Dinah: First impressions of Exeter

The University of Exeter is just outside the historic city of Exeter, set in beautiful parklands and is also one of the top universities of the U.K. It was my first choice and I was lucky enough to get a place for the Autumn semester, where I am taking two English papers (equivalent full-time).

Last week was Freshers Week where every society you could wish to meet is there, including the Disney Society and the Hide and Seek Society ( I still can’t find them!). It is a bit overwhelming but worth going to the Freshers Fair on Saturday at the end of the week as all the Societies are there and you can sign up for  the ones you want. I chose the West Country Society (they take you places, like Dartmoor ) and the Creative Writing Society, among others.

Quarry at Dartmoor
West Country Society excursion to Dartmoor

One word of advice. The Freshers Week begins on Monday so if you are thinking of going next year in September, try and arrive on the Friday or Saturday rather than the Monday so you can beat the crowds and get your Student card processed. There is no Freshers week in the Spring Term.

Everyone has been so welcoming and apart from being confused as one of the lecturers a few times ( I’m a Mature Student although I don’t feel very mature!!) it has been uncomplicated. There is a lot of support at the university if you feel lonely or stressed, mainly through the Student Guild which is the name of the Student Union. It also happens to have a good bar, the Ram Bar and is a meeting place for many of the Societies  in Freshers week.

Last week we also had a Welcome Talk from International Exchange and then another talk with our Sudy Abroad Team. Mine was the Humanities Study Abroad consisting of the dynamic duo of Steve Bassett and James Leigh. They are very helpful and will make sure you are happy with the modules you have chosen . They will also sort out any timetable clashes.

I also went on an afternoon trip last week with the West Country Society, to Dartmoor. What a beautiful area, complete with Dartmoor ponies who hang around the picnic and carparking places (they are all fat).

This week lectures have begun. You have a couple of weeks to change modules if you are not enjoying the ones you have chosen but for me it Is a case of ‘so far so good’. I am very aware that there is a high standard here at Exeter and you really have to work hard but there is academic support with lecturer’s office hours etc.

One final thing. I went on a tour of the library last week which was the usual scenario. Most of the books are on-line, there are computers everywhere and its all high-tech. Then students were asked if they would like a tour of the ‘Old Library’. “Yes please” I said and I am so glad I did. What an amazing place, quiet and with a great collection of books, the best film museum AND Daphne Du Maurier’s desk. “Who” you may ask? She was an author who wrote Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel  ( both made into films)

I touched Daphne Du Maurier’s desk!! I really did.


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