Life in Exeter

To most people, the prospect of living and studying in England isn’t really a challenge and in many ways it’s not. The culture is similar, the language is the same and university assessment is fairly alike. Until you get to a new country however, you have no idea what you’re in for. So… what’s it really like to live in Exeter, England?

Exeter? It’s a uni town. No hour long journeys to get to an 8.30am lecture or city protests blocking your way into campus. It has everything you need to get through uni; shops, clubs, scenery by the Quay and even Deliveroo. It’s a 3hour train from London making it the perfect place to study on the cheap but also close enough to the the big city to make weekend trips away achievable.

Day trip to London, Camden Town

The uni? From the outside it’s like being back at QUT. There’s never enough seats in the library, the food court is a nightmare and getting to the other end of campus is too far for a couch potato like me. What’s different though is the culture. QUT has societies and clubs but they aren’t a big part of student life. At the University of Exeter however, almost every student is a member of at least two societies. There’s a new social on every week and the students thrive on this sense of community. This is definitely something I’d love to bring back home to QUT.

Teaching? Assessment? Less contact hours is something I was pleasantly surprised by. Alongside a completely different teaching timetable. Weeks 1 to 11 are spent teaching, we then have a month break (which has just finished), followed by a month of exams. Assessment is fairly standard but only needing a passing mark of 40% is quite deceiving. Students rarely receive anything over a 65% and getting a 1st (equivalent to a QUT 7) is almost unheard of. So to say it was a shock when I got my first piece of assessment back is an understatement.

My flat? Thank God for uni accommodation; gone are the days when I have to get up early to make it to class on time. My flat overlooks the campus and all classes are a 5-minute walk away. The communal areas are cleaned 3 times a week and I have a bigger room than I did back home (winning).

View of Streatham Campus from my flat window

My flat mates? We have 4 English students, 1 Welsh, 1 Spanish, 1 French and 1 Australian. Living with so many people might seem like a struggle to some, but the only space we share is the kitchen/dining area. It has been the best opportunity I’ve had to meet people and make friends; living on campus is by far the best option when studying abroad.

Choosing Exeter for my study abroad experience is by far one of the best choices I’ve made. With only a month and a half left here I’m devastated at how fast the time is going. It’s made my time in England a home away from home PLUS J.K. Rowling studied here so would I come back? Definitely.

2 responses

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  1. avatar
    Ella

    Hi,

    I’m hopefully going to study in Exeter next sem and have a couple of questions,
    1. How many months was it REQUIRED for you to be at uni for? (like 4 months?)
    2. Do you have any advice about anything, do’s and don’ts ?
    3. Did you like it?

    Thank you !! Much appreciated

  2. avatar
    Emma

    Hi!
    1. I had to be at uni from mid January until the end of March. Their semester is set out so you study have a month break and then come back for exams. I was only there for two weeks of exam block before I starte travelling again.
    2. Do’s – live on campus!! It’s the best way to get involved and make friends (plus you’re closer to Saturday night lemmy). If you ask to live with British people rather than other exchange students it’s much easier to get used to the culture and make amazing friends. Also, stock up on rain clothes and proper shoes. You’ll find they come in handy.
    Don’t – try not to make travel plans to early (it can still be cheap don’t worry) I found out that when I booked to far in advanced I missed out on opportunities with my flat mates such as end of semester events.
    3. I loved it. I’m a Harry Potter nerd so it was incredible to study at the same place as J.K. Rowling. The people were incredibly welcoming and Exeter just has a really great feel about it. It’s close to London to make weekend trips achievable but also far enough away to stay cheap and enjoy the country side. I’d definitely recommend it!

    Good luck!

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