Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to JCH

Who can apply?

JCH is made up of a close-knit, eclectic mix of student from all year levels. Many of our students join us the year after they graduate from high school, or after a gap year. We also welcome current University students with open arms, with quite a few of our students having moved into JCH in the 2nd or 3rd year of their Undergraduate degrees. If you are an Honours, Masters or Graduate Research student, you can apply to JCH while also joining our 'Senior Common Room'. You are welcome to apply if you are studying at the University of Melbourne, Monash University (Pharmacy) or RMIT University at the bachelors degree level or higher.

Is it harder to get into JCH compared to a College 3-4x the size?

On the whole, application numbers for each Unimelb College tend to be proportional to the size of the community. If JCH feels like a good fit, there's a good chance we'll think the same of you, too!

What does "leading academic College" mean? Do I need good grades?

Janet Clarke Hall is a Residential College committed to academic excellence since 1886. In turn, the students who reside at Janet Clarke Hall are dedicated to their studies, work hard to do well and recognise that education is a cornerstone to success. This doesn't mean they all receive "perfect" grades all the time (what does perfect mean anyway?), but it does mean they strive to do their best, consistently, and encourage their peers to do the same. This attitude extends beyond their studies, with JCHers excelling in the arts, sport, leadership and service to the wider community.

I can't afford College on my own. Is there financial support available?

Yes, JCH has long stood for equality in education for all, and has the largest scholarship program of any College (per capita) in Australia. In 2021, two thirds of our students have been awarded College scholarships or bursaries, typically between $3,000-$20,000, towards the cost of College fees. See Fees & Scholarships.

Do I need to prepare for the interview? What will you ask me?

As an intentional community we interview every student who applies to JCH. This is not a scary process, and it isn't something you need to overly prepare for. It is simply a chance for the College to get to know you better, and vice versa! We might ask about your hobbies, academic aspirations, what you hope to gain from living in College and how you see yourself contributing to the College community in kind. If you can't visit in person, we can arrange an interview over Zoom.

How do I compare the Colleges? How do I know if JCH is right for me?

Ah, the age-old decision of choosing the 'right' College. Think of it this way; same ice-cream, different flavours. At the end of the day you still get ice-cream. Yum! It's probably best if you just visit and find out for yourself which College is right for you! See Why Choose JCH

When will I know if I've received an offer?

Typically, most College offers are awarded around the same time as University offers are released (Dec-Feb). A smaller number of provisional College offers may also be awarded earlier in the year to help provide certainty to applicants, where possible. See Apply

Can I defer my offer?

Yes, you may defer your residential place at College for one year if you have also deferred your University offer.

What other questions should I be asking?

That is a great question to ask our current students. Join one of our Open Days, In Person Tours or Webinars to meet with students who know what it's like to live and study on campus. You can also ask more questions during your interview, or send an email to our Office Manager, Carolyn.

I'm a parent/guardian/careers adviser. Do you have resources I can share?

Moving into JCH

What are the move in/move out dates?

The main move in date is 20 February 2022. The main move out date is 24 hours after a student's final exam in Semester 2 in November. Student fees cover the Winter Break period, though we find most students vacate during this time.

What is Welcome Week? What is the Orientation program like?

Welcome Week is a time to get to know the College and the University (and for some of you, Melbourne as a city). It's a chance to get to know your new College peers, your tutor mentor, the College staff and most importantly to have a fun, supportive start to the year ahead. This week is full of informative sessions, events and activities from your first practice 'high table' and commencement ceremonies to trivia nights and scavenger hunts. All in all, it is a warm inclusive welcome to our community. Check out our 'You Can't Ask That: JCH Welcome Week Edition' video to find out more.

Do students move out during the Winter and Summer breaks?

The Winter Break is covered in student fees though most students do go home to family/travel during this time. Students are expected to move out for the Summer Break (with the small exception of some Graduate students with ongoing research commitments).

What should I bring?

As a general rule - pack less! Bring your essentials like clothes (including a winter jacket and something nice for formal events), linen (towels, sheets, blankets/doona), toiletries, laptop and washing basket. You might also wish to bring a fan, computer monitor, and a few knick-knacks like plants and posters to make your room feel like home. If you are an international student, we may have some blankets/doonas which you can loan for your stay.

Your room will be fully furnished with a bed, desk, lamp, chair(s), heater and wardrobe. Some rooms also have a fireplace which can be lit in the winter. The library has a printer and can also help source your textbooks. See Rooms & Facilities

What shouldn't I bring?

Candles and incense burners - they don't mix well with our heritage building. Fridges, heaters and cooking appliances aren't needed either - we will supply these for you around the College. Sadly, pets are not allowed (though plant babies are welcomed).

Can I keep my car on JCH grounds?

Parking is strictly limited on College grounds. In some circumstances, and when available, students may be permitted a parking space if their car is a necessity e.g. elite athletes travelling for sport. Students may otherwise park their car on the street, following Council guidelines. In 2022 a ballot system may be considered to assist with parking allocation.

Life at JCH

Will I be treated like an adult at JCH?

In short, yes. With adulthood comes both greater freedom and greater responsibility. We treat you with maturity and respect, and ask that you do so in kind for your fellow students and Staff. We value conversations over passive aggression; rich debate over echo chambers; problem solving over denial or keeping to the status quo. We're here to support you to both flourish and fail (and try again) - it's what young adulthood is all about.

Who lives at JCH? What is the culture/vibe like?

The people who live at JCH come from all different backgrounds and walks of life, united in fostering a respectful, inclusive community. Many are undergraduates (~90) from across Australia and overseas, some will be graduate students (~10), and some will be tutors who are close to finishing their studies or working in their chosen profession. Our Deputy Principal, Dean of Studies and Artist in Residence also live on site with their families, along with resident vacuum cleaners (dogs), Dusty and Delta. In an age of hyper-individualism our community centric way of living is quite special and probably different to anything you'll experience for the rest of your life. In terms of the 'vibe' at JCH ...See Why Choose JCH

What is the academic program like at JCH?

JCH provides a world-class university experience comparable to any leading College overseas. Since 1886 the academic program has helped nurture and stretch students to achieve their best in and beyond their University studies. Several Rhodes Scholars and Nobel Laureates are alumni and friends of Janet Clarke Hall, many of whom come back to speak to our students year on year. From composing and anthropology to calculus and immunology our tutors will have you covered through our academic tutorial program. Requesting a one-on-one consult is also great for when you need extra support with tricky concepts or approaches to upcoming assessments. As you continue in your degree there will also be opportunities for early-career, mentorship and internship advice and connections.      

I love sport. Are there opportunities to stay active and join a team?

Yes! With an optimum College size of 100 students, you'll spend less time on the bench competing for positions with your JCH peers and more time on the field competing against other Colleges in friendly rivalry. There are over a dozen Intercollegiate sports on offer, and we encourage all JCH students to get involved on the court, or cheer on the side-lines in our College colours: red, blue and yellow. While we may not win every time, our main focus is having fun together as a team while staying fit and active. In 2021 we had a number of elite athletes live at JCH who were also heavily involved in sports at the University and beyond. We also have our own tennis court and free membership to the on campus gym, pool, track and exercise classes.

Can I practice my musical instrument at JCH? Will my neighbours mind?

The ground floor corridors are often filled with the happy sounds of laughter and classical music. You are most welcome to bring your instrument (we've got the pianos covered) to play in one of our practice rooms from 8am-11pm. You can also play music in your bedroom, but it's best to work out a schedule with your neighbours. More practice rooms on campus are just a short walk away and there are many opportunities to perform at JCH throughout the year whether you are a musical novice or maestro.

Should I get a part-time job alongside my studies?

It is quite normal to have a part-time job to support yourself throughout your studies. Many students find jobs on campus, through tutoring programs or in shops and cafés in neighbouring suburbs. If this is your first year in University we recommend spending a couple months settling in before looking for extra work. That being said, some students choose only to work over the summer and some students may find their living expenses are covered through JCH's financial support program.

What is the food and catering like? What if I have dietary requirements?

Our food is lovingly prepared by our Chef, Josh, and his team of kitchen staff. Meals are fresh, plentiful, varied and a good balance between the best of home cooking and special occasion dining. Most dietary requirements can be catered for from vegan/vegetarian to gluten free and low fodmap. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and fresh fruit are served each day along with student club suppers a few nights a week. Throughout the year a we also have a series of special dinners, BBQs and brunches along with a takeaway lunch and late meal service if you have clashes with classes. See our Food of JCH Part 1 Video.

Does the JCH experience differ if you are Under 18?

We asked one of our U18 students what life at College was like. She replied "there are still plenty of ways you can live JCH life to the max. You'll find that whether you drink or not isn't really a big deal at JCH, and you won't be excluded from any College parties or events. There might be a group heading out to hit the club dancefloors afterwards, but there'll just as likely be a group planning a big night of movies and games". In summary, things you can do: Intercollegiate sports, arts and culture events, yoga, bake bread, dance on the tennis court, eat ice-cream, get U18 discounts, jam with friends...the list goes on! Things you cannot do: Drink. .

What is High Table?

On Monday nights at 6:30pm we have Formal Halls. This is an age old tradition where members of the Senior Common Room and special guests sit along one long 'high table' at the front of the Dining Hall, and members of the Junior Common Room are served meals and wine at their own tables. Formal Halls are a chance to dress smartly, wear academic gowns, perform music or poetry and share updates on student club activities and College life. 

What happens on weekends? Can I go home if I want to?

Most students stay in residence over the weekends, catching up with friends to explore the best of Melbourne. That said, some students who have family in Melbourne or in nearby regional areas may choose to go home over the weekend from time to time - they might even bring a friend to show them around Victoria.

How many years do students stay at JCH?

Most students stay 2-3 years, though a good handful stay for more! Students who stay longer will find the experience changes each year, from different leadership opportunities to joining the Senior Common Room. Whether you stay for just one year or many, you will become a JCH alum with friendships and connections that last a lifetime.

Is there a curfew or restriction on guests?

There is no curfew - College is not a boarding school. That said, we ask residents to be respectful of noise after 11pm. Students may invite friends and family to the College from time to time, and guests may stay overnight if they are signed in ahead of time. Most formal College events are for residents only but otherwise we enjoy meeting new faces.

Can I choose my own room?

Rooms are allocated at the discretion of the College. Returning students may select a room preference, with priority given to students who have been active participants in the College community and to those who have been in residence longer/are in the later stages of their degrees.

Are there rooms and common spaces that are wheelchair friendly?

All of ground floor and the courtyard is accessible - this includes a number of bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry, music rooms, library, study space, common rooms and the Dining Hall. 

Is the College LGBTQIA+ friendly?

Yes, JCH is a community where we hope all students (and Staff) can comfortably express their sexuality and gender identity. The student 'Queer Rep' helps organise a number of Pride events throughout the year from fundraisers for LGBTIQIA+ mental health and guest speakers on intersectional representation to marching together as a College at Midsumma Festival and meeting new friends at Intercollegiate Pride picnics. If you would like to chat to a current student about their experiences, see tour the college.

Other Questions I've been asked recently (Bee)....
  • Non-residential options
  • Does the College have sustainability initiatives?
  • How do I balance study/college/work/extracurriculars
  • What do the support services at College look like?
  • What will be different because of COVID-19?
  • Indigenous Students?
  • What if I don't get into my College of first preference?
  • Can I visit/tour the College before I apply?

Beyond JCH

How can I stay involved with the community after I move out?
What is Melbourne like as a city? What is there to do?

Quick links

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Fees & Scholarships
JCH Life
Rooms & Facilities

Our College is situated on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, whose stories, educational practices and connection to Country are part of the world’s oldest living culture.  We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and those emerging in our community.

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