Overseas university spotlight: University of Exeter (UK)

Less than 3 hours by train from London, the University of Exeter is a well-respected research-focused, Russell Group institution in the southwest of England.

Though it was officially founded in 1955, its predecessor institutions date back to the 1800s.


Here are some highlights from my trip to campus in May 2022!


Location

Set in the historical town of Exeter (which predates the Romans), this university has around 25,000 students, 20% of whom are international.


The Streatham campus is the main one and is an easy 15-minute walk into the town or 10 minutes to the train station, where you can catch a direct train to London.


It's very bike-friendly with lots of scenic paths as well.

Bike-friendly town
The street from the university to town
The street from the university to town

It's also right on the edge of the beautifully scenic Dartmoor National Park.


I particularly loved the Quayside area, which is the perfect place for a lunchtime meal and afternoon stroll along the River Exe.


Campus

One of the first things you'll notice when you arrive is that it's a campus-based university with loads of green space.

In fact, the campus itself is actually a registered botanical garden!

Be prepared to sweat though; it's a relatively hilly campus.


But this also leads to beautiful views, particularly from the Holland Hall accommodation, which is one of the catered halls, a popular choice amongst first-year students who want a meal plan.

Holland Halls accommodation
Holland Hall
View from Holland Hall accommodation
View from Holland Hall accommodation

Academics

One of the interesting unique study options is Exeter's Flexible Combined Honours (FCH) program, which allows you to study two to three subjects of your choice and add in study abroad or work experience, too.


This is perfect for students from the U.S. who aren't ready to commit to one dedicated study area this soon.


The actual academic setup can be a 50-50 split between two subjects or more of a major/minor setup.


Students aren't left to their own devices though; everyone will have a coordinator to provide guidance and oversight of the program to help guide their career trajectory.


Culture

Exeter has a strong academic reputation, but it's also quite a sporty university.


They're regularly ranked first in the country for rugby, hockey and sailing.


It's also an inclusive environment with unisex restrooms.

The Forum, which houses the library
The Forum, which houses the library

Overall, I found Exeter to be a very cute university town, perfect for someone wanting a campus experience and the opportunity to explore the surrounding beautiful outdoors and nature, away from the hustle and bustle of a big city.


Other photos

Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral
Coffee shop on campus
Coffee shop on campus
Coffee shop on campus
Coffee shop on campus
Exeter Student Guild hangout
Exeter Student Guild hangout
Food options
Food options
Campus store
Campus store
Student bar on campus
Student bar on campus
Storage space on campus
Storage space on campus
Historic Reed Hall events space on campus
Historic Reed Hall events space on campus
Historic Reed Hall events space on campus
Historic Reed Hall events space on campus
Reed Mews Wellbeing Centre