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International Summer School

Social programme

While the primary focus of the International Summer School is to study something new, it is also great opportunity to explore some of the UK. This means that your time spent with new friends outside of the classroom is just as important to us as the quality of the academic programme itself and we try to ensure you have every opportunity to engage with people and places around you and really explore what the UK and Exeter has to offer. This includes a 5 day stay in London at the start of the programme which we use to help you get to know each other, introduce you to the University of Exeter, explore the capital of the UK and have a bit of a holiday with the security of the ISS team to support you.

As part of the programme, we offer several day trips and evening activities, some included within the programme fee and some are optional extras. The optional extras are just that – optional – and the only reason they are not included in the programme fee is that they may not be suited everyone’s tastes and plenty of people want to take the extra chances to go off and explore with their new international friends, rather than stay with the organised events.

Included within the programme fee

As part of the London trip, all accommodation is included in a city centre hotel with twin rooms to encourage you to start getting to know your classmates from the moment you arrive. The hotel also provides breakfast and has facilities for other meals as well, though this is not covered by the programme fee.

During your time in London, you have the full support onsite of our experienced International Summer School team, and our crew of wonderful Exeter Student Ambassadors who have full training to provide you with support whilst also helping you to meet new people and learn about life in the UK.

During your time in London, you will have the opportunity to engage in academic sessions and a cultural programme. In previous years, the Summer School has visited venues such as the Brtitish Museum, London Dungeons, Harry Potter Experience, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tower of London and Windsor Castle. More information about plans for our 2024 programme will be published in the autumn.

The South West is famous for its countryside and also has one of the longest coastlines in Britain. It is a landscape of outstanding geological and environmental importance and boasts beautiful beaches, fishing villages, seaside resorts. As well as the coast, the South West has some of the most stunning countryside in the UK with areas such as Dartmoor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, right on our doorstep.

As part of the International Summer School we include a trip to explore the South West countryside in all its glory. In the past we have visited the beautiful St Ives, a picturesque fishing town on the Cornish Coast, or the Jurassic Coast, a stunning coastline and World Heritage site which is the only place on earth where you can find rocks from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cetaceous periods. We have also had trips to many places on Dartmoor including the famous Haytor Rock, the site of many Devonian myths and legends.

Although the South West is famous for its countryside, we also have many historic cities (including Exeter) which have influences dating back to the Roman times.

Throughout your trip you will have many opportunities to explore all that Exeter has to offer, but included in the programme will also be a chance to visit another South West city. Previous cities we have visited are Bath, famed for its Roman Baths and beautiful architecture; Plymouth, where you can visit the famous Plymouth Hoe, where the Mayflower set sail in July 1558 or Bristol, a city with a rich Maritime History and is home to the Grade 1 listed Clifton Suspension Bridge which crosses the striking Avon Gorge. Options for 2024 are still being finalised, but you will have the opportunity to visit at least one Historic South West city.

To celebrate your arrival in Exeter there will be an Exeter welcome party hosted on campus which will be a chance to familiarise yourself with the University and meet some of our academic staff.

We will also arrange a weekly evening social either on campus or in the city which in the past have included Karaoke, Bowling and a Pub quiz.

On your final night in Exeter, we will wish you farewell in style with our final night awards and celebration evening.

We also balance the programme with plenty of free time to give you the chance to relax and spend time with your new friends. Our Welcome to Exeter course will give you loads of suggestions for places to eat and evening activities and our ISS team will be happy to provide suggestions and recommendations!

Optional Extras

While you are in London, you are obviously more than welcome to use your free time however you wish and that includes exploring some of the areas a bit wider than the central location of the hotel.

During the London portion though, we do also provide some optional extra activities that we book either because the tickets are very limited during the summer period or because the group bookings are more value for money and so it makes it easier for us and for you to have the tickets ready and waiting. Previous trips have included London Dungeons, Tower of London, The Globe and Warner Brothers Studios. Activities for 2024 will be confirmed in due course.

Many people will be looking forward to going out and exploring the wider UK or even Europe during the free weekend times but there are an equal amount of people who would prefer to stay local or aren’t really sure what they would like to do. For this reason, we also offer some optional day trips during the free weekends to provide a bit of a safe bet for people who don’t want to travel far or organise it themselves. For these trips, we try to organise places that are a bit trickier to get to without support. A firm favourite with students is Dartmoor National Park, the location for Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles, combining atmospheric open moorland with historic ‘sideways’ forest and ancient rock formations. 

Apply now

Applications for 2024 are now open. Please visit our How to Apply section to read the guidelines to find out more. 

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