It is our great pleasure to welcome you to St Edmund’s! You will very soon realise that Eddie’s is one of the friendliest, most relaxed, and international college in Cambridge. We have no doubt that you will have an amazing time here!
You will find yourselves in a vibrant multicultural environment, and you will have the opportunity to meet students from all over the world: around seventy different nations are represented here! The college was founded in 1896, and it is one of the four colleges in Cambridge which is oriented towards mature students. Its motto- ‘Per Revelationem et Rationem’ (Latin for: Through Revelation and Reason) resonates through the college, and you will encounter students from a broad spectrum of disciplines with whom you will engage in colourful debates and undoubtedly learn from.
The college is a fun and familiar place to live and we are confident that your time at Eddie’s will be exciting and memorable! In addition, our student’s association committee, the CR, is dedicated to ensuring our college provides a safe and thriving space for all students.
College has also assembled information for freshers, available here. They also have a comprehensive page on advice in academic matters which you might find helpful.
Some things to keep in mind before your arrival
If you have not been given a room in College, it is advisable to come early to look for an accommodation. I would suggest you to visit the University Accommodation Service website (www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/accommodation) where you can find useful information and advices. You will also able to register to search for both university-owned and private proprieties.
Commercial estate agents can also be very helpful. It is relatively easy to find a room or an apartment to share in Cambridge. However, your social life is likely to revolve around the College; it is therefore advisable for first-years to find accommodation within easy access of College. If you need further advices about finding accommodation outside the college, please feel free to email us.
It is very important that you visit your nearest British Council and check your immigration requirements. Most British Councils should have an information sheet for students, including details of medical screening requirements. It is highly recommended that medical screening for immigration clearance be done before departure. It can be done at the immigration checkpoint itself, but this will delay immigration clearance, sometimes by a few hours. Have in your hand luggage the following documents to present to the immigration officer at passport control:
- Your Passport
- A Letter of acceptance from the College or Board of Graduate Studies
- Proof of funds for your course of study (bank draft/banker’s letter / letter of sponsorship)
- Your Student Visa (if required)
Further information can be found at: http://www.internationalstudents.cam.ac.uk/arriving/your-uk-immigration
Some of the other things which you should keep in mind while packing:
For electrical appliances:
The electricity supply is 240V AC at 50 Hz, which is different from continental Europe and North America. Make sure you have the correct adapters/converters for your laptop and the other electrical appliances you decide to bring.
The weather in Cambridge and what to pack
Cambridge is an extremely nice city and one of the driest places in the country. However, the weather can sometimes be really unpredictable, and it can get quite chilly in winter. Last winter temperatures were quite good, but sometimes they can drop to a little below zero degrees. A good waterproof jacket, jumper, and an umbrella will come in handy. If you are coming from a tropical country you might find a better selection of suitable winter clothing as you arrive here. On the other hand, the weather can get quite warm at the end of Easter term, thus summer clothing will also be needed.
A little on formal events and clothing
Cambridge colleges are famous for hosting many formal events. They are quite fun and all the students love them! Events range from formal dinners to black-tie events, such as May Balls at the end of the academic year. Ladies will need smart evening dresses and gentlemen will need a lounge suit. For black-tie event, a dinner suit (tuxedo) may be necessary. There is a great variety of shops in Cambridge where you can purchase formal dresses or even hire them.
Upon your arrival, you will have to buy a gown, as you will need it for matriculation and formal hall events. We will direct you to the shops where they can be purchased. Second-hand gowns will also be available.
Travelling in Cambridge
Cycling is the main means of transport in Cambridge. If you are planning to purchase a bike, there are a lot of bike shops in town. We will be happy to direct you to some of them during the freshers’ week. Bike helmets and lights are also very essential for your own safety. During autumn and winter, the police can fine you for cycling without lights on in the evening. Eddie’s is also within a walking distance to town centre and most of the departments, so it is advisable that you bring appropriate footwear.
Help when you get here
As soon as you get to college you will be able to get help and information. Reception will be open to welcome you and give you your student card. Further to this, there will be a Helpdesk in the CR (Combination Room) which will be run by the CR committee. They will be able to guide you through your first few days at Eddie’s and will hopefully help you settle in. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any member of the CR committee, with any other questions you may have. Our contact details can be found on the CR website.
If you want to already meet some of the existing and new students who will be here in October, why not join our Facebook Group?
Additionally, you can download a copy of the 2014 Freshers’ Guide here. This will be updated over the next few weeks, but the general guidelines still apply! We hope the guide answers all of your questions regarding finalising your offer, getting to Cambridge, life in College and much more.
The schedule for Freshers’ week is available here.
If you still have any questions, please feel free to contact any one of our CR Committee – they are here to help and have a wealth of knowledge which they are more than happy to share! So don’t be shy, get in touch.
All the additional information the College supplies about freshers can be found at http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/applying/freshers/index.php