is your favourite thing about Churchill?

Vicky Lee, Churchill

Probably the people and the community that exists at Churchill - as we are slightly out of the centre of the city, there is a relaxed atmosphere full of friendly and supportive people. The college is the perfect size to really get to know people both in your own years, and the other years. Churchill is a friendly place to be - from our Directors of Studies to our Porters, there is a sense that everyone wants the best for us. We like to put the chill in ChurCHILL.

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Katt Weaver, Churchill, PBS, 1st year
PBS, 3rd year
Iris, Natural Sciences, 1st year
Natural Sciences, 1st year
A picnic

Katt: Due to its position as a hill college, and the fact that we live on site for all 3 years (sometimes more) Churchill has an extremely friendly atmosphere. When you enter the bar, the first impression that you will get is that Churchill is laid back - at any point in the day you can find people working alongside others chilling out with their mates. We lack many of the traditions and odd Cambridge quirks found in other colleges - we don’t wear gowns for formals and you can even walk on the grass! For those who want a college that is more relaxed, more modern and less focused on tradition, Churchill is perfect.

Iris: Churchill can look intimidating from the outside, but as soon as you step inside you realise that is simply not true. At first you well be greeted by our lovely porters, who are always there to assist you. Then, as you enter the bar you get a true sense of the atmosphere at Churchill - laid back, at any point in the day you can find people working alongside others chilling out with their mates. You will also notice that everyone is very friendly, being a hills college means that there is a warm community at Churchill, where everyone knows and respects each other. Churchill truly feels like home.

What is the accommodation like?

Katt Weaver, Churchill, PBS, 1st yr
PBS, 1st year

At Churchill, you stay in college for all three years, contributing to the community atmosphere which Churchill is known for. This also means that in first year you may be living in a staircase made largely of 2nd or 3rd years, but don’t worry, freshers will never be more than a 5 minute walk away! There are various room types available- some are ensuite, some have double beds, some have walk in wardrobes (!) and a few even have a piano. For those who prefer to make their own food, or have specific dietary requirements, each staircase has at least one ‘snack kitchen’. Rooms are banded based on the facilities they have.

How good is the food?

Vicky Lee, Churchill

Hall food at Churchill is fairly reasonably priced - it normally comes to between 3 and 4 pounds for a main meal. Each night, there are typically three options (often a meat, a fish and a vegetarian) with some form of potato/carbohydrate choice and several different vegetables. Every meal there is also a well-stocked salad bar, with everything from lettuce to dumplings and salami. Saturday brunch is a staple of the Churchill calendar, and an excuse to eat hash browns and sausages. Breakfast is served every day in the bar for those who don’t fancy making their own. Kitchen facilities are basic but decent - every staircase has a microwave, kettle, toaster and hob, and a lucky few have ovens. If you prefer, it is perfectly possible to cook dinner for yourself every night.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Vicky Lee, Churchill

Societies are the best way to get to know people. Sports-wise, we have free access to an onsite gym, tennis and squash courts and huge sports fields. The fact that our sports fields are onsite make all of our sports teams (from football, to ultimate frisbee and water polo) really inclusive. We also have a very successful boat club, with our top boats competing in the top divisions (and also racing in pink boats, what more could you want)? There are also regular film nights, a fortnightly PAV (a college disco), a garden party in the summer and, often, music nights in our bar, if you fancy some jazz. Music-wise, there are multiple college bands, orchestras and a chapel choir, encouraging any level of commitment you want to give. Our dedicated college drama society, GODS, regularly organise plays and our annual JCR panto.

What welfare support is there?

Katt Weaver, Churchill, PBS, 1st yr
PBS, 3rd year

On the Churchill JCR committee there is a women’s welfare officer, men’s welfare officer, LGBT+ officer and an international welfare officer. The welfare team are responsible for providing various kinds of welfare including sexual health supplies and a friendly face to speak to. In addition, there is a mental health officer on the committee responsible for co-ordinating mental health events and directing those in need of mental health help to the relevant people. As well as this help available from Churchill students, we also have an onsite college counsellor and nurse available. The college counsellor is available to help with whatever issues students have, whether big or small, whilst the college nurse is there to help when students are feeling under the weather.

What about your College would you change?

Vicky Lee, Churchill

If I had to change anything, it would probably be the fact that our college colours are pink and brown. The pink is perfectly acceptable, and make us stand out, but there is absolutely nothing flattering about combining this with a less than charming shade of brown. Over recent years, our college sports teams have taken to emphasising the pink in their sports kits (often combining this with a much more reasonable black). On a slightly more serious note, when it’s raining, the ten minute cycle ride into town can be quite unpleasant.

What has been going on at Churchill College?

- Recent Events -

Pre-formal Recital Series

Pre-formal Recital Series: Anita Datta and Eleanor Cramer, professional song recital

Academic Seminar

Academic Seminar: Andreas Sommer — 'Hiddem Histories: Science and the Occult'

The Churchill College Wind Quintet

The Churchill College Wind Quintet - The inaugural outing of a newly formed wind quintet formed entirely of Churchill instrumentalists.

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