As an international student, it was not possible for me to fly over to Exeter just to take a look at the campus and the accommodation offered by the university. The accommodation website was a great help for me because it provides all the detailed information about each hall and includes high-quality virtual tours.
My first choice was self-catered halls with en-suite rooms, however, I was really late to submit my accommodation application (right before the final deadline in August) and ended up in a catered hall. I like to be in charge of my own meals so it wasn’t great for me.
I stayed where I was for two months then decided to move to one of the townhouses in Birks Grange Village. The main reason I wanted to move was I wanted to cook. So for the rest of my first year, I lived in a self-catered hall and shared one bathroom with another girl in my house.
I loved my new accommodation so much, I think that was when my university life really started. I had the best housemates I could ever ask for, they were so warm and welcoming when I moved in and they made sure I felt comfortable in the house. I really enjoyed being able to cook what I liked to eat every day and I appreciated having a private bathroom.
From Birks it took me roughly 15 minutes to get to uni and 20-25 minutes to get to town. I dreaded walking that distance at first but I got used to it and it was fine afterwards.
The most important thing before choosing your accommodation is knowing what you want: for example, if you want to share toilet and kitchen facilities with other people, or if you want to be in charge of your own meals.
If you enjoy being alone and high level of privacy, studios are perfect for you. If you want to meet more friends and don’t mind sharing, you can opt for en suite rooms with a shared kitchen or single rooms with a shared toilet and kitchen. If you are not a very good cook or can’t be bothered to make your own meals, a catered hall is probably your best option. Obviously the prices vary between different types of accommodation so make sure you are alright with the price arrangements and pay dates before you sign up for your ideal accommodation.
(Note: As an international student without a UK guarantor, I have to pay full year’s rent at the start of the school year in off-campus accommodations.)