There are lots of things to plan before you come to Exeter. The International Student Support Office provides support and information for all incoming international students, including information on; accommodation, immigration, preparing for life in the UK, travelling to Exeter, our Meet and Greet service, orientation and registration.
The key to getting the best out of your time here, both educationally and culturally, is to get fully involved in student life. You can join a student music or drama group, continue with your favourite sport or take up a new one; join one of the 50 sports clubs or the 150 societies covering every conceivable interest; get involved with local volunteering projects through Community Action; or just enjoy being in a new place and making new friends.
We invite all new students - from the UK and overseas - to attend Freshers' Week which is held immediately before the start of the first semester. It is a great introduction to life at Exeter. A similar programme is run over a two-week period at the Cornwall Campus.
For students based in Exeter, there is a special 'International Students' Programme' that is part of the University Freshers' Week programme for all new students. In previous years this has included an international students' lounge with free internet café and special sessions for international students, which will help you settle in by providing practical information about the University and life in England. You will be able to visit the city and learn something of its history, meet representatives of campus organisations and, on College Day, meet staff and fellow students of the College in which you will be studying. You might even take the opportunity to try a new activity; perhaps canoeing along the river Exe? Although attendance at Freshers' Week is optional, most students say 'Don't miss it!'. It's your chance to thoroughly enjoy yourself and settle into your new home before the semester starts and you have to start studying.
If you are offered a place to study here you will be sent full details about Freshers' Week and all the other information you need about travel arrangements and arrival at the University well in advance.
An orientation programme is run in January for Study Abroad, International Exchange and Erasmus students who are coming to Exeter for semester 2.
At our campuses in Exeter, the Students' Guild (the Students' Union) is central to student life. It's run on a day-to-day basis by six elected Guild Officers - students who take a paid year out from their studies and act as the 'voice' of the student body. On the social side the Students' Guild organises entertainment such as bands, discos and the Summer Ball as well as financing the student societies and sports clubs. The Students' Guild has also recently invested £2 million in their facilities on campus in Exeter, providing you with great places to eat, enjoy a drink and relax on campus.
At our Cornwall Campus, the Students' Union is known as FXU and is run jointly between the University of Exeter and University College Falmouth, with whom we share the campus. As with the Guild in Exeter, starting with Freshers' Fortnight, FXU will play a major role in your experience as a student. They organise events on and off campus and help students to set up and run clubs and societies. If you want to to know more see the FXU website.
Whether you are studying in Exeter or Cornwall, you can get involved in volunteering projects in the local area through Community Action and in the extremely successful RAG charities appeal. Student welfare is an important part of the Students' Guild activities. Professional staff at the Student Advice Unit will be able to help with any problems you may encounter.
If you want to know more see the Students' Guild website.
Joining a society, no matter how much time you personally choose to devote, can be particularly rewarding and help to make you fee a part of the campus life. One of my favourite weekends of the first term would probably have to be the hiking trip I went on with the Expedition Society.
An £8 million investment programme in our facilities in Exeter has resulted in a brand new sports ground (for rugby, soccer and cricket), tennis centre with indoor and outdoor courts and other excellent facilities including a health and fitness studio and two exercise studios. We also opened a £2 million indoor cricket centre in 2009. There are popular programmes in aerobics and circuit training, along with courses in pilates, yoga, dance, badminton, squash and tennis. At the Cornwall Campus, new facilities of a very high standard are also available.
Our location in Exeter, close to the Exe estuary, is excellent for all water sports and the University has two swimming pools. The indoor pool at the St Luke's Campus is open all year round and the outdoor swimming pool on the Streatham Campus is very popular during the summer months. More details can be found on the Sports website.