Latest blog posts from students

It’s never too early to think about your career

Many of you may consider working alongside your studies. Whether you aim to get a part-time job during term time or look for a summer internship, the University is there to support you in your career goals. At Exeter, The Career Zone is located in the Forum and the staff is always happy to help you find employment, advise you on how to improve your CV or give you guidance on how to nail an interview.

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   July 5th, 2017    Careers, Undergraduate


Stunning landscape, flaming barrels, scones to die for – what makes Devon a must-visit destination?

When I applied for university last year, I couldn’t make it to an Open Day in Exeter. quay I tried to ask around and get as much information as I could about the campus and the area. One thing I was constantly said by friends and that was emphasised on all the websites I looked at was how beautiful the South West was and how great the weather could be here compared to other parts of the UK. As I arrived on a rather sunny weekend in September, I faced the greenest campus I could have imagined and the most amazing view I could wake up to. Even though I was yet to explore all the beauties and treasures the area had to offer, I knew instantly that I chose the right place. One year was hardly enough to discover everything I wanted and there are still dozens of places I long to go to. For now, here are some of the locations I visited and things I did during my first year, all of which I would highly recommend to anyone coming to Devon.

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   June 20th, 2017    Exploring Devon and Cornwall, International, Life in the South West, Postgraduate, Undergraduate


Road tripper’s guide to Cornwall: My 12 favourite destinations

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…

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   June 15th, 2017    Cornwall, Exploring Devon and Cornwall, International, Life in the South West, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus, Undergraduate


My Journey from the US to the UK

“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…

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   May 18th, 2017    Miscellaneous


My third year at University of Exeter Medical School

It’s been a while since I’ve written for this blog, but I thought I’d share a few words about what third year at Exeter medical school is like. This year our cohort has been split, so half of our year went down to Truro for 3rd and 4th years and the other half stayed here in Exeter. It was a bit of a shame because a lot of friendship groups got split up, but people seem to be happy studying where they are. For 5th year we swap around, so those in Truro come back to do 5th year in Exeter and those in Exeter head down to Truro for 5th year.

I’m really not sure if the Medical School gave us enough warning about what a massive step third year is from second year. Last year we were spending everyday on campus with a few contact hours a day and just one day a month on placement, and now suddenly we’re spending 4 days a week on busy wards with hardly any structure or supervision. I’m not complaining at all, it’s so interesting and exciting and I feel more like an apprentice rather than a student, but it is hard work. I feel like last year if you didn’t know something, it was ‘alright because you’re just a second year’. But this year, I’ve heard of quite a few of my peers being reprimanded by doctors and consultants because ‘You’re a third year, you really should know that by now’. I’m not sure what they thought was going to happen over the summer, but suddenly a lot more is expected of us. It’s motivational though, the fear of being embarrassed drives you to work hard and make sure there are no gaps in our knowledge!

So, to elaborate on what the structure of the week is like this year: Monday is Academic day, where we have 2 hours of lectures and then either clinical skills session or professional practice group in the afternoon. Tuesday we begin our week of allocated placement and spend the afternoon having tutorials (1-4 hours of teaching sessions from healthcare professionals). Wednesday morning we have placement again and then the afternoon is free for self-directed study or sport (or working at Superdrug, in my case). Thursday and Friday we spend all day at placement. Our allocated placement changes every week, and often varies greatly from one week to the next. They are often specialities of medicine, such as cardiology, paediatrics, psychiatry, GP and obstetrics and we rotate so that everyone in the year spends time in each speciality. A week in each placement isn’t a long time, which is good if it’s not something you enjoy, but frustrating if you do enjoy it and don’t have time to really get stuck in. Some specialities such as cardiology, elderly care and psychiatry have more than one week allocated.

I’ve found I’ve got less free time than last year, and when we do have time off we’re usually so knackered from the week before that it’s harder to fit in activities like sports. Nevertheless, I still find time to work 20 hours a week at Superdrug and go to the gym 3-4 times per week, which I find keeps a nice balance to my life.

In terms of assessment, we have 4 Medical Knowledge progress tests and 5 SSU essays to write. We also have clinical competencies (performing examinations, taking blood, etc) both in clinical skills (a simulated environment) and whilst on placement. In addition to this, we have to write 2 reflective essays for our academic tutors to read.

I know we’ve still got so much time to decide which speciality we want to work in, but I’m keen on the idea of paediatrics. Although I haven’t actually experienced my paediatric placement rotation yet, so that may change in the future. The good thing about rotating placements every week is that by process of elimination we can decide which specialities we find interesting and which ones aren’t for us.

All in all, I’m still really enjoying my time here studying with Exeter Medical School. Although it is challenging at times, I feel so fortunate to have a place here and have also made it this far through the course. This year I’ve been given insight to what working on wards as a doctor is like and now I can’t wait to graduate and start working!

   May 5th, 2017    Studying, Undergraduate


A Vegetarian’s Guide to Exeter

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…)

   November 14th, 2016    Food and eating, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, The city of Exeter


From Reading Week up to Christmas: what to expect!

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!

   October 25th, 2016    Exams and Assessment, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate     , , , ,


Fresher Realities

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:

  1. Putting yourself out there and attending Fresher events are the quickest ways to meet people with similar interests.
  2. Almost everyone is going through the exact same thing—as brave and extroverted as some may seem, they’re just as nervous as you are.
  3. You don’t have to make yourself completely uncomfortable in the name of making friends. If you don’t want to go to the “wildest, sleaziest night out,” you really don’t have to.
  4. It’s not at all lame if you Facetime your mom and ask to talk to your cat—trust me on this one.

   October 24th, 2016    Freshers Week, International, Life on Campus, Postgraduate


Exploring Cornwall Without a Car

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.

Read the rest of Sibhan’s post…

   February 8th, 2016    Cornwall, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus     , , , ,


Time to Talk: Mental Health at University

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.

Read the rest of Libby’s post…

   February 2nd, 2016    Miscellaneous     ,


A Day in the Life of a Superfood Sceptic

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?

Read the rest of Mia’s post…

   January 28th, 2016    Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Undergraduate     ,


Why I’m studying A History Degree

Term two of second year has gotten off to a great start. I’m so glad to be back in the buzz of university life, have a schedule of basketball practices and Exeposé meetings to structure my week around and get stuck back into my degree. I was thrilled with how well received my One Second Everyday video was when it was shared on Exeter’s official Facebook page; 276 likes, 37 shares and over 5,000 views and counting! Looking back on it has made me realise how much fun I had last term – and how important it is to make the most of daily things; the walk to campus on a beautiful day, or weekend pancakes with my housemates. I will definitely be keeping it up for 2016, and now that I know the ropes of making a good compilation hopefully this one will be better than ever!

Today though, I thought I’d make a post on a more academic vein than I usually prefer to opt for. There’s no doubt that university life involves so much more than the degree, but it’s also important to appreciate we’re only here because of our degree.

Read the rest of Tess’ post…

   January 24th, 2016    Lectures and Seminars, Preparing for University, Studying, Undergraduate     , ,


Storm in a (lemon) teacup: The art of complaining

“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.

Read the rest of Connor’s post…

   January 22nd, 2016    Miscellaneous


A new tune for the last dance

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.

Read the rest of Susan’s post…

   January 16th, 2016    Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate     , ,


Year Two – Term Two

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.

Read the rest of Anna’s post…

   January 15th, 2016    Cornwall, Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Studying, Undergraduate     , ,


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