Luckystars500
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Does anyone have any recommendations for a good college? I will (hopefully) be a female natural science student and the amount of colleges is a bit overwhelming so any help would be grateful.

I come from a seaside town, so it would be nice to be around a bit of greenery as I don't know how I'd act to city life.
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artful_lounger
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Cambridge is in general, pretty green - there are lots of parks scattered throughout town. It's also not a big city, by any stretch of the imagination!

Jesus College may be appealing as it has fairly extensive grounds within it, and is adjacent the Jesus Green (and on the other side of the road, Midsummer Common), two fairly large parks in the city centre. Churchill takes a lot of NatScis, and is on a fairly open set of grounds by the West Sites (where most of the physical sciences departments are - although lectures are in the central lecture theatres for at least the first two years), which are quite expansive (or at least they look it, driving past).

Even the very central colleges have their own grounds (which can be quite extensive in some of them) and are generally quite "green". However the Sidgwick cluster and non-central colleges are obviously a bit further out from the potential city centre crowds. I'd be surprised if there's much difference for any except King's though (as the main entrance to King's is on a major pedestrian thoroughfare and very notable, so attracts a lot of tourists; other central colleges don't tend to have gaggles of tourists standing directly outside the entrance).

Bear in mind there's a chance you could be pooled to another college anyway, so don't stress too much about college choice. If you can't find one you particularly like, you can always make an open application.
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2500_2
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(Original post by Luckystars500)
Does anyone have any recommendations for a good college? I will (hopefully) be a female natural science student and the amount of colleges is a bit overwhelming so any help would be grateful.

I come from a seaside town, so it would be nice to be around a bit of greenery as I don't know how I'd act to city life.
Make sure you check out the admission requirements of each college here as they are different.
Other than that, to be completely honest I don't think it would be the end of the world if you just chose by sticking a pin in a list - each has its own lovely things and character. I think the only thing I really would have chosen differently would have been to look at the relative richness of the colleges and what they therefore offer by way of accommodation.
It will depend which natural science route you are taking as to which side of the city you need to be most, but Cambridge is really small. It's only if you choose Girton (which is DEFINITELY not city-feeling, it's like being out in a village) that some things are a long way away. However, start by looking at the closest to your main dept and see what you think of those.
The more modern colleges with more open space tend to be on the west side. Jesus probably has the best mix of traditional building and open space. I went to a college that was on the Cam and really appreciated that.
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by 2500_2)
Make sure you check out the admission requirements of each college here as they are different.
Other than that, to be completely honest I don't think it would be the end of the world if you just chose by sticking a pin in a list - each has its own lovely things and character. I think the only thing I really would have chosen differently would have been to look at the relative richness of the colleges and what they therefore offer by way of accommodation.
It will depend which natural science route you are taking as to which side of the city you need to be most, but Cambridge is really small. It's only if you choose Girton (which is DEFINITELY not city-feeling, it's like being out in a village) that some things are a long way away. However, start by looking at the closest to your main dept and see what you think of those.
The more modern colleges with more open space tend to be on the west side. Jesus probably has the best mix of traditional building and open space. I went to a college that was on the Cam and really appreciated that.
Okay thanks for your help
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Cambridge is in general, pretty green - there are lots of parks scattered throughout town. It's also not a big city, by any stretch of the imagination!

Jesus College may be appealing as it has fairly extensive grounds within it, and is adjacent the Jesus Green (and on the other side of the road, Midsummer Common), two fairly large parks in the city centre. Churchill takes a lot of NatScis, and is on a fairly open set of grounds by the West Sites (where most of the physical sciences departments are - although lectures are in the central lecture theatres for at least the first two years), which are quite expansive (or at least they look it, driving past).

Even the very central colleges have their own grounds (which can be quite extensive in some of them) and are generally quite "green". However the Sidgwick cluster and non-central colleges are obviously a bit further out from the potential city centre crowds. I'd be surprised if there's much difference for any except King's though (as the main entrance to King's is on a major pedestrian thoroughfare and very notable, so attracts a lot of tourists; other central colleges don't tend to have gaggles of tourists standing directly outside the entrance).

Bear in mind there's a chance you could be pooled to another college anyway, so don't stress too much about college choice. If you can't find one you particularly like, you can always make an open application.
Ah yeah I was considering King's college as they are quite good for sciences but if it's that busy I'll avoid it. I'm trying to tell myself to relax but it's hard because I just want the best experience... I won't make an open application as it might be nice to pick a more sciency one but I won't be dissapointed if I dont get in.
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Luckystars500
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Also does anyone know if there's a college that does martial arts?
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2500_2
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(Original post by Luckystars500)
Also does anyone know if there's a college that does martial arts?
I have a vague recollection of Queens?
But there are uni-wide clubs for most disciplines.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Luckystars500)
Ah yeah I was considering King's college as they are quite good for sciences but if it's that busy I'll avoid it. I'm trying to tell myself to relax but it's hard because I just want the best experience... I won't make an open application as it might be nice to pick a more sciency one but I won't be dissapointed if I dont get in.
I would note every college offers Natural Sciences, and they're all equal academically; if they don't have a particular academic in college to supervise for a given course, they will arrange for you to undertake supervisions at another college. The potential academic differences are likely even more negligible in the case of NatSci because a lot of the teaching is arranged centrally by the departments - lectures, and importantly labs, are undertaken out of college anyway.

The only difference might be how many NatScis the college takes each year (i.e. how many other students on your course will be in college), but most colleges take a lot of NatScis just because it's one of the (if not the) largest courses at Cambridge anyway.

I'd note King's is one of the most oversubcribed colleges, so it's quite likely you could get pooled if you apply there anyway. But yes, King's parade is almost always packed with tourists. It's probably one of the busiest places in town most days!
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by 2500_2)
I have a vague recollection of Queens?
But there are uni-wide clubs for most disciplines.
The site itself says it does martial arts so it'll be somewhere. Thanks for your help
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I would note every college offers Natural Sciences, and they're all equal academically; if they don't have a particular academic in college to supervise for a given course, they will arrange for you to undertake supervisions at another college. The potential academic differences are likely even more negligible in the case of NatSci because a lot of the teaching is arranged centrally by the departments - lectures, and importantly labs, are undertaken out of college anyway.

The only difference might be how many NatScis the college takes each year (i.e. how many other students on your course will be in college), but most colleges take a lot of NatScis just because it's one of the (if not the) largest courses at Cambridge anyway.

I'd note King's is one of the most oversubcribed colleges, so it's quite likely you could get pooled if you apply there anyway. But yes, King's parade is almost always packed with tourists. It's probably one of the busiest places in town most days!
I won't be against king's but i'll remember that it quite busy. Thank you so much for your help!!
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Luckie_13
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(Original post by Luckystars500)
Also does anyone know if there's a college that does martial arts?
Things like martial arts probably don't have a college specific club, but the uni-wide clubs I've found are very friendly and pretty accessible, just look out for them at the freshers' fair and sports fair. Each college will generally have team sports though, they compete with each other throughout term.

If you fancy doing taekwondo, why not join CUTKD? Maybe I'll see you there in the future
https://cutkd.soc.srcf.net/
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by Luckie_13)
Things like martial arts probably don't have a college specific club, but the uni-wide clubs I've found are very friendly and pretty accessible, just look out for them at the freshers' fair and sports fair. Each college will generally have team sports though, they compete with each other throughout term.

If you fancy doing taekwondo, why not join CUTKD? Maybe I'll see you there in the future
https://cutkd.soc.srcf.net/
Looks awesome!!! If I get in I'm definitely going to check it out!!
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RhynieChert
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I'm currently a student at newnham college having just finished first year natural sciences, and i love it so much here. if you're looking for green space the gardens here are some of the biggest and best cultivated in cambridge and all our grass is for everyone to walk on unlike many colleges. the accommodation is also all on the main college site for all three years as opposed to having to live further out from the main college facilities at many colleges which makes it really convenient; if you like cooking all our kitchens also have ovens which is super unusual and i love just being able to put a pizza in the oven after a long day. as mentioned above for a martial arts club you'd want the main university one, but newnham does have a new gym (opened oct 2018) that's really well equipped and is on the roof which is pretty cool.

if you know which first year modules you'd be thinking of taking and whether you'd be a bio or phys natsci i can let you know my experience of the first year supervisors for each at newnham (spoiler they were all great and really supportive)

its important to say that wherever you choose to go, most students end up loving whichever college they end up at, whether they were pooled there or not, and academically there is very very little difference between colleges so you should base your choice on things like accommodation and facilities and atmosphere (if you can visit some before you choose that would really help)
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by RhynieChert)
I'm currently a student at newnham college having just finished first year natural sciences, and i love it so much here. if you're looking for green space the gardens here are some of the biggest and best cultivated in cambridge and all our grass is for everyone to walk on unlike many colleges. the accommodation is also all on the main college site for all three years as opposed to having to live further out from the main college facilities at many colleges which makes it really convenient; if you like cooking all our kitchens also have ovens which is super unusual and i love just being able to put a pizza in the oven after a long day. as mentioned above for a martial arts club you'd want the main university one, but newnham does have a new gym (opened oct 2018) that's really well equipped and is on the roof which is pretty cool.

if you know which first year modules you'd be thinking of taking and whether you'd be a bio or phys natsci i can let you know my experience of the first year supervisors for each at newnham (spoiler they were all great and really supportive)

its important to say that wherever you choose to go, most students end up loving whichever college they end up at, whether they were pooled there or not, and academically there is very very little difference between colleges so you should base your choice on things like accommodation and facilities and atmosphere (if you can visit some before you choose that would really help)
I have to admit it's hard to pick modules when they all look so good but I was thinking physics,Physiology of Organisms, and maybe either biology of cells or evolution and behaviour (so the more biology side). Though I don't know what i'll pick out of the maths, probably normal maths.

Your experiences would really help as I was considering newnham college as the gender ratio of women in science there scares me a bit. Having a good gym is also quite important to me but I'm not too fussed on sports except for martial arts.

Does your college limit you on the amount of guys you'll meet? Do you think the fact you go to a girl's college makes you want to socialise with other colleges more? Also were you pooled there or picked, because I heard a lot of people get pooled into newnham... I don't want people to think I didn't get into the college I wanted, or that I detest guys or something...
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Luckystars500
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(Original post by RhynieChert)
I'm currently a student at newnham college having just finished first year natural sciences, and i love it so much here. if you're looking for green space the gardens here are some of the biggest and best cultivated in cambridge and all our grass is for everyone to walk on unlike many colleges. the accommodation is also all on the main college site for all three years as opposed to having to live further out from the main college facilities at many colleges which makes it really convenient; if you like cooking all our kitchens also have ovens which is super unusual and i love just being able to put a pizza in the oven after a long day. as mentioned above for a martial arts club you'd want the main university one, but newnham does have a new gym (opened oct 2018) that's really well equipped and is on the roof which is pretty cool.

if you know which first year modules you'd be thinking of taking and whether you'd be a bio or phys natsci i can let you know my experience of the first year supervisors for each at newnham (spoiler they were all great and really supportive)

its important to say that wherever you choose to go, most students end up loving whichever college they end up at, whether they were pooled there or not, and academically there is very very little difference between colleges so you should base your choice on things like accommodation and facilities and atmosphere (if you can visit some before you choose that would really help)
Also I forgot to add last time, but I don't think they'll let me take all the choices I said so it might have to be earth sciences instead of biology of the cells/evolution and behaviour to meet what they say on the website. If i do that then'll it'l make me a physical person
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by Luckystars500)
I have to admit it's hard to pick modules when they all look so good but I was thinking physics,Physiology of Organisms, and maybe either biology of cells or evolution and behaviour (so the more biology side). Though I don't know what i'll pick out of the maths, probably normal maths.

Your experiences would really help as I was considering newnham college as the gender ratio of women in science there scares me a bit. Having a good gym is also quite important to me but I'm not too fussed on sports except for martial arts.

Does your college limit you on the amount of guys you'll meet? Do you think the fact you go to a girl's college makes you want to socialise with other colleges more? Also were you pooled there or picked, because I heard a lot of people get pooled into newnham... I don't want people to think I didn't get into the college I wanted, or that I detest guys or something...
I definitely haven't been limited by being at an all womens college, and i definitely think it encourages you to socialise outside of college more than others which is a good thing. my best mate is a guy on my course at st johns so i spend a lot of time there which is really nice. i think especially doing a male heavy subject like physics you really aren't limited socially by it, and it's nice to be with other girls for supervisions, makes it a really supportive environment academically. also people are always having male friends and boyfriends round to visit so it's really normal to see boys in like the cafe and buttery. the only other major difference i've found is not having to share bathrooms with guys which is always a good thing!

i took both physics and evolution and behaviour this year and loved both, both were really well supervised. the physics supervisor, Rachael (Dr Padman) is also the Director of Studies for physical natural sciences and she has been wonderful, took the time out to have a meeting with me when i was struggling slightly to keep up with work for personal reasons and has been really supportive academically.

I chose this college, and while quite a few people are pooled here, the majority of students are ones who chose it as their first choice so i definitely dont think i've been judged for it, and honestly choosing newnham reduces your chances of being pooled elsewhere, for example i really didn't want to go to one of the most modern ones.

obviously i'm biased because i love it here, but i think everyone i know here has a really positive experience with newnham and it feels like a real community and i'm really pleased i chose it
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by Luckystars500)
Also I forgot to add last time, but I don't think they'll let me take all the choices I said so it might have to be earth sciences instead of biology of the cells/evolution and behaviour to meet what they say on the website. If i do that then'll it'l make me a physical person
you're allowed to take any combination you like, there was another phys natsci in my year who took physics, evolution, and physiology, but also earth sciences was my favourite module and it was incredibly well taught so would really recommend it
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MagnumKoishi
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I'm a natsci starting this october. I'm also from a pretty rural area and don't fancy city life, and as such I ruled out all of the central colleges- the city can feel very busy and cramped, especially with all the tourists.

With that I'd recommend the hill colleges, and the others further out (such as Selwyn and Homerton).

Churchill is geographically the largest of the colleges and good for sciences, but the architecture is rather... interesting. It has a lot of green though, so if you're fine with the architecture then it may be a good choice.

Nearby is Fitzwilliam. It is the richest of the hill colleges (in the upper 50% of cambrige colleges, if that matters to you) and has the nicest buildings imo, but it's geographically very small. It has some lovely gardens and green spaces, and the Grove adds to the image so I would recommend here. But then I'm biased, as this is where I applied and am going to

There's then Murray Edwards next door, which is out of the city but looks pretty concrete. It's an all girls college, which may be attractive to you (or put you off).

There's then Girton, which is way out. It looks a lovely college and is situated a long way away from the city, but the accommodation is all the same (expensive) price and the distance from Cambridge could prove problematic. Worth looking at if you want.

Selwyn is a college I considered applying to. It's the oldest of those in this list, and has lovely architecture and gardens. But then again, around exam season the atmosphere is apparently stifling and unpleasant (discuss with a Selwyn student to verify). Plus, it is a bit closer to the centre of cambridge than the hill colleges, but may serve as a good middle ground.

And I never visited Homerton but it looks pretty nice in photos, perhaps research it.
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MagnumKoishi
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(Original post by RhynieChert)
you're allowed to take any combination you like, there was another phys natsci in my year who took physics, evolution, and physiology, but also earth sciences was my favourite module and it was incredibly well taught so would really recommend it
You cannot take computer science and biology of cells due to timetabling restrictions, but other than that any combination is indeed fair game.
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RhynieChert
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(Original post by MagnumKoishi)
You cannot take computer science and biology of cells due to timetabling restrictions, but other than that any combination is indeed fair game.
by the time op applies comp sci will no longer be an option for first year natscis so any combination will be possible
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