When we say that Cambridge is a university town
we do not mean that it is a town with university in it.
A university town is one where there is no clear separation
between the university buildings and the rest of the city.
The university is not just one part of the town;it is all over the town.
The heart of Cambridge has its shops, restaurants, marketplace and so on,
but most of it is university—college,libraries,
clubs and other places for university staff and students.
The town was there first.
Cambridge became a center of learning in the thirteenth century.
Many students were too poor to afford lodging.
Colleges were opened so that students could live cheaply.
This was the beginning of the present-day college system.
Today there are nearly thirty colleges.
Very few students can now live in college
for the whole of their four years; the numbers are too great.
Many of them live in lodgings at first
and move into college for their final year.
But every student is a member of his college from the beginning.
He must eat a number of meals in the college hall each week.
Students are not allowed to keep cars in Cambridge,
so nearly all ride bicycles.
Don't try to drive through Cambridge during the five minutes between lectures,
as you will find crowds of people on bicycles hurrying in all directions.
If you are in Cambridge at five minutes to the hour any morning of the term,
you'll know that you are in a university town.
Stop in some safe place and wait.