I worked at several education fairs last summer on behalf of the University of Exeter and there were a few questions that were popular from prospective students and their parents. I have compiled a list of questions and answered them here, hopefully it is helpful to all international students who may be wondering some of the same things.
Jasmine Hui December 18th, 2018 Clearing, Exams and Assessment, Food and eating, Freshers Week, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Preparing for University, Studying, The city of Exeter, Undergraduate
Starting your new life at university might be scary but here you can find a little bit of information about what to do first when you’re on campus, where to get more information about Freshers events as well as get some tips from the current students. (more…)
Freshers’ Week is the week that all students, new or returning, look forward to. It’s the week of freebies, refreshments…and the parties. But if you’re an international student coming to the UK for the first time, then chances are you are probably really excited, freaking out a little and kind of confused about what exactly you need to do in Fresher’s Week. But don’t worry. We’ve got a checklist for you! But that’s not all. Keep reading to find out how useful and fun I found the International Welcome Programme!
Written by Nicola Lai, Thesia Salim, and Jasmine Hui
Whether you are an Asian student craving for food from home or a huge fan of Asian food in general, here are some East-Asian restaurants in Exeter worth trying out. Spice up your student life in Exeter with some oriental bites in the local area, you might end up going to the restaurants more than once!
It’s only a few months away until you have to pack up your life and move to an entirely new place. Huge congrats to you if you’ve been accepted to study at University of Exeter! Now, it’s time for you to get excited and prepare yourselves for your university life. (more…)
One of the things I was told multiple times before going to university is that “it’s what you make it”. Which seems kind of obvious, to be honest, and I was a bit bemused by it at first. Of course it’s what you make it, I thought. Everything is. (more…)
(NB: Hello there! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged here for Exeter student blogs – I’ve only just come back from a year abroad studying in Canada as part of my degree. If you’d like to read more about how my year went and see what I got up to, I kept up my own blog at https://tesstakesoncanada.wordpress.com/. I’m back for final year now, but will most likely talk a bit more about Canada in future blog posts and how I’ve found readapting to life back in sleepy Exeter! For now, here’s how my Freshers Week 2017 went.)
Out of the front door and into the sun I go.
One of my favourite parts about our student house for final year (four bedrooms, brown carpets everywhere, living room sparse of all but essential furniture, a broken washing line in the garden, but a blackboard in the kitchen my housemate has already decorated with stars and smiley faces) is the view from our top step. Over the recycling bins and bikes belonging to the neighbours, over the rooftops and past the telephone wires, there’s a perfectly framed view of the Cathedral, towers imposing and ancient, the Devon hills that have been here even longer, just visible on the horizon. (more…)
If you’re a Fresher, you’re probably taking part in a taster session, doing some shopping in the city or getting stopped in the Forum by every other person that wants you to join their societies. You’ve already been to loads of socials and taster sessions but can’t decide which ones to join, though the Activities Fair is around the corner? Wilko has run out of everything and you still don’t have forks and knives? You think you bought all the essentials and then realise you don’t have a peeler when you’re about to make some sweet potato fries? Even though you might think you’re the only one having concerns or struggling with eating a proper meal that doesn’t cost you a fortune, believe me, YOU ARE NOT!
It’s always difficult to start a new school year—the stress of what’s to come, the frantic buying of textbooks, and the hopefulness for a good professor have been major stressors in my life the last few years. This year, however, was so incredibly different. Instead of gearing up for another year of studying with my friends in Florida, I packed up my bags and moved to Exeter.
As soon as I stepped foot on Exeter’s campus two years ago during a summer abroad, I knew that I’d be coming back in the future. The thrill of moving to a new country and living a glamorous, jet-setting life was all I could think about for the longest time. I was fully expecting postgrad to be some lifestyle/travel blog come to life. The thing is, those lifestyle/travel bloggers only show you the pretty bits—not the “holy crap I don’t know what I’m doing” parts.
For me, this feeling manifested itself most prominently the first time I climbed Cardiac Hill. I started strong and confident as any young adult with good health would. About halfway up, I started feeling that burn in my legs and the pressure in my chest that comes with an intensive cardio workout. By the time I reached the top I was pulling up Expedia to see how much a plane ticket back to Tampa cost. ‘Surely,’ I thought, ‘students can’t be expected to walk up this hill every day?’ A month later I’m still asking myself this question.
Though nothing else has hit me as hard as Cardiac Hill there have been so many moments in my first month here that have really shown me what it’s actually like to be living away from home for the first time. The thrill of going out to a new club with girls you just met in class the day before. The panic of going to a society event during Freshers where you know absolutely nobody. The relief when someone tells you they also have no idea how to turn on their radiator. Worst, the weird feeling in your gut when it gets a bit chilly outside and you can only think of your mom putting up the Christmas tree.
This last month has felt like a lifetime. For every bout of nostalgia or homesickness I’ve had, there have been a million more moments of excitement, new friends, and realizing just how lucky I am to be living this life. Though at times it can feel scary and lonely, I’m so excited to be here and I cannot wait to see what Exeter holds for me.
Some key tips that I think any Fresher should keep in mind are:
I’ve been in Exeter for a week now and while there have been ups and downs (and I don’t mean just the hills), I’d say that things have been pretty alright for the most part.
I was greeted in Exeter last Sunday with a partly sunny, partly cloudy day by the incredible Welcome Team from the University. From making sure that all the confused faces coming out of the terminal at Heathrow found a friendly face with a smile, to ensuring that everyone found their way to their humble abodes for the next 4 or 8 months, the Welcome Team made a fantastic first impression.
In so many ways I’m glad I’m not a fresher anymore! I really hate awkward small talk and your first year is full of it. So, what subject are you doing? What halls are you staying in? Where are you from? It gets a little repetitive. You can be a maverick and open the conversation with a curveball question like “So what type of dragon would you have, if you could own one?” But, as much as I like pondering such scenarios, in my experience, people don’t like to be caught off-guard. You will meet a lot of people trying to act ‘normal’ (although, everyone’s weird on the inside) therefore you might play at being ‘normal’ yourself.
A friend that I work with is starting university this October and so I’ve been thinking of various tips and pearls of wisdom I might give her. I found the first 3 months really hard but I don’t want to tell her, or anyone, that for fear of putting her off. She’ll have a great time, I know that for certain, but not everyone will have an amazing experience. So here is what I have to say to you, my fellow misfits.
As you may have picked up on by this point if you are regular peruser of this blog (or, actually, if you have seen pretty much any of my other posts) I am a huge fan of lists. In-keeping with this trend, and in sight of the fact I’m entering my final week at uni for this academic year, I decided to create the Ultimate Bucket List for a first year student here at Exeter.
Disclaimer: Some of these aren’t specific to Exeter and are more general first year university achievements. There is also a distinct lack of clubbing/alcohol related challenges due to my own personal preferences on that front, but a quick Google has revealed the internet is full of them if you’re interested in that side of things.
So, from the bizarre to the admirable, to the must-do to the plain silly, in no particular order, here are 19 things I think it’s worth doing as a student in your first year at Exeter…