A Cornish Student’s Experience at Penryn

Written by Kira BA English student studying on the Penryn campus

My name is Kira and I am an undergraduate studying English on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall. In September I will be going into my second year of study, and I wanted to share my experience with the Penryn campus and why I believe it’s such an amazing place to study.

As a student who has been born and raised in Cornwall, when it came to deciding my university my first thought was to what was beyond the Tamar. I did all sorts of research for universities outside of my home county but eventually decided that the University of Exeter, not so far from home, was the perfect university that suited what I wanted to study. A research-led institute, an amazing English course with interesting modules, and an atmosphere that I loved. I visited both the Streatham campus and the Penryn campus and applied for both. I successfully received two offers and was determined to study with Exeter, so confirmed Streatham as my firm and Penryn as my insurance.

As the summer of 2019 progressed and some major life events naturally occurred, I slowly realised I wanted to stay in the beautiful Kernow countryside. I made the decision on results day to study at Penryn rather than the Streatham campus. A decision I am glad that I made.

I applied to live on-campus so that I wouldn’t miss out on any of the classic ‘university experiences’, and to still gain that independence that would have come from moving far away from home. I met so many amazing people within my first week, mostly from my course. Joining various social media groups full of people who would be living in Glasney Student Village, taking the same course, or just generally being on campus, I felt I already knew so many even before arriving.

Something I was so shocked at was the fact that within my circle of friends and flatmates, so few of them were from the southwest. I met perhaps one or two who were on different courses who were from Cornwall, however, the majority of people I know are from further afield. Being someone from Cornwall going to a Cornish university campus, I expected to bump into people I’d known through my whole education, however, this was not the case for me. It felt like a fresh new start surrounded by so many new friends, but in a place I knew and loved.

With beautiful countryside and coastline, it’s hard to be dissuaded from living in this amazing county. It is definitely different from bigger cities that people may be joining from, and that perhaps is an experience in itself! Whilst Falmouth, or Cornwall in general, may not have a huge nightclub and nightlife scene, it does not mean there is absolutely nothing for that genre! Falmouth is also abundant in local pubs hosting music events and places for you to relax with friends after a particularly hard week. There are also many restaurants that you can take family or friends to when they visit!

Falmouth and Penryn have such a vibrant community, only a quick bus trip from the campus, with many independent shops and beautiful waterfront scenery. With a slightly longer bus trip from the campus, you can travel to Truro, Cornwall’s capital and only city. From its parks and cathedral to the classic retail stores, Truro is a beautiful place to explore.

One final comment from me is that I highly recommend everyone consider studying at the University of Exeter Penryn Campus, as its atmosphere is uncontested – it’s homely and friendly. Everywhere is within a short walking distance, and there are bus stops nearby for trips further afield. It’s a beautiful campus to work on with many places to relax or study. Don’t underestimate this wonderful campus; truly do come and visit to see just how lovely it is! I am aware that during this unfamiliar time with Covid-19, physical visits are impossible, however you can tour the campus virtually and if you have any questions you can get into contact with the university using this link.

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