Tips voor wie naar Cambridge wil

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Living in Cambridge is far beyond exciting, but what should you know before moving there? Thomas presents some impressions and some tips in case you’re considering moving over there from Utrecht.

Living Expenses
Life at Cambridge is EXPENSIVE. Rents start at an average 400 to 500 pounds a month and expect 500 minimum for other monthly expenses, and you end up with at least 12.000 pounds (16.000 euro!) in total maintenance expenses. Trust me – this is the absolute poverty line, and then we’re not even talking tuition at minimum 7000 pounds a year. Groceries aren’t the cheapest, though mobile plans are incredibly cheap - for 10 pounds you get 500 minutes and 1GB data.

Sense of community
As Cambridge has a collegiate system, your social life will mainly evolve around the graduates at your own college. You’ll be living with people from a variety of academic backgrounds and plenty of different cultures. Particularly at the smaller colleges everyone knows one another. Make sure you attend all the ‘freshers events’ for all the newbies, so you get to make plenty of new friends. You will definitely need them when some of your experiments fail!

Biking at Cambridge: Feel straight at home
Cambridge is all about biking! Biking in Cambridge is quite dangerous with plenty of potholes and often a lack of cycles lanes, but trust me – biking around town is the way to go. Bikes here are a bit smaller than in Holland, so if you really wish to steal the show bring your omafiets from home!

Picking a college that suits your needs
Before coming to Cambridge, you definitely need to pick a college that you know has more than sufficient funding for additional graduate research and travel expenses. This is critical for conference attendance, travel expenses or summits you will attend. There are many opportunities here, but funding is limited so make sure this is all set.

Make sure to ask if the college is willing to help finance initiatives you might set up – non-profits or sports activities for example. Some of the best colleges will have plenty of funding available (even for laptops!), but are tough to join if you are from a modest background.

Accommodation varies significantly in quality
Accommodation at Cambridge is of much worse quality than in Utrecht. Often, rooms are poorly maintained and have not been refurbished for decades. However, newly developed properties are definitely available. Keep your eyes open! And once again: make sure the accommodation at the college is what you require prior to joining one.

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