Girton 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.

Girton College is one of the biggest Cambridge colleges, right next to Girton village and about two miles from the centre of Cambridge. It was the first women’s college in Cambridge, but as of 1976, it’s co-educational. Most students cycle ten to fifteen minutes down the road for their lectures and teaching, and most live in Girton’s main Victorian building, surrounded by huge gardens, sports pitches, and an orchard.

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Girton College

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    On-site
  • Gym
    Weights gym (with a women’s only hour) and a cardio gym, Swimming pool. Free to all
  • Music Practice Rooms
    Couple of music practice rooms free for all to use, all undergrad music students given room with piano in.
  • Prayer spaces
    Chapel
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: at least 1 per meal, and a salad bar/soup too
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegan: Usually 1 vegan option for dinner. Other: Usually something gluten free or lactose free. If not, the lovely kitchen staff can often find something for you!
  • Theatre space
    Yes - large hall with a performance-ready stage.
  • Undergraduates / Year
    around 150

What is your favourite thing about Girton?

Kate, Girton, 2nd year
Kate
Girton, 2nd year

The ethos and friendly atmosphere. Since it was founded in 1869, equality and inclusivity have constituted the overall aims of the college. What you add to the college academically and what you contribute through extra-curricular activities is truly valued by the college. Being a bit out of town makes for a great community vibe at Girton, and a really friendly atmosphere where you know pretty much everyone. The large but close community makes it such a fun place to live.

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Grace
Grace
English, 2nd year

Girton is an incredibly friendly college! Most students live in the main College building or nearby houses during their entire degrees, which means that you get to know almost everyone, even though it’s a large college. It’s also quite quiet, because it’s out in the countryside rather than in the busy town centre, which makes a change if you’ve lived in a city! (Grace).

What is the accommodation like?

Grace
Grace
English, 2nd year
Accomodation

In first year, Girton students live in a main College building, in rooms which are randomly allocated. Everyone pays the same amount of rent throughout their degree, and you’re assigned a position in a ‘ballot’ for next year depending on your room size - so if you got a small room in your first year, you’ll get first pick of a room for second year. There’s a newly built block of accommodation with en-suites which is generally available to second and third years, as well as several College-owned houses, which are in Girton grounds or just outside them. Rooms in college vary in size; there are en-suites and rooms with basins, but some are quite small. There’s also an all-female corridor. Girton has a new accommodation block, Swirles Court, which is situated in Eddington and provides ensuite rooms to graduates at Girton, alongside some second and third years.

How good is the food?

Kate, Girton, 2nd year
Kate
Girton, 2nd year

LOADS better than school dinners! The Girton canteen offers a couple of meat and a couple of vegetarian mains for lunch and dinner, along with a salad bar, soups, jacket potatoes, loads of veg, and supreme desserts! There is also a full English and continental breakfast on offer every weekday, unmissable Saturday brunch and all-day carvery (with vegi options) on Sundays - they spoil us!

Dietary Requirements: There is usually a gluten-free, lactose-free, halal or vegan option for dinner - the variety of these options is getting much better. But if you prefer to cook, every corridor has a kitchen with ovens, hobs, fridges so you can cook every meal, or just treat yourself to a home favourite from time to time.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Ellie
Ellie
English, 2nd year

Being slightly further out from town means that, as well as all the societies run for the entire university, Girton has a great selection of societies run by the students for the students. There’s a huge variety to ensure that there’s something for everyone, no matter what your interests are. Girton Amateur Dramatics Society runs excellent performances every year and there’s always roles available for anyone who would like them. There’s a thriving music scene, with two choirs and an orchestra. Our wonderful grounds mean that we have excellent sports facilities, with successful teams in rugby, lacrosse, football and many more! Some more niche societies include the tabletop board game society, the chocolate and knitting society and regular discussion groups run by the elected LGBT+, BME and Women’s officer.

What welfare support is there?

Ellie
Ellie
English, 2nd year

Every year Girton students elect two welfare officers to represent them. These students sit on the elected JCR committee to help with student decision-making but, more importantly, provide non-judgemental support during weekly office hours for academic, pastoral and health concerns. They provide free sexual health supplies and run welfare events throughout the term (usually themed round lots of cake!) and are available to chat confidentially whenever needed. They can also link you up with the college nurses, who run weekly drop in hours and the college counsellor when you need further help - they are very friendly and will help you with anything, no matter how big or small it seems!

What has been going on at Girton College?

- Recent Events -

Easter-themed Welfare Party

The college’s student Welfare Officers held a (very early) Easter Welfare party at the end of term. Students were invited to drop by, relax and tuck into various Easter treats (hot cross buns and eggs!) and other delicious snacks

Girton Orchestra performance

At the end of term, Girton Orchestra put on an informal showcase of what they’d been up to over the last two months. It took place in the College’s Old Hall and there was free food!

Girton students play at Twickenham!

Three Girton female students played against Oxford in the first ever Cambridge-Oxford women’s rugby game to take place at Twickenham stadium. The Cambridge team won!

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