• Girton College, Cambridge

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Girton College, Cambridge

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Girton College
Established: 1869
University: University of Cambridge
Address: Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0JG
Telephone: +44 1223 338999
Website: http://www.girton.cam.ac.uk/
Student Union/JCR website: http://www.girtonjcr.com/testbed/index.php
Graduate/MCR website: no
Admittance: Undergraduates and postgraduates


Student Statistics

  • Total Undergraduates in 2015-16 = 481 (251 men + 230 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 15: 146 (85 men + 61 women)
  • 70.2% of Girton acceptances in 2014 were from state school students, the second highest of any non-mature college and significantly above the average of 62.2%

Contents

Location

Main site

Girton village, just outside the city centre. Despite being further out than other colleges, it is only a 10-minute cycle into town. The vast majority of students cycle and even those with little experience pick it up with ease due to Cambridge's extensive and safe cycle paths. Many students enjoy the separation of work/life that the distance brings them and it provides an excellent escape from the often stressful and claustrophobic city.


Wolfson Court

Wolfson Court is mainly occupied by graduate students although 2nd and 3rd years have the option to live there. It is right next to the Centre for Mathematical Sciences and a 5 minute walk to the Sidgwick Site.

Accommodation

First years live in the main college site, two miles out of Cambridge. Rooms in college are bright, airy and generally quite spacious (though there are some smaller rooms). This is in particular contrast to some of the older central colleges which put their students into off-site accommodation due to a lack of space or provide much smaller rooms.

First year rooms are allocated by random ballot, and everyone pays the same rent regardless of the size of their room set at a constant rate for 3 year. This system is unique to Girton and Newnham and is contrasted to the system of some colleges that determine room based on academic ranking. Those who get smaller first year rooms become the first to pick in subsequent years - which means one can end up with a really nice room, such as the Peartrees Accommodation which is hotel style accommodation.

Due to the recent Ash Court extension, most second years now continue to live in college or in college houses (a number of which lie along Girton Road) in second year, rather than living in Wolfson Court as they used to (a small, modern annexe of about 80 students in West Cambridge). However, it is still absolutely possible to live in Wolfie in second and third year if you prefer, and some undergrads do (though its mostly grad students that live there.) But Wolfson Court has its own cafeteria, which does good lunches, and as it is really close to the Sidgwick Site where most arts students have lectures and classes etc. It is really easy to go there for lunch rather than going back to Girton (Wolfie also has a library and computer room so you can work there too).

All the rooms in the new extension have wifi and en suite. There is a new gym as well as the older one, which has cross trainers, rowing machines and treadmills. It is open all the time, and as it is separate from the weights gym, it is particularly pleasant to use as a female member of college.

Girton is the only college to have an indoor, heated swimming pool and it is excellent if you want a relaxing break from studying in the evening, or a morning swim to wake you up!

Social Spaces

Girton

There is a College Bar, open till between 11 and 12 in the evenings where regular ents are run. The karaoke machine is also sometimes set up there. The JCR room has a Xbox, comfy leather sofas, table tennis and tv for relaxing.

Hall is also open all day so you can get a coffee and a slice of cake with your friends whenever you want to.

Wolfson Court

There is a large MCR with TV, Table Football, Library, Board games etc and a Bar with TV and pool

Formal Hall

It's £7.50 for girtonians, £10 for guests.

Library and Computing

There is the main library in Girton College. With 95,000 books it's one of the biggest and best college libraries.

The library has 16 computers, 2 printers and the modern area downstairs won 3 architectural awards. The library also has an extensive collection of work by female writers due to its legacy as the first female college in Cambridge.

The library's opening hours are as follows: During Full Term: Monday to Friday: 9am - 11pm, Saturday: 10am - 6pm (this is extended to 11pm during the exam period in Easter Term), Sunday: 10am - 11pm.

Outside Full Term: 9am - 5pm.

There is also a library at Wolfson Court, which is open 24 hours a day.

There are two computer rooms in Girton on the B2a and F Corridor both open 24/7 to Girton Students and two study rooms. Rooms have ethernet connections and wireless hotspots are being extended, currently covering the library.

Academic performance

Girton's ranking (out of 29) in the Tompkins Table which compares exam performance at the different colleges: 24th (2015), 23rd (2014), 21st (2013) with a mean average of 21.1.

Sports

Girton was declared the 9th sportiest Cambridge College in Michealmas 2009 by The Tab. See The Tab article: The College Cup revealed

Atmosphere

A lovely big old building from the late C19th, and has 50 acres of stunning parkland, gardens and woodland. This makes it geographically one of the largest colleges and probably also the college with the most open space that you're able to walk on. This is because unlike most colleges, Girton allows everyone to walk on all pieces of grass. There is a beautiful woodland trail that you can walk around college and unlike the majority of colleges, our fellows garden is open to all. This is indicative of the unpretentious, open atmosphere that Girton encourages.

It is outside of the town centre (although the co-op is a 5 minute walk from college). But! This has many advantages: it makes the community really cohesive and makes making friends much easier. It also means that it is really quiet and you can really get away from town, plus the porters are so lovely because they don't have to spend all day dealing with tourists. This is particularly useful when town can feel claustrophobic and stressful so being able to separate the place where you study to where you work is a unique opportunity Girton provides.

The cycle keeps you fit without you even having to do anything and is incredibly easy to pick up. It becomes a part of your routine that doesn't feel like an extra concern but can actually be an excellent opportunity to process and unwind after a tough day of studying in town. (And means you can enjoy the really nice puddings they do in hall without feeling guilty...).

One of the biggest colleges in terms of undergraduate numbers. Possibly a more relaxed atmosphere than some of the more "prestigious" colleges. This doesn't mean that you're not able to achieve as highly as you want, it just means the majority of students have a more balanced attitude to work and would rather enjoy university and get a solid 2.1 than stress themselves to death for a 1st. However, in 2015 16.9% of Girton students did get firsts and it is perfectly possible to aim for one at Girton.

Oh and there's a college cat called Buster!

Facilities

On the main site

  • Chapel
  • Canteen
  • College Bar with pool table, dart board, table football and jukebox.
  • College Library with 95,000 books, a collection of journals, volumes of past Tripos papers, and a photocopier.
  • Lawrence Room Museum with Anglo-Saxon, Egyptian and Mediterranean collections (it even has an Egyptian mummy called Hermione).
  • 2 Computer Rooms and an IT Resources Centre (16 networked computers in the library).
  • Laundry
  • Several Music Rooms with practice instruments for advanced musicians:
    • 4 grand pianos (including a Steinway Model B)
    • a Milan Misina double-manual harpsichord
    • a four-manual, mechanical-action Swiss organ (in the chapel)
  • Multi-gym with
    • cross trainer
    • smith machine
    • leg press/hamstring curl
    • hack squat machine
    • fixed barbells up to 20 kg
    • plates up to 300kg worth odd for smith machine and others
    • dumbells from 2.5kg-50kg in 2.5 kg increments
    • (theres also some ergs in the squash court building and some other dumbells there too i think)
  • Tennis Courts
  • Squash Court
  • Basketball Court
  • Sports (football, rugby, hockey, cricket) pitches
  • Croquet Lawn
  • Indoor heated swimming pool
  • Extensive college gardens including a pond and an orchard
  • Sick bay

At Wolfson Court

  • Cafeteria and bar
  • Computer room
  • Law Library
  • Reading Room of reference books
  • Common Rooms
  • Laundry

College Balls

14th March 2008: Pandaemonium

  • 1300 guests

Student-eye view

Look up Girton in the CUSU Alternative Prospectus

A Girton student's tumblr, with extensive information and pictures of Girton [1]

Pros

  • Great college community (partly due to the distance from town meaning that people socialise in college more)
  • Swimming pool and fantastic gardens
  • All the sports fields are on site
  • More relaxed atmosphere than in some colleges. Academic aspiration comes from you and there is less peer pressure to overwork yourself and a more positive and supportive attitude from directors of studies and tutors.
  • Very diverse and accepting community
  • Also very caring community - just one example is that you meet the Mistress (yes, we have a Mistress, not a Master!) a few times over the course of three years in small groups, whereas at some other colleges (especially those of Girton's size), I get the feeling its all a lot more impersonal.
  • AMAZING history - the only women's college that is now mixed. Our great hall has portraits of past Mistresses all round it - very different to most colleges that have at most one or two portraits of women. The Old Girtonians were incredible people and its a privilege to be a part of their history. The fact that it is further out of town is a reminder of the way they fought for women's rights to education and equality (they weren't allowed to be near the men or part of the university at the beginning).
  • The very equal balloting system which means you are basically guaranteed a great room for at least one year, without having to pay loads extra. It is also not based on academic or extracurricular achievement (unlike some other colleges), since at Girton all types of people and skills are valued.
  • The great self-catering facilities! Some colleges will say they have 'self-catering' facilities and it's actually only a microwave or maybe at the most a plug-in hob. At Girton, you have at least a decent-sized kitchen (and some of them are huge!) for each corridor (usually per 8-10 people), with an oven, four hobs, fridge, etc. As the majority of people eat in hall most of the time, there isn't much competition to use the kitchen, so if you want to cook a lot it's totally fine - but for everyone, it is really nice to have the option.
  • Girton is one of the only places in the country that is home to a black squirrel population.
  • Really fantastic sports facilities which everyone, not just the rugby team, uses. (Swimming, gymming, tennis, squash... you name it!)


Cons

  • Occasionally the distance from town can be annoying
  • The Girton distance jokes from other colleges

Map

Girton College map


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