Eleanor - University of Exeter

B Arts
Semester 2, 2016 and Semester 1, 2017

Academic Experience

I managed to study all drama courses through my entire year of exchange here, and I really enjoyed how they had one practical module and one theory module for each semester, which made studying here quite interesting. Some challenges I faced was definitely the different marking systems, and the different referencing system. However, these were quite easy to overcome, because the tutors here are very friendly and willing to help if you approach them - the tutors I approached were very happy to give me advice on how to improve my essay, and what to avoid when referencing. They also sent an entire guide to referencing, so I was able to check and make sure that I wasn't making any mistakes with my referencing.

Personal Experience

I definitely gained a lot of life-long friendships throughout my study in the University of Exeter, particularly because the cohort wasn't too big, and I managed to get to know almost everybody quite quickly. I didn't explore too many other places, which is admittedly strange for somebody on exchange, but I gained a lot of experience from all of the societies that I joined in the university. I did go to London quite a lot, however, largely because of my love for musicals, and I managed to watch quite a few musicals while studying on exchange.

Accommodation

I lived on-campus, and I really enjoyed getting to know other students who were new to this university as well. I was particularly lucky, because my flatmates were mainly made up of older students, and a number of international students as well. I would advice future students on exchange to definitely stay on-campus, because it helps you integrate into the university community a lot easier, as most other students living on-campus are having similar experiences as you would be having.

Budget 

I would recommend trying to spend about 50 pounds for food, and another 50 pounds for entertainment, especially if you'd like going for nights out. Eating out in restaurants tends to set you back about 10-20 pounds each time you go out, so I would definitely recommend trying to cook your own food to budget. Exeter doesn't have much transport, because you can pretty much walk everywhere in town by foot, but if you need to go to further parts of the town, it tends to cost about 1.70 pounds per bus ride. Ultimately, I would try to budget about 500 pounds per month, especially if you'd like to go on trips away from Exeter, and including the rent.

Professional Development & Employability

Learning how to interact with people from different backgrounds was definitely a key skill that I have managed to develop while living here - the culture is quite different from my own, and it was interesting trying to navigate through that. I have also been able to develop the confidence to step out of my comfort zone, and I started to join more societies here - strangely enough, I ended up joining a lot more societies than I did back in the University of Queensland. Being able to step out of my comfort zone is a crucial skill that I think I need in order to contribute to my job in a more productive manner.

Highlights 

I really enjoyed being able to experience a different lifestyle, and getting to know people and a different culture from a completely different continent. Being in a place that's has a culture that's really different from my own was great, because I not only was able to learn about other people's culture; I was able to teach other people about my own culture, and it did help bring about a sense of pride. I loved becoming more independent and taking steps outside my comfort zone, through travelling different countries by myself and learning how to budget everything.

Top Tips

Definitely try to make use of all the time you have on exchange, and decide what you want to spend your time doing while you're exchange before you even reach here. The time you have on exchange is really short, and it'll honestly go by in a flash. I'd also advice being prepared to take a step out of your comfort zone. Try joining societies that you wouldn't normally join back at UQ, because there are honestly so many. Joining societies would definitely help you to mix around with the local students and get to know a more people - and it's also a way to pick up a new skill!