What to Expect on your First Day

You will be able to arrive in college from 8am-4pm on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September for international and home students respectively. You will go to the reception centre to sign in (details below) and you will then go back to your car to unload your luggage.  That evening, you will be welcomed to the College by the Master, Senior Tutor and the JCR President, before meeting your tutor and Director of Studies (DoS) and have your first experience of fine dining in our beloved Hogwarts-esque hall! The JCR committee will all be wearing red jumpers with our names on, so look out for us!  We’ll be here to help you find your way around and answer any questions.

Getting Here:

If you’re coming from the M11, then get off at Junction 12 or 13. However you get into central Cambridge, approach John’s from the back, entering from Northampton Street (see College Map). The entrance is next to St. John´s Chophouse (a restaurant), opposite the Punter pub. If there’s space, you can park in Cripps Car Park for a short time to unload your stuff, but for longer-term stay, you’ll have to park in the playing fields car park on the other side of Queen’s Road (there will be signs!)

Signing In:

As soon as you arrive, you need to go to the Palmerston Room in the Fisher Building (next to the Cripps building – see the college map below) and sign your tenancy agreement, pick up your key and college card, as well as various important pieces of paper. The JCR committee will be there, handing out your Freshers Week timetable and wristband. This wristband will be your pass for many important events over the course of the week – do not cut it off before 9th October!

You can then start the arduous process of unloading the car; trolleys will be available in the Car Park. Sign them out with the resident porter (make sure you return them, too!). You’ll also be able to register your bike with College (if you have one).

The Rest of the Day:

Once you’ve finished unpacking, wander across College to your pigeon-hole (by the main gate in first court) to check your post. Then pop into the JCR (in 2nd Court) where the TV, chocolate fountain, pool table, table-tennis table, table-football table and snacks will be available all day, along with the JCR committee to answer any questions you might have. You will be able to go punting with a small group if you so choose. At some point, if you haven’t already collected your gown, you will need to do so from either “Ryder and Amies” or “Ede and Ravenscroft” *. That evening you will have your welcome speeches in the Divinity School (opposite the Main Gate) and your first formal in Hall.  This will be followed by “Staircase Parties” where you get to meet all your neighbours.

* R&A gowns cost £35, whereas E&R gowns cost £50 – the increase in quality is slight and you may spill wine over your gown over the year! The JCR therefore recommend purchasing it from R&A.

College Map with Freshers’ Staircases Labelled:

Map w letters