Welcome to Cambridge University: Everything You Need to Know to Before Moving

The River Cam lazily flowing through the lushest green lawns upon which sit the most glorious and prestigious Universities in the world. Cambridge. A city where academia reigns supreme. Students race around on bike loaded down with books. Dodging each other in a seeming never ending academic race to the finish line to claim their trophies. 

Getting accepted to Cambridge University is often a dream come true for many. But when reality sets in the old adage “be careful what you wish for” has never been more accurate.

Moving to Cambridge can often seem overwhelming and even dampen the wonderment and majesty of attending the University. But this is no different than any other move. It takes research, planning, and a lot of patience.

Set yourself up for success and immerse yourself in the wonderment of academia life at Cambridge. Keep reading to discover everything you to know about moving to Cambridge.

Cost of Living

The first place to start is to determine the cost of living as compared to where you are now. What are the average monthly expenses for groceries, internet, utilities, rent, and other amenities? What is the price of fuel like? How does this compare to those costs where you currently live? How much will you have to make in order to afford to live in Cambridge? How much student accommodation in Cambridge is available?

These are all questions you need to ask and get the answers to. This will help you to determine what kind of job you will need to have there, how much you will be able to afford in rent, and even locations of where to live within the city.

Cambridge Cost of Living

Cambridge offers a wide array of pubs, restaurants, and grocers from which to choose to tantalize your palate. The prices can be on the expensive side often on par with London.

If you’re moving from around the world to Cambridge the prices of restaurants are 4% to 23% more expensive than Toronto, Sydney, Paris, and Dubai, but 17% cheaper than New York. But there is always the option of cooking for yourself.

The cost of groceries in Cambridge is around 6% to 71% cheaper than Toronto, Paris, Sydney, and New York. Grocers are only 1% more expensive than Dubai.

Conversely though the cost of internet is cheaper than just about anywhere to include the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The climate is mild with temperatures peaking in August and dropping to their lowest in January. Lowest temperature averaging around 4°C and the highest around 18°C. If you aren’t using the Celsius unit of measurement, then those would be 39°F and 64°F respectively.

This means you will need rain and cold weather clothing as well as some warm weather clothes for the late summer months.

Cambridge Housing

Housing is usually included in the cost of living, but it requires a little more in-depth research than the other costs of living. Chances are you’re more inclined to rent, especially if you’re a student.

Finding a place to live in Cambridge can be difficult. Most of the properties are rented or sold mere minutes after they are listed. This is because of the lack of housing the growing population.

When you do find a place to live you can expect to pay around £800+ for a 1 bedroom flat in the city center and around £500+ for a 1 bedroom flat outside the city center. Those are equal to around $1,018 USD and €912 to live in the city center and $636 USD and €570 outside the city center.

But Cambridge compared to New York, Paris, London, Toronto and Sydney is cheaper to live in when comparing housing costs.

If you’re a student and are worried about finding student accommodations in Cambridge in time for the start of classes, there is temporary short-term housing available.

Student Accommodations

Whether you are needing a temporary place to stay for a week or two until your place is ready, or are visiting for orientation or tour, accommodations are available that charge by the week.

Located both in the city center and outside the city center these are fully serviced apartments rather than hotels or bed and breakfasts (which rent by the night). While not ideal for long term stays (prices are around £190 a week ($241 or €216 a week), they can help to relieve the stress of finding temporary lodging if needed.

Moving to Cambridge

Moving to Cambridge should be overwrought with stress, anxiety and frustration. Instead, you should experience the academia fueled excitement and splendor of one of the most coveted cities in the world. The lush green landscapes and tranquil flowing River Cam offer the perfect backdrop to expand your mind and immerse yourself in one of the most prestigious educational institutes in the world. 

Give yourself plenty of time to research where you will live, how much you will need to make, where you will work, and what amenities you may need to earn to live without. Enjoy the once in a lifetime experience for many and plan your move right!