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Your academic interests – represented

SSLCs – I’ve got a hunch that most students at Exeter wouldn’t be able to tell you what the acronym stands for, let alone what the bodies are actually responsible for. Yet, Student-Staff Liaison Committees are one of the cornerstones to ensuring that the student experience at Exeter is continuously enhanced and improved wherever necessary.

So, who are they, and what do they actually do? Student-Staff Liaison Committees are made up of a handful of student Academic Representatives, a Subject Chair, and a discipline’s Director of Education. Meeting at least once a term, Academic Representatives are charged with putting forward praise and/or concerns from their peers about their academic experiences. The aim is simple: to reach a positive outcome for all students. Admittedly, whilst that may sound a little opaque, SSLCs work tirelessly to ensure that students’ concerns are addressed and remedied wherever possible; often by seeking clarifications on methods of assessment, suggesting improvements to specific modules, or highlighting areas in which a department could improve in its engagement with students.

To delve a little deeper, I recently sat down with Filipa Torres, a third-year International Relations student who currently serves as Subject Chair to the Politics SSLC. Initially answering “what don’t we do?!” in response to a question about what the role entails, she provided the following summary of a Subject Chair’s responsibilities.

“A Subject Chair is the contact point between the student reps, the student population as a whole, and the department. I attend meetings, write agendas, keep up with the feedback that student reps are reporting, and engage with lecturers.”

Filipa’s duties are primarily carried out during meetings of the SSLC. From my experience as an Academic Representative, these meetings are thoroughly productive and worthwhile. On chatting to Max Jablonowski, a second-year International Relations Representative, he too described the meetings in a similar fashion.

“The meetings are very chilled. We discuss any questions, the Director of Education comes along, and there’s no pressure whatsoever; you can speak whenever you like, and you won’t be limited in what you do say.”

It’s important to remember that these meetings aren’t a forum for simply expressing negativity, but instead, they provide a unique opportunity to propose creative and innovative solutions to the issues that are raised.

One example of this is the recent creation of a Peer to Peer Mentoring Scheme within the Politics Department. Having received feedback from first-year students that they feel ill-prepared for January exams, the SSLC, in conjunction with the Politics Society and various members of staff, set about recruiting volunteer second and third years to lead workshops on exam technique. The scheme will begin piloting two sessions this December. This is just one case that highlights the positive change that can arise as a result of SSLC action.

So, if you’re not convinced of the good that SSLCs do on your behalf; get involved and stand for election to one when the next cohort is recruited. Or, take it from Max, who reflects that being on an SSLC has provided him with opportunities to “meet plenty of new people, allowing you to build greater relationships with staff and students”, Filipa, who stated that a lot of the satisfaction she draws from being in her position is that “you’re representing a lot of students, and that keeps you going”, or me, in that I wholeheartedly believe that they’re the best way to go about affecting academic change at Exeter.

In the meantime, be sure to reach out to one of your Academic Representatives if you have any concerns about your academic experiences at Exeter; we’re always willing to listen.

Alfie Dewdney

President, Exeter Politics Society  |  International Relations Academic Representative, Politics SSLC  |  Student Representative, Exeter Grand Challenges

   December 5th, 2019    Exams and Assessment, Lectures and Seminars, Miscellaneous, Studying, Undergraduate


The Christmas act

One of the hardest things about the Christmas period is that whilst there are so many deadlines and January exams to study for, this is also the time of year with the most festivities. It seems impossible to get it right; on the one hand, staying in and studying means you are doing your best in your degree. However, on the other hand, knowing friends will be getting mulled wine from the Christmas market while you sit inside on a dark, cold evening is enough to make you lose interest in working completely. With seasonal changes in light affecting mental health and overworking meaning you can be at risk of burnout or anxiety, getting the balance right is vital.

Here are some tips which I’ve found helpful in keeping on the right track.

1. Make sure that when you are studying, you are doing it effectively, and right
Understand the way that you work best. For me, waking up at a regular time and working in the morning is easiest – it’s when I have the greatest amount of energy, clarity and focus.

2. Establish a routine at the beginning of each week
Use a weekly planner – free online with a quick google search – and decide when you are going to work, what you are going to work on, and when you are going to stop and relax.

3. Don’t be overambitious
Be realistic about what you can actually get done in a day.

4. Pomodoro your way to greater focus
Human beings are incapable of focusing for large lengths of time without breaks, so try the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25-40 minutes and work solidly. Take 5-10 minute breaks in between these chunks and step away from your laptop, make some tea, put up some decorations or do something else you enjoy.

5. Start your assignment today! 
We’ve all been there; a deadline feels like months away but before you know it there is only a week to go! Don’t be the person stuck indoors over Christmas because of deadline procrastination, get going now!

6. Eat that Frog! 
I use Brian Tracey’s Eat That Frog ABCD method to prioritise my work starting with the most important, scary tasks – the ‘A’s’, things you absolutely have to get done – all the way down to the ‘D’s’, bits which you could leave until later. You tackle the most horrible things at the beginning of the day when you have the most energy, and then that spurs you on to do the others. It also means if you don’t get the D, C, or even B tasks done, there is no guilt sucking your motivation the next day, and when you stop to enjoy coffee with a friend, you aren’t stressing about work.

7. 10 minute time trick
Struggling to get started? Just put on a timer for ten minutes and tell yourself that you will work steadily for just that tiny amount of time, no matter how terrible what you achieve is. Switch your phone off, close your door and do it. Telling yourself you just have ten minutes removes all the pressure of perfectionism, and before you know it, you’ll be pressing repeat on the timer and getting stuck in.

8. Don’t overwork

No matter what you might think, as long as you are doing your best that is enough. We are only human. Don’t completely cut out downtime just to get your deadlines in. Your mental health and wellbeing comes first…

If you need support now or over the holidays, speak to your lecturers or reach out to the Wellbeing team.

Written by Evanna Kappos, studying English Literature.

   December 5th, 2019    Exams and Assessment, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Studying, Undergraduate


Applying for the MA International Film Business programme: the timeline

 

The application process for Masters in International Film Business is not complicated, however, you should start a few months in advance. The good news is once you create your profile in the system it allows you to update each section at your own pace, go back and forth through the steps, and once you are satisfied and have completed it all then you can hit submit.

November – December Start filling the application form by first creating a user profile on the official website of the University. Make sure you read all the requirements. For the application process you will require these documents:

  •  A motivation letter
  • An updated CV
  • Official documents from your undergraduate
  • Proof of English Proficiency (international students whose native language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS test). Bear in mind the specific score requested. (Depends on the type, of course, you are choosing to pursue)

January – Application Submission: Make sure you submit your application by January as the University will take time to make their decision.

February – Acceptance Letter: Once you are notified that you are accepted in the university (which is usually one month and a half later, in most cases) you need to think about accommodation. They will also ask for the deposit fee** (usually 1500 pounds-which will be adjusted with your tuition fee later), which will secure your offer. Try and arrange the funds as soon as possible.

March – Accommodation: It is hard to find accommodation since its a short term in Exeter and longer in London. It is advisable to apply in student accommodations/ INTO (accommodation offered by the university) around March and April. June Visa: You can apply for your visa 3 months before your date of travel. Since the course starts in September, you should be able to start applying for your visa in June. The process to apply for a visa, the visa getting approved and it coming back to you will take at least 2 months.

Make sure you have enough time to carry out the visa process carefully. Read the visa requirements carefully when you apply and make sure you prepare all the necessary documents beforehand.

August – Pack: Start packing and get ready to leave! It is almost time, and by now you should start preparing all the things you want to carry from home.

**In case you are a Chevening scholar, you may be exempt from paying the deposit fee. You can request them to secure your offer and exempt you from paying it immediately.

For Chevening Scholarship Application Process:

July- September – Started application
February – First round – selected to interview
June – Conditionally selected

June – Finally awarded with the scholarship

Note: if you’re keen to apply to Chevening Scholarship, start with plenty of time and I mean give yourself enough time to do it. It’s a rigorous process, it’s long, it requires to write 4-5 essays, to answer questions wisely, so it can be definitely exhausting. Moreover, I strongly advise you that do not leave your submission to the last minute, so in any case, you experience any difficulties in uploading the documents you have time.

 

 

   September 11th, 2019    Miscellaneous


“Chevener one year but Chevening my whole life”

A dream comes true…

Suddenly there’s a day when all your effort is rewarded and you start receiving blessings. For me, it happened at 6 am on June 6th exactly when I got an email from Chevening saying “we are delighted to inform you that the selection panel was very impressed with your application and interview and have conditionally selected you for a 2018-19 Chevening Award”. I could not believe it was for real until I woke up in Exeter, UK, on September 13th. At that moment, I realised that my dream of studying in one of the best destinations on earth, United Kingdom, was becoming true. (more…)

   August 8th, 2019    Miscellaneous


Tips for International students coming to University of Exeter: MAIFB

It can be really scary and exciting at the same time, to go away from home and study in a new country. It is overwhelming to experience different cultures and people from all around the world. The MAIFB course is one such course where you would have a mix of students from different parts of the world. It helps broaden your knowledge about how people differ in different regions and parts of the world. Coming from a country like India, I made friends from the Caribbean, China, America and different parts of Europe. From my experience I can tell you that it is the most enriching experience of my life. But even before I got here, I had a lot of unanswered questions in my mind. Even though I found my way through, I wish I had known a few things before I landed in UK. So here are some tips: (more…)

   August 8th, 2019    Freshers Week, International, MA International Film Business, Miscellaneous, Preparing for University, Studying, Studying abroad, Year Abroad


My Housemates at the University of Exeter

I have been very lucky in my final year to be blessed with great housemates. In the beginning of the year, I’m sure many of you are concerned about how to be a good housemate to keep everyone’s living situation pleasant. Here is a snippet of my experience and tips for sharing a house at university! (more…)

   June 27th, 2019    Life in the South West, Miscellaneous


The University of Exeter Experience from a Japanese (日本人)Perspective

日本人から見たエクセター大学の経験

初めまして、エクセター大学3年生のコナです!最近卒論書くの終わったばかりで今年の7月に卒業する予定です。科目は BA International Relations (国際関係)です。自分ごとですがこのブログでは私の三年間エクセター大学の経験を話ししたいと思っています。私は小さいころからイギリスに留学していたため、日本の学校に行ったことがなく日本語もおかしいなか、エクセター大学にいる日本人と友達できるかなーととても緊張していました。しかしながら、大学三年生になって大学生活を振り返ると、日本人の友達がたくさん作れて、とても光栄に感じています。 (more…)

   June 27th, 2019    International, Miscellaneous


Berlinale Film Festival 2019: impressions of a first-time attendee

        

European Film Market
Business cards – packed, flyers for Green Days by the River (my last film) – packed, smart dress code – packed, passport and most importantly good vibes – packed. I am as ready as I ever will be for my very first Berlinale Film Festival. I have been to festivals such as TIFF, Tribeca and LA Film Festival and found that the bigger the festival, the harder it is to network, get access to panels and see films while the smaller festivals make it easier to get access to people, and have an experience. I wanted to be sure to meet as many people as possible and learn as much about the European Film Market (EFM) and understand the role and importance of this market to the industry and for filmmakers. I made sure to book my flight to arrive on the 6th Feb so that I could get a full day in at the EFM as our accreditation as students was limited.

Walking up to the Gropius Bau I was filled with excitement to enter the EFM and any opportunity that might present itself inside. First through the door, a massive variety sign and magazines everywhere and a guy giving out screen international bags. The place was massive, buzzing with activity, I really had no idea this was happening in the world of film. I had heard of it, but it was one of those things you needed to see to understand it. I walked into the huge lobby area with thousands of companies’ signage everywhere. As a filmmaker it was really exciting to be in a space so focused on selling films. I walked past the stalls with great intrigue, picking up leaflets and sales booklets. Companies from around the world had come to sell their country as a location or try to find distributors for their films. I had never been to a place that had so many movies for sale. It was also overwhelming to think about the competition to have your film sold.

After investigating the stands for a few hours, I realized it was really only sales companies selling movies, I didn’t know why I had the perception that buyers would have stands there also. I really thought I would see HBO, Netflix, Paramount, Lionsgate etc. It was a learning experience to realize all those companies were at the festival, but they were in ninja mode and only seeing the sales companies they were interested in. They were there on a mission to purchase films that made sense to them. The movies that could be their next breakout hit. The EFM represents a meeting place for film business, both formal and informal. It is a time of the year for industry people to meet face to face. I think, I will come back to the EFM better prepared next time.

Berlinale Film Festival
Next on to the Film Festival, which attracts so much talent from producers, directors, actors and crew members. Most screenings have Q&A’s in the main competition and there are special press and market screenings that you can line up and get access to once the cinema isn’t full. A really great place for networking. Just strike up a conversation and make new film industry friends. I saw some really amazing experimental films that I don’t think I would be able to see anywhere else. I prefer to see those types of films over films that will get a theatrical release as  you can catch them anytime.

Experiencing the EFM first hand is something I would highly recommend to Master’s in International Film Business Students. The knowledge gained has been perspective shifting as it allowed for a greater understanding of what happens to films that have been made or are in pre-production and how they are sold. It is a true marketplace for movies and networking. The EFM is only one aspect of the Berlinale Film Festival and totally worth spending time at, along with the rest of the festival. This event is definitely worth attending, whether your interest is watching films, networking or trying to find a sales agent or producer, you can do it all at the Berlinale. As a first-time attendee of the EFM, it is the place to be for the business of film-making. Five stars!!! Also, if you get time checkout the Berlin Zoo!!!

   June 26th, 2019    Careers, MA International Film Business, Miscellaneous, Postgraduate     , , ,


What’s Next?

Ten years of my life were dedicated to practicing horseback riding. I loved the feeling of companionship that you get when you train with a horse long enough, I loved the speed, the adrenaline, I loved feeling the change of pace when you (gently) nudge him/her to start cantering instead of trotting, and certainly I loved jumping and doing an obstacle courses. My family constantly used this sport as a metaphor of what life can be like, you see your obstacle, you take your time to get ready, you face it and you overcome it. Alternatively, you take your time to get ready, you forget a detail, the horse doesn’t follow through (as horses naturally won’t jump unless you give them the incentive to do so) and you fall down. When this happens, though, you get back up –not necessarily immediately, sometimes it takes a good solid minute to get back up from a bruised ego– you quite literally shake it off and then you try again. Either way you do not give up. (more…)

   May 22nd, 2019    Careers, Higher Education, International, Miscellaneous


India at Berlinale – My Experience at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival

I applied to the MA International Film Business course with the aim of learning more about how the cinema of my country is received in the international market and how I could contribute to making it even better. Attending the Berlinale was a dream in which I would get to meet professionals from the Indian film industry and get first hand insight on what it takes to represent the country with the largest output in terms of number of films in the world. Well, India’s presence at Berlin International Film Festival 2019 was much better than previous years but slightly underwhelming. (more…)

   May 13th, 2019    International, MA International Film Business, Miscellaneous


5 quick breakfast ideas for students

Even though I am somewhat of an early bird, I still have my mornings and days when I truly don’t want to get out of bed, much less get out of bed just to go to the kitchen to make myself some breakfast. However, even when I’m tired or just not feeling it, skipping breakfast is a no-go for me. Breakfast is an essential part of my morning routine and having a good one helps me feel like I’m off to the right start.

To this end I love finding the balance between something easy and quick, while also being wholesome. Thankfully this is not hard to achieve. It just requires a bit of preparation, but nothing too extreme, I promise. So here are my five to go breakfasts for when I rather spend some extra time in my bed. (more…)

   April 30th, 2019    Food and eating, Lifestyle, Miscellaneous


Why I chose to study MA Theatre Practice at the University of Exeter

It is that time of year, the time where the questions about your next step become more imminent and the pressure seems to be slightly on as the possibility to apply to a number of universities opens again. Thinking about the future, how this one decision seems to have much more weight than the others in shaping what your life will turn out to be. And to be quite honest the fact that there is a huge variety of options for “what to study?” “where to study?” “why there and not here?”, makes the whole process even more daunting. Now to that added stress factor in that you might be considering moving away from your country to study abroad.

If you are indeed thinking about doing your undergrad or your postgraduate studies abroad, I am not going to deny that it can be harder to make this decision. This is mainly because most of us cannot visit campus on open days and are essentially missing out on the one to one information and the vibe that you can get from the university during these events. As a result, we must rely heavily on the information we find online about accommodation, studies, social life, academic style: literally every aspect of what “uni life” means.

Taking this into account allow me to help you (even in the slightest) by telling you how I came to the decision of choosing Exeter. And why, even though is not technically a “drama academy”, I stand by my choice of studying theatre in a university as opposed to any other option. (more…)

   April 30th, 2019    International, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Postgraduate, Preparing for University


Balancing Your Breaks

I’m sitting in the train, and it suddenly hit me. “How did half of my Easter break fly by? My exams are in less than 3 weeks and my essays are due in a week!”

Being at the University of Exeter, you might’ve realised that we get pretty long Easter breaks and we often finish all our lectures and seminars beforehand. With about 5 weeks of holiday or more (depending on when your exams start), how do you organise it to get the balance of both work and down time?

This is something I’m still figuring out as I go along this Easter break but I think I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how I probably should’ve spent the earlier weeks and how to make the best out of the remaining weeks. (more…)

   April 30th, 2019    International, Miscellaneous, Studying, Undergraduate


BSc Business in Penryn – New York City Field Trip

One of the really cool things about studying BSc Business at the Penryn Campus is the field trips!

Our group on the first day at the Statue of Liberty

I am currently in my third year, and have just come back from an incredible field trip to NYC for my BEP3090 Research Module.  The premise of the module was to perform a mainly ethnographic study on an independently proposed research topic.

The idea was to give students the opportunity to observe business operation and internal dynamics in real life, in a national or an international context. On the trip, we were given access to international organisations and institutions through visits, guided tours, networking and informal interactions.

For my topic, I chose to observe the ways in which different organisations brand themselves to be ‘sustainable’ and whether or not these brand images held true in reality.

Read below to see a bit more of what we got up to throughout the week. (more…)

   April 11th, 2019    Cornwall, Higher Education, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus, Studying, Studying abroad, Undergraduate


Field trips on the BSc Business programme

One of my favourite things about being on BSc Business is the wealth of fun field trips we get to go on throughout the three years.

To give you a better picture of some of the cool places you could be visiting if you go on the course, I’ve decided to compile a list of my highlights from the past three years so far. (more…)

   April 7th, 2019    Cornwall, Higher Education, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus, Studying, Undergraduate


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