Accommodation options: Where do I start?

The Accommodation Office team were busy with preparations for the first of the 2019 Open Days last week. For those of you who visited on Friday or Saturday, we hope you enjoyed your day – we certainly enjoyed meeting you! If you weren’t able to make it this time then there are further opportunities in September and October, but we’ve also got lots of useful information to share with you. In today’s blog, we thought we would have a recap of some frequently asked questions and anything else that popped up over the two days that we can help you with.


How do I decide?
This question tends to pop up quite a lot and we understand as it can be difficult deciding. It might be useful to write up a list of your priorities and what is most important to you so you can narrow down your search a little bit more. A good place to start is thinking about whether you are looking for catered or self-catered accommodation and then taking it from there. Once you have decided on this, you can start narrowing down your search and addressing your other priorities, such as whether the room is en-suite or has shared bathroom facilities, location, price and contract length.

Catered or self-catered?
For new undergraduate students, we offer both catered and self-catered accommodation and you will have to think about which four residence preferences you want to submit in your application. If you are considering catered accommodation, this would be a 32 week contract, which means you would need to vacate your room outside of term time (during the holidays such as Christmas, Easter and so on). However, the accommodation itself covers the academic year, it’s just a shorter length in weeks as you wouldn’t be able to remain in your room during the holidays. 

Have a look at our latest video which is all about living in catered accommodation and what you can expect.

With self-catered accommodation, the contract lengths are generally a minimum of 40 weeks. You can still choose to purchase meals at the catered dining halls throughout term time and join in at themed events. You can find out more about the meal prices for self-catered students on the self-catered webpage. If you decide to live in self-catered accommodation, the keys are yours for the entire duration of the contract period so you are able to stay during the Christmas and Easter vacation periods if you wish. It’s a good idea to think about how you will be spending the holidays outside of term time. Will you be travelling or going home to see family and friends? Or will you still be based in Exeter? This may help you decide on whether catered or self-catered accommodation meets your requirements.

Postgraduate accommodation
Accommodation options available to international postgraduate students are within our self-catered residences and you would need to think about which three preferences you want to include in your application. You can also purchase a meal voucher if you would like to join us instead of cooking for yourself one day. It’s also a nice opportunity to mix with other students and meet new people while enjoying a cooked meal for a change!

Who will I be living with?
We spend a lot of time trying to make the best matches here in the accommodation office! It’s really important to us to look at what you have included in your application and put you in an environment where you will have the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests. If there is a particular type of music or hobby that you really enjoy, please tell us about this on your application and we’ll do our very best to introduce you to others who share the same interests as you. Have a look at our Room Allocation Procedure for more details on how this works.

Accommodation search facility
You can visit the search page on our accommodation website and enter in the details, costs and preferences (catered/self-catered) to bring up a list of suitable residences. The maps webpage is also really helpful as you can see the walking distance from the residences to the campus and also back into town. Remember that Exeter is a relatively small city and many places are accessible travelling by foot, public transport or cycling.

Blogs, videos and social media
If you have some time to read through our recent blogs, you can see how other students made their decisions on which type of accommodation to choose. There are also some useful videos to watch where students are talking through how they made their choices and what it’s like living in their accommodation and student life in Exeter. We also have a video that you watch which is all about living in the city.

There is also a blog post that you can read that tells you more about accommodation in the city and a student’s own thoughts on this.

Have a look at our Facebook page and you can catch up on all of the latest news and also some videos of the Open Days.

What are the ‘popular’ residences?
In our recent blog, we spoke about what residences tend to be ‘popular’ and why, but we also looked at alternatives that you might not have yet considered. If you visited us on our Open Days and managed to view Lafrowda self-catered accommodation, this is very similar to Birks Grange Village and Duryard.

There’s something to offer everyone and all of the residences have their very own distinctive character and charm. Once you have thought about your top priorities and narrowed down your search, you’ll be able to put your preferences together in the best order for you.

New residences
Don’t forget we have some new residences opening for September 2020 and 2021. Both East Park and Moberley will offer social spaces and facilities for students to enjoy taking some time out away from their studies to mix and socialise. With our new residences opening, this also means that the ratio of on- and off-campus self-catered accommodation will change. From September 2020 a total of 80% of our accommodation will be on-campus and only 20% off-campus.

Virtual tours and galleries
If you didn’t have the opportunity to come and meet with us, you can still view the photo galleries and virtual tours on our website. Our next Open Days are on Saturday 7 September and Saturday 19 October 2019 so you still have time to come and meet us and have a look around the accommodation. If there are any questions that you would still like answers to, please do contact us and we will always be happy to help.

Accommodation guarantee
Our Accommodation Guarantee webpage gives you a useful overview on the criteria and deadlines for new students. If you have firmly accepted an offer to study at the University of Exeter then you will need to apply for accommodation by 31 July in your year of entry. However, if your place at Exeter is confirmed for your insurance choice, this means that you won’t be covered by our Accommodation Guarantee and you will not be able to apply until you amend this to a firm acceptance.

And finally…
If you still need a little bit of help or guidance deciding which accommodation options to include in your application, have a chat to the people around you who know you best. They say a ‘problem shared is a problem halved’ and sometimes this can be the same with making decisions.

It’s good to talk through your thoughts and ideas with family and friends they can often come up with some practical or logical advice that we might not have always thought of ourselves.

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog and how found it useful. If there is any questions you have that you would still like the answer to, please contact us and we will be happy to help. 

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Accommodation Priscilla 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *