It’s International Students’ Day, so I thought it would be fun to show you what one of my typical days is like so you can get a sense of what to expect as an international student in Exeter.
In case you haven’t read my profile, let me dedicate a few lines to introduce myself. I’m Niki, 21, from Hungary, a second-year undergraduate at the beautiful Streatham Campus. After having changed my course 1… 2… 3 times (that’s right!), I’m now on track to get a degree title of something like ’Sustainability with French with Work Experience Abroad’. I feel that I really did find my passion in this course and I absolutely love my modules. I’m the Social Secretary of the Hungarian Society and I was part of the International Welcome Team this year, so you might have bumped into me in my bright pink T-shirt throughout Freshers’ Week. I’ve recently got the role of International Social Media Assistant at the University, which I’m incredibly excited about. (more…)
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…)
“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!
Joining the boat club when I got to University was an easy decision. Rowing since I was in Year 9, my main two questions attending University open days were “how good is the boat club” and “how good is Sports Science”. It goes without saying that Exeter came out number one.
Rowing in my first year was a great way to make friends. The girls you row with become your social circle and cheesy though it is, will be your friends all through university and way beyond graduation. It’s not uncommon for rowers that graduated two years ago to come back and pay the squad a visit, with the same being said for those that quit rowing at some point throughout university life holding onto the social ties they’ve made during their time at EUBC (Exeter University Boat Club). (more…)
Turn the corner of the complicated interior for the photography institute (well complicated for an Exeter student who had no idea where she was going!), pass the ever-growing stream of people holding bold star-spangled red magazines and you find the launch of Subculture – the newest student-led print publication.
(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!
Vegetarians. You either hate them or you are one. There’s no denying that vegetarianism and veganism are hot topics in foodie culture right now. And while I’ve been riding the veggie train for the last year or so, I promise I won’t use this blog to try to shame you into cutting meat out of your life. That being said, I’ve been working very hard (and eating a lot of halloumi) to bring you what I believe to be the best vegetarian hot spots in our little bit of Devon heaven. (more…)
For first year students and those lucky second years (myself included), reading week is upon us. But as you hear this term ‘reading week’, you can’t help but wonder what’s it all about? Well, as most people decide to go home for a few days, reading week can be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of a packed out term. Reading week is largely about enjoying the freedom of not buying and cooking your own food, of being able to watch TV, and of course, catching up with family and friends. However, not to be forgotten is the true purpose of this week, to catch up on academic work and basically organise yourself. First term can be a little overwhelming for anybody, living independently in a completely new place, making friends and adjusting to student life. Reading week is also just a moment to breathe.
From my experience, I advise: don’t waste your week! The second part of first term can be insanely busy and can fly by with deadlines, house hunting and exams looming. Here’s a few tips on how to deal with the period from reading week up to Christmas!
1) Use your time effectively in reading week:- catching up on any missed work (we’ve all been there), or start planning/writing your essays/reports etc. Also, as silly as this sounds, take advantage of home cooked meals! This is also a chance to bring anything back to uni you may have forgot,such as a Halloween costume. A Christmas jumper also always comes in handy in December (socials, flat meals etc)
2) In November, start looking for houses for next year. Make sure you’re clear on who you’re living with and commence house hunting! A lot of them are released in November and there’s a mad rush which leads up to the Housing Fair. You won’t want to leave this issue until when you have exams, it’s just unnecessary stress!
3)Don’t leave all work until last minute! Leave yourself enough time to do the research, write out a draft, edit the draft, and also enough time left in case something goes wrong (illness, losing work etc)
4) Go to lectures. As simple as this tip is, I know it can be hard on a freezing cold Monday morning dragging yourself out of bed for an 8:30. However, it is worth it, as missed lectures can slowly add up and when the time comes to revise, you’ll realise that you don’t know half of your course!
Lastly, enjoy this festive time of year! Exeter also has a fantastic Christmas market, which is something to look forward to!
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:
Every year the latest food ‘hype’ is splattered over the media whether it’s the importance of eating organic as seen in 2012, going gluten free in 2013 or the renowned ‘superfoods’ which in 2015 we were made all too aware of. The term ‘superfood’ became the popular buzzword in the food world last year, and even as students, tucked away in the south, it is something that we have been made to believe in, but what does it actually mean? And should we be getting involved?
Thus ends the first week of my final term here at Exeter. My friends and I feel a bit like we’re in limbo – people are forever asking about our plans for the future, and we’re thinking ever-more about what to do after we leave university. Some people are intimidatingly organised, and some of us have precious little clue as to what’s next (I’m in the latter category). Sometimes it feels like I’m wishing graduation forward, and have half-left uni already. So, since I’ve personally ruled out post-graduate options which would require full organisation now, I’ve temporarily suspended thinking about the future until the freedom of Summer term.
Seeing in the New Year in a living room jam-packed with my friends from home, I took a moment to contemplate how much I have to look forward to in 2016. There’s terms two and three, holidays and summer plans, a new beginning in starting second year and – rather frighteningly – my 21st birthday. Of all of these, it’s the latter that jumps out at me as the next twelve months’ largest milestone. Perhaps because I am – relatively speaking, anyway – pretty old for a first year. Whilst many of my flatmates and friends here celebrated reaching 18 last spring or summer, I turned 20 on a rather grey (and self-pitying) day in autumn. The phrase “in my twenties” just sounds far more adult than I feel.
Though conversations about age have seldom come up during my time at university so far, I know that being outside of the stock 18-year-old age bracket of freshers is a concern for many prospective students.
After a hectic Christmas, I have already submitted my first deadline of 2016 and am currently preparing to move back down to Exeter for the start of Term 2. New modules and challenges lie ahead, so I thought I may take the time to consider what I can do to make life easier for myself in the coming months by looking back at the previous term. These are not New Year’s resolutions as such, as I am terrible at keeping them, but more guidelines to help keep me on track while I tackle the new term.
Having spent most of Christmas in the kitchen eating everything that I could find, I thought that my student diet may be good place to start when considering the New Year. Now, I know many people try and change their diet after Christmas and do not always do so well, so I have decided not to make any radical changes, I just won’t spend all day with one hand in a packet of crisps and the other in a pack of mince pies.
Before coming to Exeter, I would have classed myself as a foodie. Not necessarily in the regard that I’m a vegetarian, gluten-free lover or self-nutritionist as some claim, but it was all goats cheese tarts, spinach and ricotta. However, like many others who have come away to university, my eating habits have degraded and I can no longer make that claim. All originality has vanished and cooking has gone from being a hobby, to a chore, simply a source of stress. The small self-catered kitchen in my Birks flat has become daunting, consisting of large piles of washing up, lacking clean surface space due to the remnants from last nights ‘flat party’ still remaining.