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Cambridge Traditions and 5 Course Meals by Cambridge

Here in Cambridge, all new students must go through a matriculation process in which you are formally admitted into the university and your college. I think all of the colleges has a matriculation ceremony on the first day of the term where all the first year students to the university sign a book or piece of paper. Each college also hosts their own matriculation dinner where all the students who matriculated that year are invited to a really nice dinner with the fellows (mostly professors) of the college. All the CME students participated in this process. My college, Gonville and Caius, just had its matriculation dinner a couple of days ago. After talking to the other CME-ers, I’ve concluded that ours was probably one of the best dinners among the colleges.

It was a 5 course meal that took nearly 5 hours. And the food was simply amazing. We were invited to pre-dinner drinks (champagne) with the fellows. After this, we went into the dining hall where we sat with people in our major and were served with lots of food and wine. Between all this eating and drinking, we got a chance to chat with students and professors in our major about classes, ultimate Frisbee (one of the professors didn’t know what this was so we had to explain it to him), Formula 1, and other life in Cambridge topics.

We all got individual menus that were written in French (don’t ask me why). The main course was chicken and it was really good. It wasn’t dry like the usual dining hall meat. I know the portions look small but you can get as much as you want. And I mean, it was 5 courses so we were all stuffed by the end of it.

No, it’s not this extravagant everyday. We only get a 3 course meal on a daily basis. Haha. No joke! But that’s just a Caius thing. Hm.. just realized this entry was all about food. Next entry will be about MIT CME students (probably eating food)!

11 responses to “Cambridge Traditions and 5 Course Meals”

  1. Hi
    I applied to Emmanuel College…Pls tell us something about the college culture in Cambridge also in the next entry!!

    Ankit Chandra
    Gaborone, Botswana

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi there!
    I have two questions:
    How do you apply for the CME?
    What do you need to be accepted? Is it like college admissions (GPA, community service, leadership…)?


  3. Caitlin says:

    Wow…. It’s a wonder you don’t all explode from that much food. I wonder if eating more makes you study better or just puts you in a food coma. Well, enjoy it anyways. smile

  4. Reg says:

    I knew I should have applied to Cambridge..

  5. P. Lodge says:

    Actually, its not just Caius… at least several of the colleges in Cambridge (especially the older ones) offer a 3 course dinner on a daily basis. though usually its just an option – you can choose to have 1 or 2 courses for less money.

  6. P. Lodge says:

    Unless by “3 course meal”, you mean the special formal dinners? in which case only a few Cambridge colleges offer it a several days a week or more. I think Trinity holds it the most often.

  7. Lucy says:

    I will try to write more about college culture in the near future.

    You can find info about CME at

    At Caius, there are 2 sittings of hall everyday, the 2nd one being the formal hall. Both are 3 course meals and waiter served.

  8. Eric T. says:

    Awesome to hear that the English are serious about their tradition and etiquette, since Britain has never been known for its food. It just seemed so classy and attractive.

    I would love to study at Cambridge or Oxford as an exchange program.

  9. someone says:

    hey, the picture at the top of this page is my college (king’s)! smile

  10. Mary says:

    Sounds amazing! I’ve always dreamed about studying at Oxford or Cambridge. How is the town?

  11. M Shiakh says:

    Hey guys what is CME????