One of the things that I noticed when I first moved to the UK was the fact that there is no such thing as a Thanksgiving tradition. As November rolls around, shops and high streets begin their transformations into Christmas wonderlands, radios start playing Christmas tunes and it’s as if November has been skipped over and December has started a month early! As one can imagine, for an American, this is quite an unnatural phenomenon! No more fall colours?! No autumn decorations?! Where are all the pumpkin-spiced food items in shops? What about the paper turkeys hanging in shop windows?! Why are people already wearing Christmas sweaters? (Fun fact: we say sweaters instead of jumpers in the USA.)
Luckily at uni, I am not the only student coming from abroad. About a week or so into November, I was packing up my bag after a lecture while speaking to a friend (who also spent many years in the States), about how this year was going to be the first of my nineteen years not celebrating Thanksgiving. Naturally, I was disappointed that I would not be able to join my family in Los Angeles to eat Turkey and pumpkin pie this season. We both concluded that this was an absolute scandal and something needed to be done! Before leaving the lecture room, it was decided that Thanksgiving was going to become a University of Exeter tradition.
Growing up in Southern California, five mins from the sunny beaches of Malibu, people often question why anyone would ever want to leave, but I did.
Picture this: it’s a Wednesday afternoon in October. You have just finished your lectures for the day. As you walk out of the Exchange Building on the Penryn Campus, a gentle gust of soft, crisp air brushes across your cheeks. The sun is out, the weather is beautiful, so naturally what do you do? You get your friends together and head to Falmouth’s Gylly Beach, just a few miles from good old campus. (more…)
Have you ever dreamed of going to a beach after a lecture? Have you ever thought it could be possible to have a group meeting with a sea view? That is what life at the University of Exeter can be like!
Studying at the University of Exeter will give you a chance to experience a lot of new opportunities. One of the advantages of being a student on the Penryn Campus is being only several minutes away from the sea. A big variety of clubs and societies, that can only be found here, helps students to broaden their horizons as well as gives an opportunity to meet people form different parts of the world. (more…)
“Wow, your Uni is so far away!” is something I hear whenever I let loose the fact that I study in Cornwall, be it from family, friends or complete strangers who are just making polite conversation, not thinking it’ll be somewhere that far away. Maybe that’s part of the reason why studying at the University of Exeter IN Cornwall lured me all the way here – it’s quite far, especially for international students like myself coming from different countries that takes hours on a stuffy airplane, followed by a long train or car journey after. The travelling can be pretty crazy, but it’s worth it once you reach campus and you’re immediately greeted with fresh air and pretty views. The campus itself is pretty modern, although some buildings such as Tremough House has a long running history with lots of character to them – in a way it’s a cool balance for most people!
Tonight, you may find me baking a chocolate cake, whilst Coast plays in the background, but on Monday I was attending one of the open events for the Tate St Ives. The gallery fully reopens this weekend after a massive refurbishment and the addition of a large extension and more important than any of the above… it’s free this opening weekend.
St Ives, in general, is always good for a day trip, the light, the colour of the water, the food, the beaches- I could go on. With train tickets using a 16-25 railcard are around the £5.40 mark it even fits in with the ever-tight student budget, I’d recommend going as soon as you get the chance because it’s the kind of place where you feel like you’ve been on holiday for the afternoon, thus making it worth the one and halfish hour journey, this weekend you can also take advantage of a Cornish cultural landmark.
Though student life has kept me very busy, I have had a few chances to branch out and explore what Cornwall has to offer. Travelling around can be tricky if you don’t have a car, although most popular destinations are reachable by bus. Luckily, through a mix of friends and visiting family members, I have been able to hitch a ride to some of Cornwall’s most beautiful destinations. Going by category, here are a few of the places that I recommend most highly…
Cornwall, as many of you have undoubtedly found out, isn’t blessed with the best transportation system in the world; it takes about an hour and a half to even get out of the county if you are travelling from Penryn or Falmouth. So how on earth can you get out and see what Cornwall has to offer?
The obvious route to go down is to drive, but many students on this campus either cannot drive or don’t have a car. If you are lucky enough to own a car, arrange days out with your friends; make the most of having the easiest form of transport to get around Cornwall. The benefit of having a car is you can explore pretty much anywhere without having to get train or bus connections. Navigating the bendy roads is tough, but if you are going to get lost anywhere in the UK Cornwall is the best place because you are bound to discover something; from little cafés in the middle of nowhere to stunning secret coves.
I’m quite glad to be back in Exeter after Christmas – I’ve learnt there are pros and cons of both living at home and in Exeter. At home, there is family, friends, cats and home-cooked meals. But in Exeter, there are even more friends, independence and a lot more fun. Living in the house is a lot better for me than halls, I really like my housemates and we always have a good time, whether we’re going out or just staying in. Although I was sad to say goodbye to my family, I was looking forward to getting back into a routine of learning and working. After all, there are only so many lazy days you can have.
So far this year I have been pleasantly surprised by the workload and the course. Coming back in September, I was really worried about how difficult second year was going to be, especially after struggling with first year. I think I’m used to the course structure, I know how to prepare for sessions and I know how to organise my revision.