Hello readers; we hope you all had a lovely relaxing Easter. This week we are going to take a look at living off campus. Did you know that for September 2020 nearly 20% of all our self-catered bedspaces will be off-campus? To give you an insight into what some of our off-campus residences are like, and the advantages of living off-campus, we are re-visiting one of our guest blog’s from Student Ambassador Jacob who lived in our St David’s residence; an option for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
During my first year of studying at the University of Exeter, I lived in student accommodation at St David’s. I specifically lived in the Kingdom Mews houses, which are a bit different to living in a flat. These are townhouses, very much like the shared student houses you might choose to move into after your first year. I personally liked living in a house as it felt like a more personal, homely space. You might think that you get more of a sense of community in the larger blocks of flats compared to the separate houses, but in my experience it is just as easy to make friends with your neighbouring students. It’s important to note that there are also flats in St David’s that you might be allocated to, which are similar to other flats on campus, with 4-6 students sharing.
One of my main reasons for choosing St David’s is that it is at the lower end of the price range. Money is always an important factor to consider, and rent at St David’s is very reasonable in my opinion. St David’s is a mid-sized residence: while it houses around 200 students, this is considerably fewer than residences such as Lafrowda or Birks Grange Village, and definitely feels smaller due to the townhouses being more spread out. This could also be a big draw for some people. Being in a smaller residence also means it can be quieter. While parties inevitably happen wherever there are students, I never experienced any problems with people being too loud, drunk or messy at St David’s. In fact, when there were parties around, the music would always be turned down around 11 pm. St David’s feels like a safe and relaxed space. Of course, if you do have any trouble or concerns, reception staff and Estate Patrol are always easy to get in contact with.
There is an on-going programme of refurbishments at St David’s, which means you could end up in a modernised and redecorated house/flat. I lived in one of the “less modern” houses, however this was not a problem at all. Any house will have everything you need or would expect. The refurbishments are really more about aesthetics, and yet my housemates and I agreed that our less modern house felt more cosy and homely.
St David’s is a self-catered accommodation. Whether this is something you want is of course entirely up to you. While you are responsible for your own room, a cleaner will come around on a weekly basis to do the kitchen, hallways and bathrooms. We just so happened to have the friendliest, most lovable cleaner in the world! I’m sure many of them have great stories to tell if you just have a chat with them.
St David’s is considered to be off-campus. I usually described it as being right between the university and the city. It takes about 20 minutes (15 if you’re fast) to walk to the centre of Streatham campus, and about 15 to get to the city (although this obviously varies depending on where you’re going). While some residences can be very conveniently placed on campus, these can also be a bit further away from the city centre. This will inevitably be up to preference, but personally I thought St David’s location was a good middle ground. However, should you not want to walk up the hills to campus there are free shuttle buses that go from St David’s to campus regularly every morning, and back again in the evening. I found this especially nice on a rainy day! On the topic of location and transport, perhaps the most convenient thing about St David’s – and what I miss the most – is that it’s right across from Exeter St David’s train station. You are likely to take the train at some point (I certainly do a lot) and living so close to the station just made everything so much easier.
Thank you to Student Ambassador Jacob for sharing his experience of living at St David’s.