Introduction So you’ve flicked backwards and forwards through the University prospectus and decided that Sidney could be the place to be, but before putting pen to paper and placing your faith in the college closest to Sainsbury’s - and why not? you’d naturally like to know a bit more about us. What’s it like to live and work at Sidney? What clubs and societies do we offer? Will you have to have a particular background to fit in? This ‘alternative’ guide, written entirely by Sidney Sussex students, serves to answer all those burning questions and more.
Why Sidney? Whoever said that the best things come in small packages clearly had Sidney in mind. We might not be the grandest or most famous Cambridge college but that doesn’t mean we lack in character (or characters!). It may be a cliché, but Sidney really is a friendly college with tight-knit community. Admittedly you will find yourself asking everyone their name umpteen times during Freshers’ week but our small size means that faces will soon grow familiar and you won’t find yourself becoming lost in the crowd. Indeed, give it a couple of weeks and you could be making the headlines of our very own gossip column ‘Siditious’ for that night before you’d rather forget! Sidney Sussex College is a very diverse community, welcoming everyone. We don’t mind which school you went to, whether your dad owns a small country or whether you’re the first in your family to come to university (let alone Cambridge). There really is no Sidney ‘type’ and from the outset you’ll be respected for your individuality and will be on equal terms with all those around you. It is no secret that Cambridge is internationally renowned for its academia and nor should there be any doubt that survival here demands hard work and plenty of it, but don’t despair! We Sidneyites recognise that whilst it is necessary to work hard, there is also a need to play hard too, and whether that involves sport, music, drama, a night on the tiles or just a chill out at the end of the day, you’ll always find someone here interested in whatever you want to do. If this all sounds like it might become a bit claustrophobic, it is comforting to know that Sidney is slap bang in the centre of town, making it easy to take some time out, either alone or with friends. This also means that departments and other University buildings are within easy reach, as are shops, theatres, cinemas, clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, parkland… pretty much whatever you could want! Most importantly however - and much to the envy of other colleges - we are right across the street from Sainsbury’s, so there’s no lugging of food and drink through a tourist-ridden town centre for us! We hope that you will find this prospectus useful in deciding whether or not Sidney is right for you. It is worth remembering, however, that whilst many people agonise over their college choice, others make open applications or are pooled to a different college and they all find themselves equally happy wherever they end up!
Academic Affairs It is what we’re here for after all! The attitude to work at Sidney is not one where we aim to do better than each other but one where we strive to better ourselves. What this means is that all of your energy can be put into working to the best of your ability. In Cambridge you can plan your own studies around what suits you and Sidney Sussex is well equipped to help you succeed academically, both in terms of support networks and material resources.
The Library and Computer Suite Sidney library prides itself on being a fantastically well-stocked and wellorganised facility. Students can access it 24/7 and books can be taken out on a self-issue system, so even after the librarian has gone home, you won't be prevented from full access to all resources. Core texts for all subjects are available, and usually in multiple copies, so there's very little wrestling for books and you definitely won't have to go on long wild goose-chases for the texts you need. If you need something that isn't available, be it a book, film or journal, getting new books is simply a case of asking the librarian and waiting for a couple of days. There’s also generous workspace so even during exam term, when the library is pretty busy, there's always somewhere quiet for you to work. The top floor of the library is also home to the computer suite. Again, it’s very well-equipped, with brand new systems and printers and students can come here whenever they like. Printing costs are particularly cheap, meaning that many students choose not to bring printers with them. It too is open 24/7, although all rooms do have their own Internet connection. It also comes with Computer Officers, who are on hand during the week. No matter what you do to the college computers or your own laptop, they can fix it!
Extra Academic Support Sidney is very sensitive to students’ needs during their time here, and as such provides a lot of extra support to anyone who needs it. Rooms are set aside during exams for mock exam sessions, extra seminar rooms can be booked for revision groups or individual study, and if you want extra supervisions or revision help, you only need ask your Director of Studies, who will be more than happy to sort something out. This is all topped off by our generous Librarian, who offers everyone squash and (high quality) biscuits
every day during exams.
Welfare Cambridge terms are much shorter and more intense than those at other universities and when you’re on the go for eight weeks, things can sometimes go a bit pearshaped. Although it may seem like the end of the world, there are loads of people on hand to offer you support and advice, as well as a cup of tea and a biscuit if you’re lucky! From the moment you arrive at Sidney, you will be put in contact with other students and with members of staff who are there to help with any problems, no matter how big or small. A Social Welfare Officer is elected onto our own college Students’ Union who offers weekly drop-in sessions which you can go along to for a chat, either informal or in full confidence. The Social Welfare Officer also provides information on health related issues as well as free contraceptives, pregnancy tests and (of course) plenty of comfort food. In addition there is also an Academic Welfare Officer, a LBGT Officer and an International Officer who are available to help out with any related problems. Every student is assigned a tutor who can be approached with any problems at all. One tutor is always on-call and can be contacted directly at any time. We also have a college nurse who runs a weekday clinic and acts not only as a port of call on medical issues, but also as another member of the extensive pastoral care team. In all reality it may well be the middle of the night when you find yourself having a crisis, and cries for help do not go unheard. Welcome Peter, our ‘super’ chaplain who is on call 24/6 (Monday is his day of rest). The chaplain is well-liked and the affectionately termed ‘Pepsi with Pete’ sessions on a Friday are a great opportunity to stock up on calories before the weekend and deliberate on issues from World Peace to Desperate Housewives. In Freshers’ week, you’ll also meet your two - or in the case of experimental marriages, three - college parents, who are second or third year students. They will be around to help you settle in and offer you advice and insider knowledge on everything from your course (which lectures are actually useful and which supervisors give you chocolate) to college life (which bedders do your washing-up and which porters you shouldn’t make angry).
Accommodation Sidney’s accommodation is of a good standard and although rooms do vary in size and character, this is reflected in the price so you generally get a good deal. Everyone will get to live in the main central site for at least one year and in other years most Sidneyites are never more than 5-10 minutes walk away from college. As a first-year, you’ll live either on the Main College site or in Cromwell Court, which is a short walk away and, as fresher-only accommodation, has a real community spirit! Your first-year accommodation is assigned randomly but, wherever you are located, you’ll be living with other new students. In subsequent years, rooms are allocated using a ballot system. Small groups, which you choose, are selected at random and the higher up in the ballot you are, the earlier you choose a room. The ballot order is then reversed the following year. In second, third or fourth year you may live in one of the college-owned houses, the en-suite rooms in Blundell Court, or one of the larger rooms or sets (a study and a bedroom) in the older parts of college. All rooms are provided with fridges and Internet connections, and most have sinks. All college rooms also come with the added luxury of a 'bedder'. Bedders are incredible people; they empty your bin, make your bed and clean the kitchens and bathrooms daily and vacuum and change your bedding once a week. Their general policy is, if they can see your floor, they'll clean your room. With the exception of Blundell Court (which is en-suite) you’ll have to share bathroom and kitchen facilities with up to 5 others. These can be small but are kept clean and in good working order. What you can cook depends on your culinary creativity, what’s on offer in Sainsbury’s and the power of your Baby-Belling oven and it is possible to self-cater throughout the course of your degree, if you wish to. If, however, you can't always be bothered to make your own food, then Hall is a daily option…
Hall & the Buttery The Sidney chefs are award-winning, both within the University and nationally and our Head Chef is eager to gain student feedback, so if you find yourself at odds with the vegetables or missing a favourite dish from home, your comments are always welcomed. The food is relatively cheap, and you get the bonus of dining in Sidney’s gorgeous old Hall, complete with several portraits of the rich and famous! Food is paid for with a charge card which is added to your termly college bill. The food is subsidised by the termly Kitchen Fixed Charge of about £125. In addition, students can also sample the fine delights of ‘Formal Hall’, which comprises a waiter-service three-course meal with coffee and is always of a very high standard. A peculiar quirk of life at Cambridge, formal is a big part of many a Cambridge student’s life and although called ‘formal’, it is usually anything but, with Sidney’s hall being particularly famous for its revelry! Formals are a great way to celebrate special occasions and at just over £5 a head, it’s a bargain too! Drinks prices are quite reasonable, starting from £4.50 for a bottle of college wine (not recommended for those with weak stomachs!). Sidney formal is held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, which conveniently coincide with ‘bops’ and major student club nights. Ideal.
Social Facilities The TV Room This is the epicentre of Sidney life (basically, it hosts the TV) and where students regularly gather to satisfy their Neighbours addictions. Other crowd-pullers include intellectually challenging programmes such as Big Brother, X Factor and Jeremy Kyle. The TV Room also hosts vending machines and a variety of newspapers, delivered daily. Being good ethical types, there are also recycling bins here for cans, glass, plastic and paper. There are also TV rooms in some of the larger accommodation blocks.
The Bar Not only does Sidney boast one of the few student-run bars in Cambridge, it also proudly offers the cheapest prices in the whole of Cambridgeshire! Good news for your overdraft! With a pint or an alcopop available from just £1, a shot and mixer for £1.10 and a J20 for the bargain basement price of 65p, kicking back after a long-hard day can be easily afforded. It also hosts pool, table football, ItBox and darts, so is perfect to either start a night on the town or chill out for an hour or two. Students are also needed to run the bar, so, whilst you’re not allowed to have a proper job in term time, you can earn £18 a night working the bar!
Sports facilities Whether you love pumping iron or just want to burn some energy, you’ll be pleased to know that Sidney has its very own gym (complete with floor-pounding sound system). Although modestly sized, it does have a variety of weights and CV machines and we also have a squash court, complete with rowing machines and table tennis. These are both free to use whenever the porters will give you the keys (around 6.30am to midnight).
Chapel and Music Facilities Our chapel is a very beautiful and quiet place and is tucked away so might come as a surprise when you first walk in! It even proudly hosts Oliver Cromwell’s head somewhere under the floor, although apparently only the Master knows the exact location! Sidney’s music facilities include two grand pianos and a practice room, which are always available. Plans are under way to build a new auditorium which will have a large recital room as well as several underground practice rooms (soundproofed so no one will hear your mistakes while you practise!).
Other Student spaces Sidney has a whole host of other spaces, such as seminar and reception rooms, which can be booked for college society activities and functions. We also boast some impressive gardens (yes, you can walk on the grass!) tucked away at the back of college, away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. Summer usually sees these hosts to many a BBQ, sunbathing session, and garden party (complete with paddling pools!).
Extra-curricular Activities Sidney has a wealth of extra-curricular activities and societies ranging from the bog-standard to the downright weird! They’re all a great way of getting involved with college life, and you can take it as seriously as you like, from turning up once a term to being on a society’s committee. If, by some rare chance, your hobby isn’t represented at Sidney, you can always set up a society yourself. If you make it seem worthwhile, our Students’ Union might even be able to give you some money towards it too! Here is just a selection of what we offer:
Drama The New Arcadians Drama Society was established by two crazy first year students in 2007. The society's name links to the college's foundress, Lady Frances. Her nephew, Sir Philip Sidney, wrote The New Arcadia, in which lots of people dress up. It was deemed very appropriate! The society isn't designed to discover the next Hugh Grant or Emma Thompson, but simply to encourage Sidneyites to get involved in all areas of drama in their spare time. Drama in Cambridge offers great opportunities for fun & friendship and at Sidney, where the emphasis is always on enthusiasm and enjoyment. The New Arcadians offer a slice of some of the best moments Sidney can offer. Check out our website to meet committee members & learn more about Cambridge drama: http://www.scrf.ucam.org/newarcadians Abi, 2nd year English New Arcadians Drama Society President
Rowing Whether you want to try something new or continue something you’ve already started, rowing is a fantastic part of Cambridge life. It provides a brilliant break from the routine of normal university life and is a great way of meeting new people. Sidney Sussex Boat Club is strong, especially considering the size of the college. We currently have 8 boats so we’re in a good position of being able to provide for those who want a low commitment level as well as those keener boaties! Whatever level you row at, you will do morning outings at some point but these are really not as bad as they sound. Getting up at 6am becomes normal very quickly and an outing in the brisk January weather certainly wakes you up for the day! There are also plenty of opportunities to race, so we don’t just train for the sake of it. We finish every term with boat club dinner and other social events which are the envy of all non-boaties! I came to Sidney never having rowed before, and have had a brilliant experience so far! The club is really growing at the moment so it’s a great time to get involved and just give it a go! Carys, 1st year Law Boat Club Vice-Captain
Football Sport is a brilliant way to get involved in college life, and the joy of it at Sidney is that anyone and everyone is welcome. The women’s football
team is a mixture of university players, people who played a bit at school, and those who have never kicked a ball before. We play in the inter-college league in the second division of four and also compete in ‘Cuppers’. Matches are on Saturdays and training is currently occasional! Playing college football is also a way to meet people from other colleges, and we often organise socials (for example to formal dinner). The season is rounded off with our annual dinner in college with the men’s team, which is always a great (and noisy!) evening. Livvy, 2nd year, English Women’s Football Captain
Badminton Badminton at Sidney is one of the most popular sports, and hopefully next year will see a further increase in club attendance. Next year, we should be able to enter both men’s and women’s league teams as well as cupper’s teams. This year the men’s team gained promotion. WOOOO!!! The standard of players at the club range from absolute beginners to good players, so you’ll always find someone you can have a competitive game with, and the atmosphere is fun and relaxed. Jon, 2nd year Natural Sciences Badminton Captain
Punting Sidney's lovely punt is one of the finest on the Cam, and nothing quite beats giving her a good pole on a sunny summer's evening. If you’re not familiar with the joys of punting (i.e. pushing yourself along the river in a little boat with a long stick) then you have a treat waiting for you. Pleasant, relaxing afternoons in the sun, with a champagne bottle in one hand, water pistol in the other, and - if you're feeling adventurous – a punt pole (or paddle!) in the third are all the more fun when you're sat in a boat. If you've a competitive edge, there's the opportunity of trying your wit at punt racing - strictly a summer sport, as remaining dry is not guaranteed! Last year's Sidney team humiliated Oxford University's and this year a consortium will be battling Italy's finest in Padova. So come and punt at Sidney! Martin, 4th year Natural Sciences Punting Society President
Pool Pool at Sidney is a low commitment activity, so anyone can have a try out because you’ll certainly have the time. The team is currently in Division 2A but should hopefully get promoted to the top division next year. Pool is a game where you can all have a good laugh about it because the level of seriousness is not high, and there is good banter between teams. Plus we also have the best stash! There is also a inter-college pool ladder that operates during term time. This is for both team and non-team players who want to win bragging rights over/ drinks from their friends as well as the possibility of proving that they’re the best player in college. Jon, 2nd year Natural Sciences Pool Captain
SidNews SidNews IS the voice of Sidney! Imaginatively entitled, it’s completely student-run and comes out once a week, full of gossip, incriminating photos, rants, raves and whatever else happened to be sent in that week. Forget Hello and Heat, SidNews has all you need to know. As a small community, Sidney cares and people notice if you go missing for a few days. People also know what you got up to last night. Probably before you’ve even woken up. This is where the most eagerly awaited section, the gossip column, comes in. The eyes of ‘Siditious’ see and know all! If you want to have a go at writing more serious articles, Cambridge has two main newspapers - Varsity and The Cambridge Student - which also come out on weekly basis, as well as lots of smaller, specialist publications, and they always want articles so don’t be afraid of having a go. Mel, 2nd year History SidNews Editor
El Sid El Sid is Sidney’s (theoretically) termly online magazine. It’s packed full of stories, articles, games, recipes etc. and it reflects the somewhat, er, unique Sidney sense of humour. You can check it out online at: http://www.jcr.sid.ucam.org/sscsu/?title=ElSid_Online Micky, 1st year English El Sid Editor
Confraternitas Historica Confraternitas Historica (generally shortened to ‘Confrat’) is the Sidney Sussex College History Society. The society holds the accolade for being the longest running Oxbridge College History Society and many famous historians have been amongst our members. Every year the Society hosts several speaker evenings, when we get a distinguished historian to talk to us, and are followed by an opportunity for debate. Recent talks have covered everything from Medieval Slavery and Jesters at the Tudor Court through to the historical precedence of the ‘War on Terror’. Before each of these talks, the members of the society dine together at formal hall. This provides a great opportunity for students to form strong relationships with fellows and is one of the reasons that Sidney is considered to be a particularly good college at which to study history. Alongside the ‘academic’ side of the society, there are also a number of social occasions. The black tie Annual Dinner is a highlight of the year as is the Historians’ Garden Party which is held after exams. Basically, Confrat is a great society that allows people to discuss a broad range of different historical topics whilst having good fun! Chris, 3rd year History Princeps of Confrat
SSCSU Sidney Sussex College Students’ Union is exactly what it says on the tin. We work to represent the students’ interests and every member of Sidney is automatically a member of SSCSU. The SSCSU Executive (or Exec) consists of around 15 elected members, who are responsible for different aspects of student life, everything from welfare and entertainment to green issues and writing this prospectus! We also represent the views of Sidney students (ascertained at fortnightly meetings in the bar) to the wider university community via CUSU (Cambridge University Students’ Union). Being on SSCSU is a great way to get involved in college life and help make decisions for the benefit of all Sidney students.
LBGT at Sidney LBGT stands for Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender. Sidney LBGT is affiliated to the CUSU (Cambridge University Student Union) LBGT campaign, which provides support and welfare for students who self-define as LBGT, as well as hosting various events - from guest speakers to a weekly club night - and putting out the University’s LBGT magazine, No Definition. Within Sidney, the LBGT rep’s main job (aside from explaining all the various acronyms) is to act as a first point of contact for LBGT students. Cambridge, and Sidney especially, are extremely LBGT-friendly, and if any problems do arise, there are a multitude of support systems in place, which your rep can explain to you. The College rep also organises swaps with other colleges and other entertainments. The College Rep is very approachable (I know, because it’s me) so if you have any questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s completely confidential, as are all conversations with the LBGT officer. I’ll be making myself visible during Freshers’ Week. Just try to avoid meeting me… it can’t be done! Micky, 1st year English SSCSU LBGT Officer
Sidney Ents The community feel of Sidney is helped along by the priority placed on providing opportunities to get to know people from all subjects and year groups. This is where SSCSU Ents comes in. Every week there is an Ents event in college organised by the ever-enthusiastic (and generally slightly mad) Ents team. The most notable are the fortnightly Bops, where people dress up to suit a theme, go dance to some cheesy music in the bar and the best costume wins a prize! But there's more to Ents than looking mildly ridiculous on a Friday night. Other events include casino nights, games nights, stand-up comedy and quizzes, usually in the bar, but in summer also in the gardens. There's nothing better than seeing the whole of college enjoying themselves together, and that's what Ents are for, so that (in the spirit of Sidney) good neighbours become good friends! Abi, 2nd year English SSCSU Ents Officer
Applications Applying to Cambridge might seem daunting and stressful, especially with so many colleges to choose from. To make things easier, here’s some information and advice on what to expect if you decide to apply.
Can I visit Sidney Sussex before applying? Of course you can! We hold open days three times a year, in July, April and September. You can quiz students and academics on everything you want to know, and look around the college itself. If you can’t come on an official college open day, visitors are always welcome and if you contact us beforehand we’ll make sure there is a member of staff and, if possible, a student on hand to show you round and answer any questions.
The Application Process •
When filling out your UCAS form online, you’ll also have to specify a college code as well as selecting “Cambridge University” (Sidney is no. 03 although this information will be available on UCAS). The deadline for this is around October 15th, well in advance of the UCAS deadline for other UK universities, so make sure you’re not rushing to get things done the night before!
Within a month or so of sending your application, you should receive an invite to interview. This letter will also detail any work you need to send in (generally for arts rather than science subjects). Don’t prepare anything special, just send in something you’ve done as ordinary school or coursework which is unaltered and has been marked by your teacher. This way, interviewers can see exactly what you know, where you can improve and any suggestions your teacher has made.
Like all colleges, Sidney holds its interviews in the first two weeks of December. For most subjects, you will have two interviews, each with more than one tutor and at least one with your subject specialist (probably a Director of Studies). If you need accommodation, college provides rooms and breakfast to those travelling some distance, so don’t worry about having to do anything in a rush.
Many subjects will also ask you to sit a written test of some kind and/or prepare some material to discuss at your interview. These could involve commenting on a text or source, completing mathematical or scientific exercises or translating a passage into/from a foreign language. These exercises are designed to seem harder than what you’re studying at A Level, but will require the same sort of skills so try not to fret over them!
Interview Content: You may be asked difficult questions, but don’t worry if you can’t answer them all. Interviewers want to see how you think and how interested you are in your subject, rather than how many obscure facts you can reel off. You may be asked some warm-up questions, which won’t be counted in an assessment, such as how your journey was. You will NOT be asked anything in relation to why you chose Sidney, because it is unfair to open applicants.
After the Interview: You will be sent a letter just after the New Year, telling you whether you have been successful or not. If you haven’t, there is always the chance to reapply, and neither Sidney nor Cambridge looks unfavourably on this.
Pooled applicants: If you have been pooled, you might be called back for another interview at a different college in mid-January. If there are any clashes with A Level exams, tell the college reinterviewing you so that it can be avoided. You will hear if you have been accepted within a couple of weeks or less.
Summer Pool: If you marginally fail to meet the conditions of your offer, you might be placed in a “summer pool”, and chosen by another college which has space. This isn’t always guaranteed though and the chances of still coming to Cambridge if you miss your offer are, unfortunately, quite slim.
So... any tips? •
Interview Preparation: Keep copies of your Personal Statement and work you send in, so you don’t forget what you wrote about. In the same vein, don’t lie or exaggerate on your Personal Statement because the interviewers might just ask you about it! It might also be worth organising a mock interview at your school or college. Try and make sure it’s with somebody you don’t know well, who can ask you some challenging questions.
Reading around the subject: Make sure you read around the subject you’re applying for, i.e. not just whatever is on the school syllabus. Anything from newspaper and journal articles on related issues to novels by an author you particularly like will be useful. You won’t need to know everything, but you need to be able to show an active interest in your subject. Reading around is just as beneficial for you because you’ll learn whether you really want to commit a few years to that particular subject, and it’ll make you more confident at interview.
Dress: Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. A lot of people come in smart/casual clothes, but if you’d feel better wearing something different, then that’s fine. It will be winter, and Cambridge gets very cold, so dress warmly. Remember, you’re going to be judged on your brain, rather than how you look!
Don’t panic! The interview is just one part of a whole list of things that admissions tutors look at and it is by no means the deciding factor in your application. Don’t worry that you’ll be all on your own either. Lots of students hang around during the interview period to chat to applicants, show them to interview rooms or organise social activities if you stay overnight, so there’ll always be someone around if you need them.
Finance Going to any university will mean forking up some kind of cash. The question is, how much and when? The idea that Cambridge is a more expensive place to live and study than other universities really is one of those myths! Although you have to pay fees, they are the same as every other UK university and your living costs are greatly reduced by only having to pay rent while you’re actually living here, rather than for the whole year. Because terms are only 8 weeks long, that amounts to a massive reduction in rent! Fees Like every other English university, Cambridge charges the maximum (around £3,145) in tuition fees. As your Student finance company should tell you, this is not payable upfront. You can take out an interestfree loan to pay these fees, which you only start paying back once you have graduated and are earning over £15,000 a year. What financial help is there for low-income families? Although it may sound like a lot of money, it is important to know that Cambridge offers one of the most extensive bursary schemes amongst all UK universities, so that nobody, regardless of their family wealth, will be unable to afford to study here. For most people, there are two main ways of funding living costs while at university: •
Government Maintenance Grant: As well as a Government Student Loan which has to be repaid, all students from lower-income families are entitled to a Government Maintenance Grant of up to £2,835 per year which you do not have to pay back. If your parents earn below £25,000 per year, you will be entitled to a full grant and smaller amounts are offered on a sliding scale to all students whose family income is between £25,000 and £60,000 per year.
Cambridge Bursary: These also work on a sliding scale dependent on your family income and do not have to be repaid. All students who receive a Maintenance Grant from the Government are also entitled to a Cambridge Bursary and there is no limit to the number of bursaries available. If you receive the full Maintenance Grant, you will also receive the maximum bursary of £3,150 per year and if you receive a slightly lower Maintenance Grant you will also be given a slightly lower bursary. For example, if your family income is £30,000 per year, you should receive a £2,000 Maintenance Grant and a £1,900 Cambridge Bursary. And remember: neither of these has to be repaid!
On top of this, the college also offers a number of grants and monetary awards, so there’s no reason why you should ever have financial worries whilst at this college. Book grants are available to most students, as well a large number of music and choral scholarships, for those who take part in music-related activities at Sidney. In addition, due to the generosity of alumni and generally lots of eminent rich people connected with college, there are a number of smaller bursaries and travel grants available. All this finance can seem daunting, so to get more detailed information, please visit the University’s finance webpage: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/finance/index.html Another good website is the Government’s Student Loan Calculator: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/DoItOnline/Doitonlinestudentfinance/DG_10035908
Students’ Viewpoints An International Student “Before coming to the UK, I was very apprehensive about various things, mainly the social environment and the workload, but thankfully most of my fears were unfounded! I found it easier settling into Sidney than some of my friends in other colleges did. The college was welcoming and, more importantly, the other students were exceptionally friendly. Academically, it took me about a term to get used to the nature and pace of work, but I'm not sure if that's very different from my English coursemates. All in all I found it surprisingly easy to integrate into university life, and I think that Sidney is really a very accepting college.” Yi-Xun, 2nd Year Economics, from Singapore
Pooled Applicants “When I was pooled I resigned myself to the fact that I hadn't got into Cambridge. (Actually, I was *****ing myself!). The call from Admissions telling me that Sidney wanted to give me an interview was the best surprise I've ever had, apart from actually getting an offer! Now I'm at Sidney I couldn't imagine being at any other college.” James, 3rd year Music (pooled from Clare) “The admissions team were really nice when they rang me up; I was understandably very nervous after I'd got the pool letter but they were lovely. My interviewers didn't make me feel like I was an afterthought or whatever just because I didn't get in straight away!” Joanna, 3rd Year Natural Sciences (pooled from Pembroke) “When you start at Sidney there's absolutely nothing different about the experience because you've been pooled. Academically, there is nothing to choose between students who were pooled and those who applied to Sidney, and, of course, students from all colleges attend the same classes at the faculty. Sidney is a great college to study at and a friendly community of students and staff. I have made brilliant friends and I now can't imagine being at any other college. In fact, I'm considering a graduate course because I'm not ready to leave Sidney yet!” Grace, 3rd Year English (pooled from Clare)
Contacts We hope this has been useful in helping you make the decision about applying to Cambridge (and Sidney!). If you still have any questions with regards to any aspect of college life, courses, admissions or anything else, please feel free to contact any of the following: •
SSCSU Student Admissions Officer (the student representative for admissions and Access events at Sidney Sussex College): Sidney Sussex College Cambridge CB2 3HU Email: email@example.com
Sarah Nathoo, Sidney Sussex College Admissions Office: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01223 338872
CUSU Access Officer (the student responsible for university-wide admissions) for information about applying to any college and the University in general: Email: email@example.com
Cambridge University Students’ Union website: www.cusu.cam.ac.uk
Sidney Sussex College website: www.sid.cam.ac.uk
Cambridge University website: www.cam.ac.uk
Thank you! This prospectus was written, edited and designed by Lydia Green, Jenna Leathers and Priya Rao. Photography by Adam James Nall (shameless advertising: http://adamjamesnall.cantabphotos.com/) Front cover design by Sallie Godwin A lot of people have put their time and effort into helping to create this prospectus and without many of them, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as it has turned out. I would like to say a particular thank you to: Jenna Leathers and Priya Rao, for making a great start for me to work on; Adam Nall, for his amazing photographic skills; Sallie Godwin, for the wonderful illustration on the front cover; Dean Reilly, for teaching me how to use a computer properly; Kirsten Dickers and Sarah Nathoo, for their continued support; and, of course, all of the student contributors. Thank you all very much! Lydia Green SSCSU Student Admissions Officer