Hi everyone! I've got a PGCE interview at Cambridge in March and am trying to narrow down my college options. I went to visit yesterday, but didn't have time to view all of the colleges so feel free to suggest any alternatives.
Things that are important to me:
*Accommodation: I'd prefer a single, ensuite room in reasonably priced college accommodation. My schedule will be all wacky and I'll be on even more of a crazy schedule since I'll be doing a long-distance relationship with my husband and I don't want to keep housemates up with my talking to him at silly hours, etc. And if it's at all possible to live on-site at a pretty college with a nice view, that would be wonderful (though admittedly a pipedream)!
*Proximity to the education department. I'm fine to cycle or get a bus from a college in the centre, but it has to be easily accessible.
*Lively grad community (both in terms of socializing and research). I'm Oxford right now, and my college has a really small MCR with few events and no research agenda. I'd love to be at a college that brought in big speakers, had lots of opportunities to meet new people, etc.
*Perks. Some Oxford colleges offer much better facilities like free printing, free laundry, free coffee machine use and heavily subsidized meals and accommodation. Does any Cambridge college have a reputation for having lots of perks?
My thoughts so far:
Homerton is the most popular choice for education students and also where most of my lectures will be if I'm accepted. Didn't get the chance to visit since it was so far out, but I'm going for a dinner there in Feb. so I'll at least be able to see it before the interview. The biggest drawback is that they're all out of PGCE accommodation.
Hughes Hall guarantees PGCE accommodation, but when I went to visit I just couldn't picture myself living there. I've heard negative things from other Cambridge students, so I'll probably rule it out? The only thing keeping it in the running is the fact that it's recommended as a second choice by the education department and has a good PGCE community.
I really liked Downing College! It's so spacious, and not too far from the education department. They also offer 50% of postgrad students on-site accommodation. It's my number 1 choice at the moment, but I've heard the facilities aren't great (bar isn't fun, meals are expensive, etc.). Can anyone else weigh in with pros and cons?
Corpus Christi was also gorgeous and their graduate housing complex is really interesting. Anyone have any more info on the pros and cons of the Leckhampton site? Seems to have the whole tight-knit community, research thing going on but it's weird that it's not on the main site. There are also few single ensuite rooms.
I also really liked St John's, but they don't offer accommodation on-site and their grad accommodation is all hostels.
Any help would be much appreciated!