I didn’t really decide to come to Cornwall – I originally applied for Streatham campus. I received an alternative offer between trips to visit family in Europe and a holiday in Scotland.
I did, luckily, find the time to come spend a night during the few days reserved for clearing students to come have a look. My brother and I grabbed a late train to the South West (by the skin of our teeth) and watched the countryside speed by with a mix of anticipation and anxiety. We landed in this strange land of rolling hills that dip into the ocean and bright yellow dairy only slightly ambivalent anymore about whether I should accept this offer or not. I know I made the right decision: Cornwall grows on you. (more…)
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.
What if I told you that you are only 40 minutes away from this beautiful view?
Yes, go ahead, go buy your £5 return tickets to Teignmouth now! Before I moved to Exeter, I never expected to be so close to so many amazing hidden gems in the UK. Teignmouth is a small (but stunning) coastal town in Devon with long sandy beaches and great local food. It’s the perfect weekend getaway for those who need a break from deadlines.
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…)
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…)
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…
“So what’s it like studying in the UK?” – the question that I have been asked many times by my friends and family back home. And it is a good question. Before making the journey from the US to England, I was very curious, and a little nervous, about how things would be different. What customs do I need to get used to? Are classes structured differently? Read on to find out more…
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…)
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.
Thursday 4th February is Time to Talk Day, a national event initiated by the UK mental health campaign Time to Change to confront stigma through open discussion about mental illness. I wanted to post this blog this week because the day is important to me, both for what it works for and the degree of personal significance it holds.
According to one National Union of Students survey, one in five students recount facing some sort of mental health issue during their time at university. This is – very roughly speaking, of course – one or two per flat/house, or three or four per seminar group. If this is a statistic that is surprising to you, it is probably because the majority of the people effected feel uncomfortable in talking openly about their experiences.
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?
“No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”
“The beach was too sandy.”
“We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
…Say some of the not-so-happy customers of Thomas Cook. If British holidaymakers didn’t have a bad enough reputation abroad already, they certainly do now.
Away from Spanish taxi drivers and overly sandy beaches, earlier this week, a woman called Hannah C from North Yorkshire took to TripAdvisor to let the world know about how outraged she was after being charged £2 for a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon.
At the beginning of this academic year, I was asked by the Student Blog team to have a look at creating something with the One Second Everyday app to document day-to-day life as a student in my second year. It’s been an ongoing project in which I’ve been taking a second long video each day of what I’ve been up to – whether it be a day in the library actually getting some work done, a basketball away game, my parents coming to visit and taking me to Cornwall or just nights in fooling around with my housemates. By choosing just a second a day I’ve obviously had to be very selective, and this video has by no means caught the best (or the worst) moments of this term where I’ve invariably not had my phone to hand, but it is nonetheless, I think, a lovely collection of memories and short but sweet insight into student life.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, sorting housing was without doubt one of the most stressful aspects of first year for me. We waited, just as all the Guild-endorsed promotions told us too, until after Christmas, and then spent a nightmarish few weeks charging around house viewings, ringing up landlords 24/7 and securing our current residence by pure luck that our email arrived 2 minutes before another interested party’s.
It was not a fun time, least of all because we had no idea what to expect and what we should be looking for. Everyone had different ideas, but we quickly realised we were going to have to collectively lower our expectations. Dramatically. ‘Student living’ is a catchphrase for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy living where I am now (although I think I could be living in a shed and still have a good time with my housemates) but there’s certainly things I’ll be bearing in mind when I go looking for final year housing. Just because you are probably going to end up somewhere a bit grotty, as is student tradition, doesn’t mean you should be sacrificing all comforts, and it’s best to be as knowledgeable as you can be.
So, from my experience here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re going about choosing and securing your student house…
And that was it. My last week of classes and my last full week in Exeter. I still remember quite clearly the very first time I walked to campus (it was dark and rained like cats and dogs), my first impressions of Exeter walking along the high street, my first couple of lectures. It seems like just yesterday I had all these firsts and now it’s come to me counting up all the lasts.
My professor for Modern Irish Literature, Dr. Ellen McWilliams, was so sweet and lovely and threw a little party for our seminar group with munchies and goodies. I think the last time I had a party in school was probably way back in elementary school. In my Dream Palace seminar, Dr. Lisa Stead also gave us all little treats at the end of class. This semester was the first time ever that Dream Palace has run so it felt kind of cool being a part of pioneer class for the module and sort of making a bit of history. If you’re in year 2 and wavering as to whether or not to take Modern Irish Literature or Dream Palace next year, I say go for it. It’s 110% worth it and you’ll get so much out of either or both of those classes!