Why did you decide that Exeter was the best place to study?
I first arrived in Exeter for its International Summer School through the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission. I chose to study there because I was drawn to the beautiful coasts and countryside and the opportunity to study global climate change with some of the top climate scientists in the world. I also wanted to study abroad in an English-speaking country. I loved Exeter so much, I returned to study for a full term. Since I studied politics, I appreciated gaining international perspectives.
Describe your typical day at Exeter
While at Exeter, I usually had two modules per day. I attended my lectures, which ranged in length from 50 to 110 minutes. When not attending lectures, I found comfortable places to study in The Forum or at a table in one of the academic buildings, where I sometimes came across friends to chat with. I read assigned readings and worked on essays. I usually packed a lunch, but sometimes I purchased food at a café or at the Market Place.
What are the best aspects of studying within your department?
In the Politics department, there was a sense of community based at the Amory Building. The lecturers I learned from were excellent lecturers who taught interesting lessons. The lecturers were especially supportive when I attended office hours.
How would you describe the vibe on campus?
The University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus is beautiful. There is a peaceful and welcoming vibe on campus, where students spread out outside in the gardens when the weather is nice. On weekdays, the campus is bustling with activity. Students are hard workers that value academics. Many also enjoy athletics.
What activities did you take part in? Which clubs/societies or facilities/activities do you enjoy the most?
Before activities were halted due to COVID-19, I participated in several Art Society events. I also enjoyed attending film showings at the Campus Cinema and productions at the Northcott Theatre. Campus Cinema is a great way to see recent films at discounted prices. There are many societies to join, so in the first few weeks of the term, I trialled a few, which helped me get to know native British students. At the beginning of the term, I attended several events organized for new inbound study abroad students. I befriended many students from around the world through these events, such as trivia night at The Old Fire House and day trips to sites around Devon.
What particular skills are you gaining from this experience, will this help you in your choice if career?
The British learning structure and style are different from American learning structure and style, so I was able to be more adaptable and improve time management. By studying politics in a different country, I gained a better understanding of the world and new perspectives on governance. I hope to take these lessons with me in a career in state government. Personally, this experience helped me build confidence as I worked to make friends and explore a new place.
How have you dealt with any challenges/difficulties during your time at the University of Exeter?
The biggest challenge was the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to modules being taught online and activities were cancelled. Many of my fellow study abroad students had to return to their home countries. The schedule of modules is different from typical American modules, so I had to adjust to that and study well for exams at the end of the term.
What’s the best thing about living in Exeter?
I loved living in a small city with easy access to outdoor activities, such as at Dartmoor or the Jurassic Coast. Exeter is a safe city and there are many great shops, pubs, and restaurants where students can have fun together.
Would you recommend Exeter to your friends?
Absolutely! I love Exeter.
Was there anything about your experiences at Exeter that surprised you?
I knew the UK has a reputation for being rainy, but I was surprised at how very rainy it really can be. Pack a good rain jacket and boots. I was also happily surprised that there is a long Easter holiday during the entire month of April before the exam period. This was a good time to do some travelling.
What advice would you give students planning on coming to the University of Exeter?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other students, particularly fellow international students. They, like you, are eager to meet people and find activities to explore Exeter. The term seems to go by quickly, so take advantage of opportunities as they come along.
Has the University been supportive during your time here?
The University was supportive during my time at Exeter. The Global Opportunities Team did an excellent job introducing students to the campus and acclimating students to foreign customs and academic expectations. The University continued to support me when COVID-19 disrupted usual activities.