Freshers

If this is your first term as a postgraduate student at Jesus, welcome to the College! The MCR (‘Middle Combination Room’) is the postgraduate community within the College, and the Committee is here to help make your time at Cambridge enjoyable, intellectually stimulating, and fun.

Starting a new degree (and, for most, moving to a new city) is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Working with the Tutorial Department and Admissions Office within College, our Social Officers have put together a programme of events for “Freshers’ Fortnight” to help you settle in to Jesus. All the MCR-organised events are in our Calendar, so you’ll be able to see what’s going on – almost all of them are free, and we look forward to welcoming you.

Things are obviously going to be a bit different from usual given the situation with Coronavirus, the requirement for social distancing, and so on. Nonetheless, we hope you feel welcome at Jesus, and enjoy your time here. If you have any questions, then contact one of the Committee members, or get in touch with the Student Rooms team or Tutorial Department – they should be able to help you.

The College makes a huge amount of useful information available in the Postgraduate Handbook and Arrival Information for New Students page – do have a look at those. There’s also a Facebook group for the MCR that you can request to join. There’s also a Facebook Messenger Group Chat – head over to the Facebook group and ask on the existing thread, or post a request to join. The Messenger group’s admins are by Bella Cavicchi and Kimberley Chia.

We realise that some students don’t arrive at the start of the Michaelmas term (ie in October); if that’s you then don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of opportunity to join in and meet everyone. There are lots of events throughout the year. We will make sure you are welcomed and filled in on everything that has happened and all future events. It doesn’t take long to find your feet and there are plenty of people willing to help you out.

Arriving at Cambridge

Accommodation, registration and all the admin side of arriving is handled by the Tutorial Department within the College. You’ll find all their contact information on the People page of the College website (look for ‘Staff and Departments’, then ‘Tutorial’); if you have any questions about your arrival, they’re in the best position to help you. In particular, they’ll be informing you about procedures for arriving and maintaining whatever social distancing or isolation requirements are in force. 

Postgrad accommodation is in various houses, almost all of which are near the College, or in the grounds itself. All houses have furniture, cooking and laundry facilities, network access, etc. Accommodation is all sorted out by Admissions or Tutorial before you start, so you’ll know where you’re supposed to be going before you arrive. 

In College, and in the University, you’ll need a University Card. This is your student ID card, your library card for the University and many Departmental Libraries, your access card to various places in College, the card with which you pay for food in Hall or in the bar… you’ll want to have it with you all the time. University cards should be available at the Porters’ Lodge upon your arrival, but if not they’ll know where you can go to get it. Married students can also get a special University Card for their spouse, which allows access around the University. Speak to the Postgraduate Tutor and they can help you arrange this.

Within College, food and drink are paid for via UPay, which is a debit system linked to your University card. You have to load money on your account before you can use it. When you buy food in Caff, drinks in the Roost, or a ticket for Formal Hall online, the money will automatically be debited from your card account. So before you can do all of this, you need to put money on your card. The easiest way to do this is via the UPay website or app, but you can also top it up by cash or cheque at the Catering Accounts office in East Court or by cash or cheque in the Roost. 

To help you settle in and get to know other students, our Social Officers have worked with the Tutorial Department and Admissions Office within the College to put together a programme of events for “Freshers’ Fortnight” to help you settle in to Jesus. All the MCR-organised events are in our Calendar, so you’ll be able to see what’s going on – almost all of them are free, and we look forward to welcoming you.

Where to go if you have questions

Have a look at the Useful Contacts page!

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