St John'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.

St John’s, affectionately known by students as “John’s”, is one of the largest colleges which spans the River Cam, with a constant buzz of activity. Beautiful grounds, great accommodation and centrally located, it’s an inspiring place to live and study.

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St John's

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    5 minute walk from centre of college. Across Queens’ Road.
  • Gym
    Yes - Found in New Court. Treadmills, ergs, cross-training, exercise mats & machines all available. Weights room found under c staircase, cripps.
  • Music Practice Rooms
    4-6 practice rooms available, in the Fisher Building.
  • Prayer spaces
    Dedicated prayer room in D staircase, Cripps. Opened Lent Term 2016.
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: Daily option in buttery (canteen). Vegan: Some vegan options in buttery. Vegan option for formal hall
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Other: Some Halal options each week. Kosher & Halal options available for formal hall. Catering are happy to speak to anyone about dietary requirements.
  • Theatre space
    Fisher Building and Divinity School.
  • Undergraduates / Year
    180

What is your favourite thing about St Johns?

Sophie, St John's, Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Sophie
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

It’s such a big college that everything you might want (gym, music practice rooms, indoor sports pitches) are all on-site, so there’s no travelling involved to get to these. Even the outdoor sports grounds are just across the road at the back of college. So convenient!

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Sophie, St John's, Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Sophie
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

When I first walked into St John’s on an open day, it struck me how impressive the architecture and buildings were, and I was a little intimidated by its grandeur! Though don’t be fooled: behind this awe-inspiring exterior lies a welcoming, friendly and busy student population. With the vast majority of the student population living on-site for all three years of their undergraduate degree, there’s always something going on in the college community, and always someone to go and have a cup of tea with when you need a break. Everyone is very supportive of one another.

What is the accommodation like?

William, St John's, Geography, 1st year
William
Geography, 1st year

The majority of freshers live in the same area of college in single rooms, with some en-suites and double sets. In second year, it’s common to share a double set with a friend - although you still have your own bedroom and share a living area. In third year, there is a large choice of accommodation, including singles, shared rooms, and houses. We pick our rooms using a ballot system, meaning you are assigned a time slot to pick a room, and people with earlier slots get first pick - but everyone ends up happy, and prices start from around £900 per term.

How good is the food?

William, St John's, Geography, 1st year
William
Geography, 1st year

In short, very! The buttery has a wide range of options and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner - there’s always two meat/fish options and a vegetarian option, as well as soup, salad, pizza and sandwiches - so everyone is catered for! If you want to cook for yourself, there are kitchens which are equipped with toasters, microwaves and hobs, which are great if you don’t fancy what’s on at the buttery. There’s also the chance to attend hall six days a week, which is a three course meal in the Great Hall, served with wine at a very reasonable price.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

William, St John's, Geography, 1st year
William
Geography, 1st year

Being such a large college, there are a huge amount of extra-curricular activities available. In terms of sports, John’s has rugby, football, cricket, netball, tennis, ultimate frisbee and basketball teams to name a few, as well as the Lady Margaret Boat Club. Many subjects also have societies which host guest speakers, while we also have drama, art and music groups. There are also regular ‘bops’, with recent themes being ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘Back to School’.

What welfare support is there?

Laura, St John's, English, 2nd year
Laura
English, 2nd year

Welfare at John’s is great, and wide-ranging. From the JCR’s dedicated Welfare Officer and the Welfare committee, to the college nurse, counsellor, chaplain, and on-call weekend tutors, there is no slipping through the net. Welfare support is available 24hours a day, 7 days a week during term time, and comes in a range of formats. The Student Buddy Scheme means that you can find a peer to talk to if you wanted, but with the knowledge that there’s also professionals in place should you need them too.

What about your College would you change?

Laura, St John's, English, 2nd year
Laura
English, 2nd year

St. John’s is such a nice and inclusive college, that it’s really hard to suggest what could be changed about it. Unfortunately, there’s no cooked breakfast option on the weekends, and sometimes the library can be a bit crowded, especially in exam term. If there was one single thing I would change, it would be the amount of tourists in the college, especially on weekends. Endless streams of camera-clad visitors pour through John’s Great Gate, and over the Bridge of Sighs, making it virtually impossible to walk through college un-photographed at times.

What has been going on at St John's College?

- Recent Events -

College party

Last week, we had the second St John's 'ent' of the term. Ents are JCR events with cheap drinks deals and a DJ, and a lot of people in college come to them, making them great nights for just £2 entry.

Puppies!

Our JCR Welfare team held a charity de-stressing event with guide dogs and puppies. SO ADORABLE! Raising money at the same time as having a well-earned break from work!

College Gallery

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Please note that as student volunteers we are unable to answer questions on admissions requirements - e.g. school/college qualifications needed to apply. You are best asking these questions to admissions@cam.ac.uk