Cornwall – I’ve said it before that people often marvel at how far away it is for me in terms of university choice – it’s even more astounding because I’ve come from a country so far away, which means added travelling and stress. Why not somewhere more central like London where there are huge stores and big events (e.g. concerts at the O2) Or just cities in general like Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, etc.? Why not in the actual Exeter itself?
There are lots of people out there who aren’t aware the University of Exeter has different campuses; not only is there the Streatham campus, but there’s also St Luke’s (just over a mile away from Streatham), the Penryn campus (in Cornwall) and the Truro campus (also in Cornwall). All three ‘not-in-Exeter’ campuses are just as valid as being the actual University of Exeter because they are the University of Exeter!
To be honest, I didn’t even know that there was also a campus in Truro until very recently (totally did not just find that out as I looked the university up) but there is, and it’s still very much UofE – they’re just in different places. It’s almost like having extended family that are scattered across the country.
But why did I go for the Penryn campus? Most importantly, why did I choose to go to Exeter in the first place? Lots of questions here, but I’ll sort them out.
I studied the IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate) in Reading when I was in Sixth Form – which is insane because that’s a year and a half ago. I guess part of the reason why I did the IB was because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or at least, what degree or course and at which university. Which is why I had a pretty open mind when I started considering different universities, although aiming to get into Oxford or Cambridge was never a part of the equation because a) I’m not crazy smart, even though it’ll be pretty cool to be because I would have wanted to become a doctor b) the lifestyle that students have there isn’t my cup of tea and c) competition rates to just get in are insane.
I remember the very first time I heard about the University of Exeter was through a senior, who at that point was about to graduate from Upper Sixth and was deciding on his offers from his five selected universities. Our tutor told him that Exeter was a really good university to go to, and they ended up also enthusing about how lovely Exeter was as a place. It seemed like his dilemma of ‘which university should I go to?!’ cleared up after that conversation because ultimately, my friend did end up going to Exeter to study Mathematics and is very happy in his third year at the moment!
I really love doing English Lit, so of course I looked at the courses that different universities offered for the subject, which led to me looking at the differences in topics covered in Streatham Campus and Penryn Campus. It was a contrast because Streatham was the central campus and had a huge variety of modules available whereas Penryn had a few select modules hence why I wasn’t sure at first. It took me more research for the campuses, promotional videos that the university has up on YouTube and an Open Day to the Streatham campus before I made my first choice on UCAS.
Campus: C (for Cornwall)
Very dramatic. The reason I chose University of Exeter is because of the diverse community it has. Especially in Penryn, the smaller groups meant more focused learning and I actually get to know people I’m learning with and the people who are teaching me. I literally bumped into at least 10 people I know including my lecturer at the campus café earlier today, which is daunting in a way because it almost seems like your whole neighbourhood have assembled in the same place at once and all you want is some lunch and hot chocolate.
But at the same time, it feels like a close-knit community and you never really feel alone. The University of Exeter collaborates with Falmouth University and you get to meet even more amazing people that you never think you’d meet, especially when we share the same student union and accommodation (such as Glasney Student Village!); it’s a big mesh of students from different courses, places and cultures which makes for a really cool and vibrant community!
My course is fantastic as well; you get to know everyone, you get good bonds going with your lecturers and the material that we cover is really intriguing and stimulating, despite the smaller selection of modules to choose from. The lecturers are only an email away or alternatively you can pop into their office during their in-office hours and have a chat about anything – they are more than willing to listen to you and any stress you may have!
Like I said in my first post, Cornwall also has some amazing views and environments, having a more countryside feel to it than bustling city, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here – it’s not for everyone because it’s definitely quieter than the big cities, but it’s definitely worth it as you get to meet lots of very lovely people, have tasty food (ahem, the pasties) AND ALSO THIS IS NOT A LIE: YOU SEE LOTS OF DOGS AROUND HERE!!
Hopefully this sums up my decision to come to the University of Exeter Penryn Campus to you. I’m already in my second year but I still have loads to see around the area and lots to learn!