Aislinn – University of Exeter – England
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Business
I recently returned home from a semester abroad at the University of Exeter. Safe to say I had the best time of my life. I really had no expectations of Exeter or the University itself as I had never even heard of the place until I did some research while exploring my exchange options. I wanted to go to a city that I wouldn’t usually go to for a holiday and somewhere not too big as I was only there for a short period. I feel Exeter was perfect as I believe I conquered everything I wanted to while on exchange. It was a city where everywhere you needed to go, you could walk. I was able to walk to Uni, walk to the shops and walk to the river quay which was a beautiful spot for coffee. There were also so many busses and trains that you could catch if you were wanting to leave the city for a day trip. I did trips to Topsham, Newquay, Torquay, Bristol, Bath and many more. It was so nice being able to travel to different towns and explore the West side of England.
The University itself was stunning. It sat on a hill above the city and had so many old buildings and huge grass fields. On my first day there, I could already tell I was going to have the best time. There were stalls which were advertising social clubs and sports societies such as netball, rock climbing, deep water swimming, surfing, skiing and many more. Exeter is widely known for their success in sport so there was a huge culture around that. Everyone got involved.
In freshers week, there were so many events which everyone went to and picnics where you could meet people. I lucked out in my accommodation and met such a nice group of people. The accommodation was in the city, right next to a Tesco and about a 20-minute walk to campus which was so nice. I lived with people from all over such as New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, France and also Australia. We all explored Devon and tried most of the restaurants around town. Our favourites were IFood (which is Thai), a Moroccon restaurant, The Old Firehouse and also Wetherspoons for cheap drinks.
I joined a netball team where we trained twice a week and had a game every Wednesday. I met so many nice girls through playing netball. Me and some of my friends I had met also joined the skiing society. This was great as we were able to get on to the Andorra ski trip which might have been the highlight. We went just before Christmas so it was our last week as a group and the perfect send off.
Some other highlights would have to be going to the Exeter City Football games and Varsity Rugby Game which was supposed to be the biggest game of the year, attending Batty Bingo which is an absolute must, plenty of Sunday Roasts and going to the sports socials which are a great way to get involved and experience the culture of Exeter. There were also Christmas markets in the city for the whole month of December and carols to go to at the Football stadium. It was really nice getting to experience a white Christmas for the first time.
The weather was cold but still nice for most of it. It rained a fair bit like England does but it wasn’t overly cold or windy. It was also great as Exeter is a two-hour train ride from London where it was easy to fly to different countries. I was able to go to Amsterdam, Portugal, Scotland and many other places with the friends I had met on exchange.
Upon reflection, there is nothing I would have done differently – apart from going for longer. I went in with minimal expectations as I didn’t want to be disappointed and was just happy I was getting out of my comfort zone. I am so grateful for my experience abroad, I met so many people and had so many amazing experiences which I could have never imagined. I loved the UK so much, I am already planning on moving back as quickly as possible. I can’t possibly recommend Exeter enough for exchange, it was truly the greatest experience ever and I wish I could do it all over again.