Here's a handy breakdown of the nitty-gritty of college life
The laundry is found at the bottom of F staircase. It contains ten washing machines, six tumble dryers, and an electric iron and board. The washers and dryers are token-operated and enormous so it sometimes makes sense to find someone to share the load with (or save up your laundry and do a massive bunch at once). Washing and drying tokens may be purchased from the Porters’ Lodge or the cafe (you’ll probably need two drying tokens to dry a load). Washing tokens are £2.00 and drying tokens £0.40. Don’t forget to bring your own washing powder – capsules are probably best.
Here are some extremely patronising hints to make the whole laundry process as painless as possible for those who previously left it to mum and dad:
- Take a laundry basket / black bin bag, etc. to carry all the stuff there (IKEA bags are perfect).
- If you leave dry washing in a dryer for too long, someone will probably put it on top of the dryer and use it themselves. Each drying token lasts 12 minutes, so try and work out when it will finish. You can use multiple tokens in the dryer, but press START after putting each one in. Otherwise, you will be wasting your money. (This will make more sense when you get there and see the machines yourself).
- Don’t mix whites and colours
- Check whether you can put something in a tumble dryer first by looking on the label. A circle in a square with a cross through it means you can’t. Never put a fleece in the tumble dryer.
Please see here for a guide to undergraduate finance and funding from the JCR Treasurer.
Your college bill is the first thing you receive when you arrive, and the last thing you get before you graduate. How poetic. A full break down of the bill is available on the college website.
All food and drink in college – including drinks at the college bar – can be paid for using your college card instead of cash, so it’s easy to spend more than you realise: keep an eye on your spending to avoid a nasty shock when your next college bill arrives!
The Cost of Living
The Bursar suggests a termly budget of around £1000, to cover food, books, and entertainment etc., outside the regular charges to your college bill. Obviously this depends heavily upon your lifestyle and circumstances: drink only water and you might not need so much; drink only champagne and you might need a little more. This handy page on the college website gives some examples of the typical expenses of Fitz students.
Where Can I Get Money?
All this may sound like a lot but fortunately there are a number of different ways to bolster your bank account and bypass bankruptcy while at Cambridge:
- Student loans: Available from the SLC for most Home students. In order you get the money you must make sure to sign the Redit Book in the Porters' Lodge when you arrive each term.
- A job: With your tutor’s consent, you’re allowed to undertake paid employment during the Residence Period, up to a maximum of 6 hours per week on average. However with 28 weeks a year in which you aren’t in lectures or supervisions, it’s more advisable to work in the holidays and save up.
- Overdrafts: Most student bank accounts have generous overdraft facilities that are usually interest-free. Even the best planned budget can go wrong, so this is a great way to stay out of real trouble!
- Student credit card: Some banks also offer credit cards which give you a back-up as well as making it safer to shop online. They will often have a period of interest-free credit and low APRs
- The Foundation Essay Prize: This is given for an essay on any subject, providing it was not written directly for your degree. Four prizes of up to £400 are available and the closing date is in May. Contact the Master’s secretary for details.
- The Brewster Debate: This takes place in the second term of each year and has a first prize of £100 for the two best speeches and £20 to the best contribution from the floor. The debate is usually about something topical. This year’s was: 'This house believes that freedom is more important than security.'
- Scholarship: One sure-fire way of securing £300 is by getting a First in your exams, earning yourself a scholarship and a prize!
- Paid studies: There are a number of paid psychology and medical studies that happen around the University. Some can pay very well, and are usually not scary at all! Keep an eye on the Billy Bulletin (sent out by email to all Fitz students) for more information.
There are also many grants, funds and prizes available to Fitzwilliam students, which can be found on the college website here. Fitzwilliam offers:
- Funds for academic activities (see document linked below)
- Non-academic funds
- Travel Awards
- Financial Assistance - this includes the Cambridge Bursary scheme and the Fitzwilliam College Maintenance Bursary.
- Vacation Rent Allowance Scheme: All undergraduates in receipt of a College Hardship Fund/Maintenance Bursary are eligible for a Vacation Rent Allowance of £10 per night for residence in College outside of the standard 29 week residence period, up to an annual total of 14 nights. The Vacation Rent Allowance will be calculated automatically and payments will be credited to your College account following the corresponding period of residence (or, if you graduate, in June).
There's a big pdf with all the different Fitz funds detailed here (or click for shortcuts to Academic Scholarships and Prizes, Subject Funds, Undergraduate Maintenance Funds, Undergraduate Travel Awards, Music and Drama Funds, Sports Funds, Other Funds and Prizes)
If you have lost anything, your first port of call should be the Porters' Lodge, followed by the Accommodation and Housekeeping department in L Block. The official college policy is that they will hold the lost property for 3 months, after which it is given to charity.
If you left something in the bar, lost property is often kept behind the bar for the following day or two.
We are currently working on installing an option on MyFitz that will allow students to report missing items.