My name is Hannah Short, and I'm the current internationals officer. I'm here to help with any concerns or queries that an international student may have; being international is not passport based and anyone who identifies as international more than welcome to contact me!
Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you on your place at Pembroke and Cambridge! Not only is it a prestigious institution, but Pembroke is a fantastic place to call home, so WELCOME!
While studying oversees can seem daunting and scary, you'll soon settle in and I (and the rest of the JPC) will aim to make your move as easy and simple as possible. It doesn't matter whether you're a seasoned traveller, or if this is your first time oversees, you'll have plenty of support to help make Pembroke your home away from home.
At the beginning of the academic year, you're welcome to move in a few days early and attend International Freshers' Week (as will be addressed in an email I send out), but regardless of when you choose to move in, I (and/or the rest of the JPC) will be around to welcome you. Please let me know when/how you're arriving as this will allow me to help you out (ie. meet you at the train station or organise taxi-shares). You can email me at email@example.com
Feell free to contact me about anything else too; I'm happy to give advice on anything from bank accounts, to storage (which is free and prioritised for international students), to what to pack. I'm also around to hear your concerns, worries, suggestions or help you with homesickness (we've all been there). During term time I will be available to meet you face-to-face or you can contact me via email at any point. Anything you say can remain anonymous, should you wish that.
During the year, I'll also be running a number of international events like themed formals, foreign films and tea-parties both within Pembroke and inter-collegiate. These events areaimed at strengthening the international community, and appreciating/celebrating other cultures and countries.
If you are a prospective student and have any questions, please email me!
Advice about getting to Cambridge:
- The most convenient airport to fly into is Stansted, as there is a direct train from Stansted Airport to Cambridge in just over 30mins. (Stansted Express: Services go: London Liverpool Street - Tottenham Hale - Stansted Airport, and another goes Cambrige - Stansted. Tickets are, from experience, around 18GBP without a railcard.)
- If going through Heathrow Airport: You can take a bus directly from Heathrow to Cambridge (takes about 2h40min). It is the cheapest option and the most hassle free (I think) if you have lots of luggage. Tickets are around 30GBP for one-way (37GBP return). It might be worth getting a taxi to London King's Cross or London Liverpool Street Station (both have direct train services to Cambridge). You can get the tube to King's Cross, which is cheaper but it takes a long time, and it might be a bit of a hassle if you have a lot of luggage. Also an option is to take the express train from Heathrow to Paddington Station and then tube to King's Cross (way too much of a hassle in my opinion, especially for the price), and then to take the train from there to Cambridge.
- If going through Gatwick Airport, there is a train from the airport to London St. Pancras Station. All you then need to do is cross the street over to King's Cross, and get the train to Cambridge.
- If going to Luton Airport, I would recommend taking the bus to Cambridge (there are buses that go direct from London Luton Airport to Cambridge). You can also take a taxi (it will take you door to door but will also be significantly more expensive).
- From London: there are trains that go from King's Cross Station, and from London Liverpool Street Station. From King's X: there are fast trains (45 to 50min) and slower ones (1h10min typically). If you end up getting one of the latest trains (around midnight or 1am), you'll find out there is also a super-slow one that stops at every single stop along the route. That one easily takes 1h40min (i made that mistake once - not the best end to a long trip). From Liverpool Street: the trains take about 1h10min and the tickets tend to be slightly cheaper.
- Once in Cambridge: if you're at the bus stop, it's a 15min walk to Pembroke. Don't be afraid to ask, people tend to know where the colleges are. If they don't, ask for the town centre or Fitzbillies (it's across the street from Pembroke College), or move on and find another person who might know! If you got in by train, I would recommend getting a taxi to Pembroke's front door: it takes about 10min and costs around 8GBP (definitely worth it if you have luggage.) It's about 25min to walk, (so if you walk it, same as previously, ask around).
- Cambridge University Student Union International: https://www.facebook.com/iCUSU
- Pem.Ints (This is really useful especially when I'm not able to connect to the internet - other internationals in Pembroke can help you out): https://www.facebook.com/groups.253840968106420/
- Pembroke Exchange (really useful - the whole Pembroke student body is on it basically: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1882402605318479/
- Pembroke Foreign Films (run by the International Officer and Pembroke students): https://www.facebook.com/Pembroke-Foreign-Films-979096555434079/
-Cambridge University International Freshers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744112319164695/