Graduate Life at King's
King’s is an exceptionally friendly and liberal college which has a relaxed atmosphere and a terrific balance between work and extracurricular activities. Whilst, like all Cambridge Colleges, King’s provides an inspiring academic ambience in which free thought thrives, it is the truly welcoming environment of King’s that sets it apart from its rivals.
The defining feature of life at King’s is the work hard and play hard mind-set. The Social Secretaries are the members of KCGS who dedicate their time to making sure your time at King’s is one of the most memorable and rewarding periods of your life. A staple of graduate life are the weekly drinks receptions, which occur every Friday evening, when a selection of drinks (including a surprise cocktail) is provided free of charge to encourage graduate students to come together at the end of the week. On certain Fridays the evening continues upstairs in the Vac Bar, a graduate only bar, staffed by the loyal Vac Bar team, who are committed to providing a friendly space for graduates to relax and unwind.
The indisputable highlight of graduate life at King’s comes in the form of the once a term Graduate Formal Dinner. The evening consists of a sumptuous three course meal followed by after dinner entertainment, all fitting to selected theme. Recent themes have included the works of Tim Burton (featuring hidden golden tickets), Cluedo (with a dinner party murder mystery), and Once Upon a Time in the West (complete with a country live performance).
Throughout the term the Social Secretaries also arrange Formal Dinner Swaps with other colleges, which give a fantastic chance to meet students from a wider graduate society and have a taste of their college life. Once a year Social Secretaries arrange a Swap with an Oxford based college. This offers a unique opportunity to experience life of students in ‘the other place’. Most recently King’s graduates have visited their sister college: New College Oxford.
Additional events which take place throughout the year include joint intercollegiate BOPs, summer barbecues and of course the all important Freshers’ Week, which comprises two weeks of continuous fun to welcome you to Cambridge in suitable King’s style.
Most importantly, it is the people that make a college and in King’s the stereotypical Cambridge student is hard to come by. If this sounds like you then look no further, choose King’s!
A guide to Formal Halls
In Cambridge, Formal Hall refers to a waitressed meal at which students dress in formal attire. The nature of Formals varies widely between the colleges that hold them.
In King’s you will experience a variety of formal meals, namely: Formal Halls, Super Halls, once a term Graduate Formal Dinners and Formal Swaps.
Weekly Formal Halls take place on Wednesdays during term time. They are a shared event which both undergraduate and graduate King’s members are welcome to attend. Super Halls are a themed version of Formal Halls occurring once or twice a term in order to mark a special occasion, most commonly Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
The unquestionable highlight of graduate life at King’s are Graduate Formal Dinners – organized once a term exclusively for the graduate members of the College. These themed and unforgettable evenings are always followed by after dinner entertainment. These are the times when get to taste bubble gum ice cream, buffalo mozzarella or Tabasco air (just to name a few) - all by courtesy of your Social Secretaries.
Finally, King’s is actively involved in Formal Dinner Swaps, when groups of King’s graduate members travel to Formal Dinners at other colleges to sample a different atmosphere and get to know other students over fine food and wine. In return, we invite colleges who host us to our Graduate Formals. The exchanges are organized by the Social Secretaries.
Tickets to formals and superhalls will generally go on sale in two batches: one at 14:30 the Thursday beforehand and another at 16:30 on the Friday. You can purchase your ticket via EPOS.
The dates of the Graduate Formal Dinners and Formal Swaps can be seen on the KCGS Calendar.
Tickets for Graduate Formals have moved to a three-day sales system. Here is how it works: The First half of the tickets will go on sale on Sundays at 3 PM (available for Graduates AND 4th Year Undergraduates) The Second half of the tickets will go on sale on Mondays at 3PM (available for Graduates AND 4th Year Undergraduates). The remaining tickets will go on sale on Tuesdays at 3PM as guest tickets (ONLY available for Graduates). An email will go out Tuesday morning indicating how many tickets are left for guest ticket sales.
You can purchase your ticket via EPOS. In order to do so you will require your Raven login details. Dinner menus are available to view via EPOS website on the day of the ticket sales.
You will receive an email from your Social Secretaries specifying the location, menu and price of a Formal Swap. This email will also include the information about when the tickets will go on sale. At the specified date and time you will need to access KCGS store in order to purchase your ticket and specify your dietary requirements.
This year, formal tickets will be priced at a flat-rate of £14.00. Superformals and graduate formals will be priced at £17, and include a themed cocktail as part of the price.
Dress code and etiquette
Appropriate formal evening attire for ladies is an evening gown or cocktail dress; gentlemen wear dark suits, dinner jackets or tuxedos. Strictly NO gowns are required. If attending a themed occasion guests are very much encouraged to dress to the theme.
The dining hall would usually open at 7.15pm (unless stated otherwise) for the pre-dinner drinks to be served. We strongly recommend getting there slightly early to allow yourselves time to collect your tickets (which will be posted into your pidge holes on the day of the Formal) and buy wine.
Wine to go with dinner can ONLY be bought from our bar or pantry prior to dinner, please note that absolutely no wine can be brought in from outside of the College. Each guest is allowed ONE bottle of wine bought from the pantry or the bar, if it does not have a sticker on it indicating as such, 'you shall not pass!'
King’s College Fellows will almost always dine at High Table during Formal Halls which means that the behaviour must be appropriate to this. Drinking games are banned, especially pennying.
Grad Drinks and the King's Graduate Bar
A staple of graduate life at King’s are the weekly drinks receptions, which occur every Friday evening at 8.30pm in the Grad Suite, when a selection of drinks (including a surprise cocktail) is provided free of charge. Don’t miss the opportunity to mingle with your fellows grads at the end of the week!
On certain Fridays (fortnightly during Michaelmas term) the evening continues upstairs in the King's Graduate Bar, a graduate only bar, staffed by the loyal KGB team, who are committed to providing a friendly space for graduates to relax and unwind.