Boarding at CATS Cambridge

The new, purpose-built CATS campus has been designed to give students the best environment for studying and living in the city of Cambridge. All our students experience a friendly, relaxed and well-managed living environment.

  • Spaces to eat with friends Spaces to eat with friends
  • Elizabeth House Bedroom Elizabeth House Bedroom
  • Reading Room Reading Room
  • Student Common Room Student Common Room
  • Dining hall Dining hall
  • Elizabeth House Bedroom Elizabeth House Bedroom
  • Reception and welcome area Reception and welcome area
  • Catered facilities Catered facilities
  • Varsity House bedroom Varsity House bedroom
  • Varsity House kitchen Varsity House kitchen

Boarding facilities

Our boarding facilities provide students with a home-from-home, with over 230 single en-suite university style rooms, dedicated and guaranteed for CATS Cambridge students.  We also offer catered or self-catered accommodation a short walk from campus for students who are over 18.​

  • Our campus is safe and secure - verified through rigorous accreditation and inspection by the Independent School Inspectorate (ISI)
  • Student common rooms and shared kitchen facilities provide plenty of space for students to relax and socialise together
  • All meals are served on campus for catered students, cooked by our team of onsite Chefs
  • 2.5-acre landscaped single-campus site
  • Short 15 minute walk to the heart of the historic city centre – along landscaped parkway and world renowned Cam River and Punting
  • High speed Wi-Fi – with strict restricted access to non-child friendly sites and is turned off late at night to encourage students to rest
  • Each student room has high-standard furniture and bedding, and every student has access to laundry facilities 
  • Large park and amenities close by
  • Fully supervised residences
  • Medical provision on campus
  • 24-hour residential supervisors for under-18s

College residences

Elizabeth House Residence 

  • 230+ single en-suite bedrooms, some shared rooms also available, all full-board
  • Age 14 - 17 years, but all ages are a guideline only and subject to change

Download a sample information sheet

Varsity House Residence

  • Single en-suite rooms are available, all full-board
  • Rear courtyard offering seating and an outdoor gym
  • Students aged over 18 are housed separately from younger students in single bedrooms
  • Age 17, 18 & 18+ years, but all ages are a guideline only and subject to change

Download a sample information sheet


This option is only available to students over 18 years of age. It offers the opportunity to live in a friendly Cambridge family setting, and students gain experience of daily life and culture in the UK.

  • Fully furnished home-from-home, with welcoming and supportive Cambridge host families
  • Safe and secure
  • Comfortable, clean homes, regularly inspected
  • Single, private bedrooms
  • Breakfast and evening meal (hot lunch taken at College)
  • Access to a telephone and internet (on request)

International food

Since we look after students from over 80 different countries, we know the importance of food from around the world. Students can try food from many different cultures, but also enjoy a taste of home from time to time.

Our menus change daily – you can download some sample menus as an example of the balanced and varied food options available to students.

All fully catered students can take breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Dining Hall at the following times:

Breakfast: 7.30 - 8.40
Lunch: 11.30 - 14.00
Dinner: 17.00 - 19.30

Breakfast: 09.00-11.30
Lunch: 11.30 - 13.00
Dinner: 16.30 - 18.00

There is also a coffee shop which serves snacks throughout the day.

We offer a wide range of engaging and exciting extra-curricular activities to enable our students to develop interests beyond the classroom. 

The top universities in the UK and US look for well-rounded individuals with a passion for their subject alongside a wide range of social interests. By taking part in CATS Clubs our students build on existing skills as well as nurturing new interests to become the fully rounded candidate universities are searching for.

  • Dance club Dance club
  • Work on your leadership skills Work on your leadership skills
  • Table tennis Table tennis
  • Chess club Chess club
  • Improve your teamwork skills Improve your teamwork skills
  • Learn how to cook Learn how to cook
  • Play pool with friends Play pool with friends
  • Join a band Join a band
  • Table football Table football
  • Gym Gym
  • Music lessons Music lessons
  • We are proud of our football team We are proud of our football team
  • Basketball club Basketball club
  • Air hockey Air hockey

Clubs, activities and sports are a fundamental part of the CATS experience. Dedicated staff encourage all our students to explore their abilities and gain vital communication and presentation skills – learning the value of teamwork, community and commitment.

At CATS we offer opportunities of a lifetime – from Maths Challenges held at the University of Cambridge to Duke of Edinburgh's Awards. Our city-centre location also opens up opportunities for our students to join local clubs and societies during their time at CATS.


Our dedicated Activities Team works to develop and run events throughout the year, including cultural evenings and weekend trips. The range of events and activities on offer enables students to discover their talents, ignite new passions, have fun and enhance skills as well as making new friends. 

CATS Clubs

CATS Clubs are run with students’ needs and aspirations in mind, and vary from leadership awards to Olympiad challenges, from the debating society to special cultural evenings from around the globe. Our Clubs build on students’ existing skills as well as nurturing new interests.

We aim to enrich our students and encourage them to develop their own opinions whilst having fun – with a lot of students developing their ability to take the lead through leadership awards, debating societies, Young Enterprise and many more clubs.

Student Council

The Student Council is chosen by our students, encouraging everyone to have a voice. Suggestion boxes encourage new ideas for future events and ensure that all our students know that their opinion can be heard.

Duke of Edinburgh's Award Certificate

Today's students need to stand out from the crowd to achieve the best university places. We offer the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Certificate to provide additional credit / UCAS points, and exciting personal development opportunities.

The award broadens skills and abilities beyond pure academics, which is highly sought after by universities.

  • Open to all students
  • Students take part in a number of fun activities that benefit the community as well as challenging them physically
  • Students have the opportunity to go on an adventure as part of a team
  • On completion, students achieve a nationally recognised and highly regarded award certificate

Links with Cambridge University

As many of our teachers studied at Cambridge University themselves, we have strong links with Cambridge University lecturers and admission tutors. CATS Cambridge students benefit from these close links as academics and admission tutors visit CATS Cambridge regularly to offer students the opportunity to attend lectures, debates, find out more about the admissions process, and even have mock interviews.

Download an overview of the most recent lectures, debates and admission workshops


Our sports programme keeps students active and healthy, whilst enhancing their social and team building skills, and sometimes winning awards or competitions! The sports on offer vary between college and cater to all interests – from horse riding and basketball to table tennis and yoga. 

Sports include:

Activities and clubs include:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Volleyball
  • Netball
  • Gym
  • Table tennis
  • Badminton
  • Yoga
  • Chess
  • Choir
  • College magazine
  • Cookery
  • Craft/textiles
  • Dance
  • Debating societies
  • Drama
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Awards
  • Horse riding
  • Leadership awards
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Young Enterprise

Our dedicated, family-orientated staff provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure students feel supported, and keep parents informed every step of the way.

  • Staff provide a comprehensive induction for all students Staff provide a comprehensive induction for all students
  • CATS medical team are on-hand to support students CATS medical team are on-hand to support students
  • House parents care for students 24/7 House parents care for students 24/7
  • Staff are always willing to help Staff are always willing to help
  • Staff support and guide students from day one Staff support and guide students from day one
  • House parents ensure that students settle in House parents ensure that students settle in

Personal Tutor

We want all our students to be happy and fulfil their potential at CATS. This is our students’ second home and if there is anything that worries them, we would like to help – for this purpose, we assign all students a Personal Tutor (PT) to guide and assist them in all areas of life at the college. Together with about 15 others, students form a Personal Tutor Group.

Students meet with their Personal Tutor frequently and have regular conversations to support their personal development – discussing all aspects of life, from personal wellbeing to aims and targets, challenges and accomplishments. Whenever students have a problem or question they can ask their Personal Tutor, and can also email any concerns or questions to them directly.

Personal Tutors will:

  • Be involved in student induction and the overview of their study programme
  • Provide emotional and social support
  • Monitor attendance and academic progress
  • Maintain student records and help to write UCAS references
  • Act as a link between students, subject teachers and House Parents

Each programme of study also has a Programme Director (PD) – this is a senior teacher who oversees all the Personal Tutor groups. If a student’s Personal Tutor is not available for any reason, they can talk to their Programme Director or contact a member of the welfare team.

House Parents

Live-in house parents provide the highest standard of safety and pastoral care to grow an exciting and happy international community. 

They monitor the boarding side of the college and offer support to all students – including making teachers aware of issues that happen outside of college hours such as homesickness, trouble with homework or difficulties sleeping.

Welfare Officers

Welfare Officers will ensure that students have everything they need – offering advice on travel, culture shock, personal support and counselling.

Health Centre staff and College Nurse

Our fully trained Health Centre staff and College Nurse manage the Health Centre and provide physical and emotional support to all CATS students, including:

  • Offering medicine and medical/health advice
  • Giving emotional support
  • Advising on sexual health, drugs and alcohol
  • Providing information on diet and healthy living
  • Assessing and provide treatment if required
  • Making referrals to Doctors, Dentists and other specialists
  • Helping, supporting and counselling in regards to personal issues​