Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are colleges?
  • What is Hall?
  • What are formals?
  • What are gowns?
  • Are there any items I should absolutely bring or buy for Cambridge?
  • What is a Porter?
  • What is my CRSid?
  • What is my University Card?
  • What sports facilities are available at Churchill?
  • What music facilities are available at Churchill?
  • What will my address be?
  • To whom should I direct any questions to?

Q: What are colleges?

A: The University of Cambridge is comprised of 31 colleges. Each college provides accommodation for students (guaranteed for all 3 years of undergraduate study at Churchill), organises supervisions, offers places to eat and socialise, and generally takes care of the students at their college.

Students can get involved with their college in a wide variety of ways – taking part in college societies, joining a sports teams, attending formal dinners, and much more. Many students will subsequently find that they are not limited to socialising only with people in their year group, as the college environment encourages meeting people across all subjects and disciplines.

Colleges offer significant support to their students as well. Churchill college provides:

  • Academic support- Study skills sessions and library tours
  • Mental health and wellbeing support- Counselling (counsellor@chu.cam.ac.uk) and health advice (nurse@chu.cam.ac.uk)
  • Financial support- Bursaries and scholarships


Q: What is Hall?

A: Hall is the dining hall found on the first floor of college above the buttery (take the main stairs to the left of the concourse). Hall serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The menu is updated weekly and can be found online. Hall also hosts most formal dinners throughout the year.


Q: What are formals?

A: Regular formals are run throughout the year. Formals are a unique and exciting experience that you will first be introduced to at your matriculation dinner during Freshers’ week. The dress code is smart (jackets and ties, evening dresses and skirts) but you don’t need to wear a gown at Churchill. More information can be found on the college website.


Q: What are gowns?

A: Gowns are part of formal wear at Cambridge. Gowns are rarely required to be worn in Churchill, but if you are attending a particularly formal feast or a formal at another college, it is worth checking whether you will need to wear a gown.

Gowns can be bought or hired from Ede & Ravenscroft or Ryder & Amies. There is also a limited supply of gowns available to borrow from college, which can be acquired by requesting one from the Porters’ Lodge.


Q: Are there any items I should absolutely bring or buy for Cambridge?

A: Most students find that bringing a bike is essential to get around in Cambridge, especially as Churchill college is one of the hill collages (around a 10-15 minute walk away from the centre.) Acquiring a bike can be done quite easily upon arrival to Cambridge, and Churchill college has a bike repair workshop on site.

All College rooms are provided with a duvet, under-sheet and pillow; you will need your own duvet cover, sheets and pillowcases. You will also need to bring some smart clothing, in order to attend matriculation dinner and other formal events.


Q: What is a Porter?

A: Porters are friendly faces around college, who can help you with almost anything you may need. They are located in the Porter’s Lodge of their respective colleges, and will provide you with your room key upon arrival. Generally, they are the best first point of contact for any issues you may have.


Q: What is my CRSid?

A: Your CRSid (Common Registration Service identifier) is your login name issued by the University Computing Service. Your email will be your CRSid followed by “@cam.ac.uk”. You will often be asked for your CRSid as it identifies you across the University and is used for the University’s web authentication service, Raven. Any incoming students can find their CRSid shortly before arrival.


Q: What is my University Card?

A: Your University Card is acquired upon arrival and provides you access to most areas of college. It is also used to pay for food in the Hall and Buttery and for taking books out of the library. Your Card also allows you to obtain a student discount when available in shops and can be shown on the University bus service to travel around Cambridge for £1.


Q: What sports facilities are available at Churchill?

A: The College has four squash courts, netball/basketball courts, tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, a dance studio, and a cricket pitch. All of these are part of the main College site. College members may use the sports fields for recreational games. Certain courts require booking online beforehand.

There is also a gym open 24/7 in the pavilion, which can be accessed for free by all members after attending an induction session. Contact the gym representatives to arrange an induction session.


Q: What music facilities are available at Churchill?

A: Churchill has a modern Music Centre, housing a rehearsal room with drum kit, a recital room with grand piano and harpsichord, and two practice rooms with upright pianos. Approval by the music sizar (music.sizar@chu.cam.ac.uk) is required to get access to the music rooms and use the grand piano. More information about music societies and bursaries can be found online.


Q: What will my address be?

A: Every student had a pigeon hole located in the post room or the Porters’ Lodge. Larger packages will be placed in the Porters’ lodge, on the floor under your pigeon hole, or in the ‘Amazon room’ if delivered by Amazon. Your college address is simply:

Your name, 

Churchill College




Q: To whom should I direct any questions to?

A: For anyone considering applying or in the process of applying for undergraduate study, queries can be directed to the admissions officer, Liz Neal (admissions@chu.cam.ac.uk).

For current students or incoming students whose places have been confirmed, any of the JCR officers are happy to answer any questions you may have. These can be emailed directly to the officers, or sent anonymously using the form on the homepage of this website. Any serious enquiries may instead be directed to Dr Rita Monson, the senior tutor (senior.tutor@chu.cam.ac.uk).