We try to make sure your experience with the International Summer School is hassle-free, giving you the chance to focus on your studies and see some amazing sights in the UK. For this reason, we offer a programme that includes the key areas but still gives you the chance to discover things for yourself.
The London trip involves free time each day, the Exeter accommodation is self catered, giving you independence for your meals and you have a free weekend during each session to go and explore the UK or even Europe.
Included in the programme fee is the 'meet and greet', plus transfer from Heathrow airport between certain times. There will be representatives of the University of Exeter International Summer School programme at Heathrow airport at various locations who will look out for arrivals and escort them to the hotel via the London Underground.
For any out of hours arrivals, we offer a private 'meet and greet' to escort students to the hotel, at an extra cost, or we can simply offer advice on how best to join the programme.
There is also a ‘meet and greet’ in place at the specified hotel for anybody wishing to travel straight there during arrivals day to assist with check in.
We ask that you let us know in advance whether you will be joining us at the airport or directly at the hotel. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need advice on arrival information.
While the primary focus of the International Summer School is to study a course, it is also a great opportunity to explore some of the UK. Upon arrival on the programme, you will spend the first 4 days in the wonderful city of London.
We will begin with a welcome talk where you will get to know your peers, the International Summer School team and the Student Ambassador group leaders. This is followed by a combination of organised activities and free time to allow you to enjoy the city as you want to, and get to know other people on the programme before the serious academic studies start.
Organised activities include
- watching a show in the world famous Globe Theatre
- trip to the British Museum
- guided walking tour to help you get to know and explore the city
There is also a chance to visit the Harry Potter Studies Tour nearby, although this is an optional extra at £60 with limited places available.
Please note that the exact timings and dates of the programme are subject to change, as are the nature of the guided activities. Exact details are provided closer to the start date of the programme.
Accommodation is included at all times within the programme, unless specifically requested otherwise.
During our stay, all students will be accommodated in shared ensuite bedrooms of single sex in a hotel in the centre of London. The general area of the hotel is Kings Cross, offering fantastic access to sites such as the British Library, the British Museum and Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station.
An unlimited breakfast buffet is provided at the hotel each morning and you are expected to make your own lunch and dinner plans and really explore London.
Accommodation is provided on campus at one of our halls of residence in single, ensuite bedrooms with access to self-catering facilities. Bed linen and towels are provided and rooms are cleaned once a week, though it is the individual’s responsibility to ensure the communal kitchen areas are cleaned after use and we enforce this with regular inspections.
Catering is not provided on the programme unless requested, as an additional extra at the cost of £300 per session. We will then provide a half board catering plan to include breakfast and dinner.
We encourage self-catering as it is difficult to cater for everyone’s taste on a meal plan but also it provides a real opportunity to engage with other cultures as you share in cooking duties with your neighbours which often results in impromptu cooking lessons. Everything from paella to the best way to prepare noodles can be taught in an evening!
Check out the virtual tours in Lafrowda, Rowe and St Germans on our Accommodation website to see the inside of a typical self catering residence used in the International Summer School.
Along with the academic aspect of the programme, we also provide a social programme to ensure that students can get the most out of their experience. This includes visiting other areas of the UK and enjoying the opportunity to socialise with people from all over the world. The programme includes a day trip to either Bath or St Ives as well as other on-campus evening activities.
Students coming to our first session will enjoy the opportunity to spend a day on the beach with a difference.
St Ives is a picturesque seaside town on the Cornish coast perfect for enjoying an ice cream or local Cornish pasty, some wonderful independent shopping and a golden sandy beach. It also boasts the title of centre for art in the UK, with many famous artists either living full time in the town or drawing inspiration from the area. This reputation for art is further supported by the presence of the Tate Gallery in the town and several other independent art galleries.
In previous trips students have loved exploring the quaint local shops and getting an insight into the Cornish lifestyle as well as some students venturing into the sea for either a swim, to enjoy some form of watersport or seek out the native seals on a cruise. If it’s sunny enough, you will also spot a member of the International Summer School team going for a swim, mostly to prove to the watching students that it is warm enough!
A city north of Exeter, Bath is famous for its architecture, history and for once being home to author Jane Austen. Must see locations include the famous Roman Baths, an ancient heritage site; Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent – an area of incredible beauty which takes you back to the UK's Georgian period.
As well as great shopping opportunities to rival London, the opportunity to explore a part of UK history that would seem familiar to most people but still surprise you is a wonderful reason to visit Bath.
Our evening programme begins on arrival night in Exeter with a welcome party to introduce some of our academics and also a campus tour.
Other organised events can include a Karaoke Night, Team Challenge and Pub Quiz night to encourage you to get to know your peers as well as enjoy your time with us as much as possible.
Impromptu social evenings also spring up throughout the programme and have included a games night, evenings in the city centre to watch sports matches and even sports nights.
Rather than specify where you should visit each weekend and pack out the social programme, we would rather encourage you to explore your own interests in the UK or even Europe.
While you may have ‘must visit’ places to see, the majority of students change their mind according to their new found friendship groups. We can even offer ideas on where to go based on what is easily accessible and do-able within a weekend.
Students over the years have visited other UK cities, such as Edinburgh and Cardiff, stayed local and gone to Dartmoor or the Jurassic Coast or even gone abroad to ‘The Continent’ to see places like Amsterdam or Paris.
It is worth having a think about what you would like to do before you arrive, but remember to keep your options open as you may well change your mind when you get here.
We offer hour long drop-in sessions in the week building up to the free weekend to offer advice on booking transport and accommodation and help with any concerns you may have. We want to make sure that you are safe and enjoying yourself even when off exploring without us.
Optional day trips
During both sessions we will offer optional trips on your free weekend in case you would like to explore the local area with some help from us or you aren’t really sure what else to do. These will be sign-up only and will be an extra small added cost.
During the first session we will offer a chance to explore the natural beauty that Dartmoor National Park has to offer, ranging from open moorland to historic ‘sideways’ forest and ancient rock formations. We will organise a tour of some of our and past students' favourite areas in one of the biggest national parks in the UK, so you can fully explore the amazing atmosphere and history of the area.
Areas of interest include Hound Tor, a famous place for any Sherlock Holmes or Lord of the Ring fans, and skipping the rocks at Dartmeet to get onto the ‘Trolls Bridge’.
During the second session we offer a chance to explore the famous World Heritage Site of the Jurassic coast line, starting merely 15 miles from Exeter. The coastline is 96 miles of beautiful beaches, cliffs, hikes and discovery with the opportunity to hunt for dinosaur fossils around your feet as you paddle in the water.
As part of our day trip, we will hike along part of the famous South West Coastal path to Charmouth beach where everyone can relax, enjoy the surrounding area and try and find some fossils!
6 week students
For any students who are able to attend both sessions, we offer double the fun on the social programme. A second trip to London will involve a mystery tour and a trip to an alternative museum, while keeping opportunities for you to socialise and engage with new students. Our stay in Exeter will offer different evening events and day trips to ensure you get the best south-west experience possible!
We provide a private transfer for each student on the final day of their programme to either Heathrow Airport by 12pm on the day of departure or a transfer to central London by 13:30 on the day of departure.
We ask that you let us know if you wish to make your own alternative plans for departure or if you need to travel outside of that time frame. Whilst we cannot guarantee we can provide you with a transfer, we will do our best to help you organise a cost effective and timely transfer yourself.
We recommend that you book any outgoing flights departing from Heathrow for late afternoon on departure day, to ensure we can get you there in time for your flight, or later if you are departing from any other airport.