Garden Party 2018

Getting Started

Welcome to Wolfson! We're looking forward to welcoming you into College at the start of this academic year.

Garden Party 2018


Your Cambridge journey will begin with a series of orientation and freshers events to introduce you to the various parts of the University. Check the key dates below to find out when you need to arrive for your orientation sessions.

Welcome from the President

"Starting a degree course in Cambridge can be daunting, but is also an incredibly exciting time. Be assured that there is a whole community to help you settle in here at Wolfson, to reach your goals and achieve your academic potential.

Something very special happens at Wolfson when we admit our new students, who are of all ages and come from all corners of the world. Bringing you together in one shared space, without divisions by level of study or academic status, creates opportunities for interactions that are immensely fruitful. Inspiration is all around you here, from casual conversations at the Coffee Bar to our wonderful Formal Hall dinners, as well as the vast range of events organised by our various hubs, clubs and societies.

Some of you will have a mere nine months here, some of you will have much longer. Be warned, though, time will fly! So I urge you to make the most of all that Cambridge and Wolfson offer; not just in your intellectual and educational endeavours, but embrace too the opportunities to expand your cultural, social, and sporting life. I look forward to meeting you all and welcoming you to our brilliant College community.

This is the start of an exciting new chapter, and I’m delighted that Wolfson will play a role in your academic journey. "

Best wishes

Professor Jane Clarke


Orientation timetables

Orientation events for new Undergraduate and Foundation-Year students will take place in College from the evening of Tue 26 through Fri 29 September 2023.

Orientation events for ALL new students, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students will take place on Sunday, 01 October 2023, 10am until 6pm.

A photograph of the new undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts will be taken on Sunday 01 October from 12 noon.  Whilst there is no strict dress code, we recommend wearing formal attire (business suits or equivalent) and a gown if you have one. 

Please download the orientation timetables below for full details:


Matriculation is the process by which you formally become a student of the University and the College. There are two parts to your matriculation, a University Matriculation, which entails completing an online form, and a College ceremony, which you attend in person. For University Matriculation, all students will be sent a link to the online University Matriculation Form in early October so please look out for this email. 

For the College Matriculation ceremony, the Tutorial Office will invite you by email to attend on one of the following dates: Monday 2 October, Monday 9 October, Thursday 12 October, Tuesday 17 October and Tuesday 31 October, beginning at 6.30 pm.  Please note that students are invited to a Matriculation event according to subject or degree and we are not able to accept requests for specific dates, so please keep all dates free.  We issue invitations in regular intervals from the end of September onwards, so do please monitor your in box (as well as your junk/spam folders) for your invitation.  If you have not received an invitation by 15 October then do let us know.  The ceremony will be followed by a formal dinner in the dining hall. Students are expected to wear formal attire (business suits or equivalent) and a gown if they have one.

Matriculation for many part-time MSt and MAcc students will take place in September, at the beginning of the course. These students will be invited to their given ceremony and dinner by email.

Start of term

The University term begins on Tuesday 03 October, with the first lectures and seminars at many Departments starting on Thursday 05 October. There are three terms in the Cambridge academic year, Michaelmas (October to December), Lent (January to March) and Easter (April to June).

The University Freshers' Fair will take place on Tuesday 03 - Wednesday 04 October 2023 on Parker's Piece, and features stalls from many of the clubs and societies across the University as a whole.



One of the first things that new students need to do when they arrive is to register at the Tutorial Office. The steps you need to take to register, including collecting your University card, are detailed below.

Tutorial Office opening times

The College Registration process is managed by Wolfson's Tutorial Office. Tutorial staff will be available in the Karen Spärck Jones room (KSJ) which is located next to the Club Room, on weekdays from Tuesday 26 September until Wednesday 04 October, from 9.30am-4.30pm. From Thursday 05 October Tutorial staff will return to the Tutorial Office located on the first floor of Bredon House. The Tutorial Office will be open on weekdays from 9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm.

New students are required to visit the Tutorial Office within the first week of term to complete their College registration. The identity documents required to complete registration are outlined in the next section.

Registration documents

New students are required to bring identity documentation to the College Tutorial Office within the first week of term to complete their College registration. Copies or scans of identity documents are not accepted, you must bring the original version. Please consult the identity documentation guidance to determine which documentation to bring.

University card

One of the most important items you will receive during your first few days is your University Card. Your card will have many functions during your time in Cambridge, including borrowing books from libraries, printing and photocopying, making payments in the College dining hall and bar, and accessing certain areas of the University.

You can collect your University Card from the Tutorial Office once you have completed College registration (see above).

University email

When you complete the University's Student Registration, you will recieve an email from the University Student Registry to activate your Cambridge user ID ("CRSid") and Raven password. This login will allow you access to University systems such as your university email ("@cam"), as well as many other associated services.

The College and University will communicate with you via your "@cam" email address. We recommend checking this email regularly and advise adding it to your email app or bookmarks. If you will not be checking you @cam address regularly and have another preferred email address, please ensure that you update your contact information in CamSIS with your preferred email address (see below) and set up your @cam account to forward emails to your preferred address. Please be aware that Departmental email accounts (for instance @JBS) are different from the standard @cam accounts and, if you are using one of these accounts, you should set-up your @cam account to forward emails there. Please also ensure that you check your junk/spam folders regularly and add the College to your safe senders list. 

CamSIS registration (required)

New students must register their personal details, including term-time address and emergency contacts on CamSIS (Cambridge’s system for handling student information, records and transactions).

Please note that although you may have received your Raven ID and Password you will not be able to access your Self Service account until the start date of your first term. Around this date, all new students will receive an invitation by email to complete your student registration.

When you receive this email, please log in to your Self-Service account and complete the Student Registration process. You can update your CamSIS record by clicking on the ‘Personal’ tile and then ‘Personal Details’ in the left-hand menu. There is a PDF guide at the bottom of this page with detailed instructions. If you are having trouble registering after receiving your invitation email, please consult the frequently asked questions.

To complete your registration, please update CamSIS with your current UK phone number and full UK (Cambridge) residential address (including postcode and college room number, if applicable) as soon as possible.

  • Please update CamSIS with your UK phone number in the international format (0044***********) if it is a mobile number, or including the area code (0**********) if it is a landline number.
  • For your residential address, if it is not in College accommodation, as a minimum, please provide your house/flat number, road name and post code.
Accessibility & Disability Resource Centre (ADRC)

If you have a disability or particular accessibility requirements, you may choose to disclose this to the University via the Accessibility & Disability Resource Centre (ADRC).

You can provide information relating to your requirements through the ADRC student information form. Completing this form in as much detail as possible will assist your Disability Adviser to determine what support the University of Cambridge can offer.

Further information for incoming students can be found on the ADRC website.


International students

The sections below identify some of the key areas that international students must complete when coming to Cambridge. Comprehensive information can be found in the International Students Guide produced by the University of Cambridge.

Visa documentation

If you are being sponsored to study full-time at Cambridge on a student visa, it is important to read the student visa responsibilities information on the University of Cambridge website, which is also available to download as a guidebook. These responsibilities apply if you are studying on a Tier 4 student visa or a visa granted under the student route after 05 October 2023.

Before you start your studies at Cambridge, you will need to provide us with evidence of your student immigration documentation for your student record, in accordance with UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

You will need to attend in person to have your documents checked and scanned. Tutorial staff will be available to check and scan your documents in the Karen Spärck Jones room (KSJ) which is located next to the Club Room, on weekdays, from Tuesday 26 September until Wednesday 04 October, from 9.30am-4.30pm.

Please download and read the Immigration Documentation Guidance so you are aware what you need to provide when you attend the in-person check. The information on the first page is for students who obtained their visa outside the UK, and the second page outlines information for students who are able to apply for their visa from inside the UK.

As outlined in the attached, depending on your circumstances, you may need to send us information in advance prior to attending the in-person check. If the guidance asks you to forward information by email, please send this to

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

If you have applied for your visa from overseas and received a vignette (sticker) in your passport you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after arrival in the UK. The BRP is evidence of your student immigration permission in the UK. EEA and Swiss nationals who used the ID Check app for their visa application will receive a digital status only and do not need to collect a BRP after arriving in the UK. For further information, and to arrange the collection of your BRP, please follow the guidance on the International Students website.

The decision letter notifying you of your successful visa application will confirm where you should collect your BRP. This will either be at a designated Post Office or via the University, depending on which you selected on the visa application form.

If you selected for your BRP to be delivered to the University in your visa application rather than the Post Office, you will collect this from us (The Tutorial Office at Wolfson College) after your other documents have been checked and we have received it. It is not necessary to collect it within 10 days of your arrival. Please note the BRP is not available for collection at the delivery address (Student Services Centre).

Bank account

Please consult the University Guide on opening a UK bank account. You may need a letter from the College confirming your student status to set up a bank account. If this is the case, please complete the following request for banking letter form.

*Please note that Barclays have changed their policy. An international student can now only use a letter issued by the College to open a student account if they have lived in the UK for 3 years. With these rules in place, it is impossible for us to produce a letter for this bank for International students. 

Travelling to Cambridge

Please consult the University Guide for guidance on finding your way to Cambridge.


Living in Cambridge

All full-time students are required to live in Cambridge for the duration of their studies, unless they have received special dispensation. You can find accommodation and travel information below, as well as tips for registering with a Doctor/GP.

College accommodation

To find out about College accommodation, who is eligible, and how to apply for a room, please visit our accommodation webpage.

Accommodation outside College

New students can register with the University Accommodation Service for help in accessing a wide range of accommodation provided by the University and private registered partners. There are also a range of online platforms for finding private accommodation, including SpareRoom, Zoopla, Rightmove and On the Market.

New students may also choose to join one or more of the moderated Facebook groups for finding housing and flatshares in Cambridge. The largest of these groups are listed below:

Please exercise caution when arranging private accommodation outside of an official provider, such as the University Accommodation Service or registered Estate Agent. You should always visit the property and see the rental contract before making any payments. This will help you to avoid falling for potential online renting scams.

Registering with a Doctor/GP

College strongly recommends all students to register with a local Doctor/GP for the duration of their time in Cambridge. The closest Doctors to Wolfson College is Newnham Walk Surgery (Google maps), and you can register online by completing their New Patient Registration form.

It is possible to register at Newnham Walk Surgery before arriving in Cambridge, providing that you know the date of your date of arrival, your GHIC card number (if you have one), and you use your Cambridge address as your home address on the registration form. Students living at Wolfson can simply use the College address: Wolfson College, Barton Road, Cambridge CB3 9BB.

Proof of student status

You may need a letter from the College proving that your are a student for a variety of reasons, including setting up a bank account, applying for Council Tax Exemption, or other procedures that require Student Certification.

To apply for a College letter for one of these purposes, please use the student status form.

Getting around Cambridge

The University departments and the Colleges are not grouped in a single campus, but are scattered around the city in a range of locations. The interactive University map shows precise details and locations of Faculties, Colleges and Departments.

Cambridge is a surprisingly compact city. This means it's easy to get around, especially on foot or by bicycle. It takes around 15 minutes to travel from the outskirts of the city to the centre by bicycle. There are many bike shops in Cambridge, as well as a Cycle Campaign to support new or less confident cyclists.

The Universal Bus network connects the railway station, the city centre and West Cambridge, and is subsidised for all University members. E-scooters and taxis are also available.


Settling into College

We've compiled all the information you need to get settled here at Wolfson: