Good morning friends and family,
I, Julian Kadolph, write to you once again from Exeter, Devon, England! While it is decently cold here in Southwestern England, my heart goes out to those affected by the cold vortex in Northern states of America. I may not be experiencing that great of a chill here, but it was cold enough for the University of Exeter to cut classes for today. The snow would have been manageable if it hadn’t been raining just before, which caused frozen streets and sidewalks underneath the snow. Despite classing being cancelled today, I wanted to talk a bit about the university.
The University of Exeter is one of the best in the region, holding rank amongst twenty four other universities as a part of The Russell Group. ‘What’s that?’ I hear you asking – well let me explain! The Russell Group is a collection of the top ranked schools in the country (a list that also includes Oxford and Cambridge, amongst others). These schools play a massive role in the UK’s social, cultural, and economic well-being, and are known for their high-class research and education. This means that the courses are intensive and driven by independent desire to succeed.
Speaking of classes, they are technically referred to as ‘modules’ here and I still can’t quite figure out why. Nevertheless, as previously mentioned, I am taking three modules consisting of sixty hours. It sounds like a lot, but I am actually in a classroom very little. A majority of my work is unscheduled and independent; for all of the modules, I am given a few deadlines and can be expected to do the work on my own. This idea of having less in-class time can be hard to adjust to if you just came off of a winter break where you had very little responsibilities aside from working. This adjustment has caught me off guard and trying to concentrate on doing my work can be tricky. Still, you do have access to your lecturers, tutors, classmates, and more if necessary.
Aside from modules, there are numerous ‘Societies’ to join, which are the equivalent of UT’s Student Organizations. There are quite a few, ranging from academic and professional, to recreational and adventurous. These societies host events and act in a very similar manner to orgs back home – save for the off-campus get togethers and pub crawls. These are a great way for students to make new friends or break out of their shells. A few interesting names that stand out to me are the Game Society, the Hide-and-Seek Society, and the Taylor Swift Society (yes, this is a thing).
Finally, if that’s not enough, there are plenty of interesting places around the campus to visit. I spent a bit of time in the Old Library (with it’s rolling bookshelves) and wandered into an area called the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. It’s a cute room that chronicles the history of cinema with small cases dedicated to different eras. Another staple of the university is The Forum, which houses the library, various study and gathering spaces, a bank, a small market, two or three cafés, a cafeteria, a student-run pub, and so many more that I haven’t gotten the chance to explore just yet. It feels similar to the Student Activity Center or the Union on UT’s campus. I also heard that somewhere hidden on campus is a duck pond and garden. I haven’t found it yet, but it is notorious for being difficult to find.
There is so much to do on campus alone, that I have yet to go much further than the shops down the road. I do have some trips planned, so get ready for stories of adventure!
We’ll see y’all later, friends!
This post was contributed by Julian Kadolph, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in English.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Julian’s experience in England>>