College Guide


Introducing your JCR Access Officer

Cheyenne Williams

Hi I'm Cheyenne and I am a 2nd year French and Spanish student at Girton. I live in Oxfordshire but was born in Trinidad. I came to university from a lower socio-economic background, having attended state schools my whole life so coming to Cambridge felt entirely alien to me. Alongside my degree, I am the Girton JCR Access and Academic working to improve academic resources and welfare as well as promoting and contributing to outreach work in order to diversify the student body. I am also a co-researcher in Cycle 4 of the Access and Participation Plan Participatory Action Research Project, which aims to both tackle the Black Awarding Gap and decolonise teaching and learning in Cambridge. When I'm not doing all that sophisticated-sounding stuff you will find me watching films, traveling, cooking or at the club with my friends.

Key Facts

~145 UG students per year

College size across the uni ranges from 80 - 200 students/year

~£7100 median yearly rent (2022-23)

Median rent ranges from £4100 - £7100 across the uni, including mandatory catering charges. Note this is a rough guide only, and there will be cheaper options as well

Free gym

Music practice room

Inclusive prayer space available

Vegetarian, Vegan meals available daily

Gender expression fund available

A fund to reimburse students for items that make them more comfortable with their gender presentation, including but not limited to binders, packers, and concealing underwear

Good accessible accomodation


What is your favourite thing about Girton?


I think the best thing about Girton is its facilities. The library is a good space to study, and one of the biggest college libraries in the uni meaning you don't have to trek all the way to town to find a study space, especially during exam season. We have grounds for days which are really nice to walk around in the summer and make a nice change from the city centre. The pool is also great and is probably the biggest flex Girton has, its indoors as well so you can use it all year round.

Describe your first year accommdation.


In first year your rooms are allocated randomly and all freshers live on the main college site. The rent is the same across the entire year and remains the same throughout your degree in order to ensure things are kept fair and equal. That being said, my first year room was tiny! The view was nice and it had some of the better kitchen facilties (majority of fresher's corridors will have an oven, apart from Ash Court). The majority of first year accommodation has shared bathrooms with the exception of Ash Court.  The rent is quite high but a lot of this money goes to subsidising food and drink in college and also the maintenance of facilities, meaning you can use the pool and gym free of charge. Although my room was tiny in first year, this meant my room in second year was a lot better (I now have a double-bed ensuite) as the grade of your room determines where you come in the next year's ballot.

What is the food like?


The canteen provide both lunch and dinner every single day for students with breakfast food being served in the Social Hub cafe. There is brunch every Saturday and Sunday in the canteen which is always great and a Sunday roast in the evenings. The food is always good, me and my friends have tried fish and chips at several colleges now and Girton always seems to come out on top. There are vegan and vegetarian meals available for every service and usually there will be a gluten and/or dairy free option available. The catering team and JCR catering office are always working hard to open up more options for dietary requirements (labelling whether food contains certain allergens or is Halal etc.) and can always be approached if you have any questions.

Does Girton provide additional funding?


The hardship fund is available for students facing unexpected financial difficulties and there is now a Girton College Residence Bursary accessible to students on the Cambridge Bursary. We have a Financial Welfare Officer who can help point you in the direction of any funding you may need or be entitled to. Scholarships and prizes are given to those who perform very well on their courses and in their exams. Students can also claim travel grants, sports awards and music awards.

What welfare provision does Girton offer?


The JCR elects 2 welfare officers that are in their second year who work to improve student welfare. They can provide non-judgmental support to students and also provide free sexual-health supplies. The Girton nurses are also available during the week if you feel unwell or need someone to talk to, they can also refer you to the counselling service. Each student is given a pastoral tutor when they arrive who is there to support them during the duration of their studies with any non-academic troubles they may have. We now also have a new Head of Welfare at Girton who oversees all welfare provisions in college and works with both staff and students to make sure these resources are working well

What are the facilities like at Girton?


Girton has six wheelchair accessible rooms with en-suite facilities in Ash Court on main site. Swirles Court has 15 accessible en-suite units. Disabled students are placed on a separate ballot in which they can pick a room best suited to their needs and can include some friends on their ballot. Girton has 3 gyms, a multi-gym, an ergo room and a weights gym as well as a squash court and indoor swimming pool.

What would you change about Girton?


I would like to see more interaction and collaboration with other colleges. Being further out means it is easier to feel trapped or isolated in Girton and if you come from an underrepresented background and cannot see similar people around you, it can feel quite lonely. Girton is not actually that far away but it feels more so like it is when there is not much inter-collegiate interaction. Apart from that I am always of the opinion that an elite institution could do with some more diversity and resources that further support students from underrepresented backgrounds so we will go with that as well.

Other Resources

 JCR website (Undergrad community)

 College website