In this guest blog, student Aamina shares her thoughts on why she chose to live in accommodation on the Streatham campus whilst studying at St Luke’s.

Hiya, Aamina here from MSc in Sports and Health Sciences. I live in St German’s accommodation (Lydford) which is on the Streatham Campus. But all my classes and labs are based on St Luke’s Campus. For those of you who don’t know, the campuses are about a mile (25-28 min walk) from each other.

Whenever this fact comes up, the first question I get is, “How come? Why didn’t you choose a place closer to St Luke’s?”

Fair question.

I thought I’d answer that in this blog.

1.     The beautiful campus

Have you seen the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus? If you’ve not had the pleasure of visiting it in person, open Google Earth and zoom in.

Although St Luke’s is a wonderful campus with a mix of beautiful old buildings and modern architecture and a massive green space in the middle of campus with benches and fresh flowers, the Streatham Campus is something else.  

Firstly, it’s huge. It can easily take you 30+ minutes to walk from one end to the next – and that’s if you take shortcuts. Secondly, it’s gorgeous. We have the Reed Pond and Reed Walled Garden on campus, the refreshing Xfi building grounds perfect for soaking in some sun, the lovely Old Botanic Garden, the Cherry Orchard, the stunning Wildflower Meadow and so much more.

I find it super relaxing to sit outdoors in any of these places, and more, with my laptop or a book and take in the sounds and fresh air.

Flowers outside Lydford accommodation
Flowers outside Lydford accommodation

Then we have multiple beautiful walking trails surrounded by trees and flowers that look different every season. At the start of the semester, the paths were filled with red and orange trees, then it was winter, and the trees were bare, now that it’s spring I can see different shades of green and white and pink flowers all around.

I don’t know of many places that offer as much natural diversity as the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus. I felt that it would be near impossible to experience nature like this if I lived in the middle of the city. So, when I had the chance to live in a place where I was surrounded by nature, and I could go exploring whenever I wanted to, I did not want to pass up on the opportunity. I’m just a tad bit obsessed with nature, in case you couldn’t tell.

2.     Facilities and extracurriculars

When I looked at the University of Exeter’s Student Guild website while I was an offer holder, I realised that there were quite a few societies that I liked. I looked up their social media pages and saw that most of their activities and meetups were on the Streatham Campus or in the Exeter city centre.

I did the math and knew that if I lived near St Luke’s Campus, I would be too lazy to come all the way to Streatham Campus in the evenings for society stuff. I was afraid that I would miss out on living the true student life if I was anywhere else other than on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus.

I should mention that there are many societies based at St Luke’s and they hold events and meetings there. It’s only that the ones I was interested in were all based on Streatham – it is the bigger campus after all.

Near the Xfi Building on the Streatham campus
Near the Xfi Building on the Streatham campus

Also, there are multiple libraries on the Streatham Campus, the Career Zone team is here, the University’s Market Place (mini-market), Forum Kitchen (serving fresh food), and the cafes in Devonshire House.

St Luke’s has a wonderful café called Cross Keys but that’s the only option there (although other options can be found just a few minutes’ walk off campus on Magdalen Road).

Being the largest campus, Streatham Campus has way more facilities than St Luke’s Campus. Living here gives me easy access to them.

3.     The INTO team

The University of Exeter has an INTO team that helps international students with academic skills, especially writing. They offer guidance with assignments and sessions for professional development so we can do our best in our studies.

The INTO building is on the Streatham Campus. And other than the in-sessional classes, all their sessions (that I’ve attended) are in the INTO building next to the Forum.

I had no idea how useful this service would be for me.

INTO tutors have helped me in Terms 1 and 2. If I was not on the Streatham Campus, I’m not sure that I would have signed up and attended as many sessions as I have and fully benefited from the lovely INTO team.  

This is not something I knew before coming to the University of Exeter. But now I am super thankful that I chose the Streatham Campus.

4.     Transport is easy

Exeter St David’s train station and Exeter Central train station are less than 20 minutes by walking from my accommodation on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus.

I am an international student, and I knew that I would travel a lot so I could explore the country and occasionally for my trips back home. I wanted to live close to the train station so that I could easily walk there whenever I needed to. And if or when I needed to get a taxi (for heavier luggage), it would not cost me a lot.

Now that I’ve been here for almost 6 months, I’ve learned that most trains towards London and Midlands leave from Exeter St David’s. I can usually get on the train from Exeter Central station as well, but then it stops at St David’s, and I have to wait on the train for a bit – not a problem but an inconvenience sometimes.

Exeter St David’s train station is a 6-minute drive from my accommodation. And it’s double that from St Luke’s. That’s another reason why I’m thankful that I chose to live in university accommodation on the Streatham Campus.

Exeter city centre lands right in the middle of Streatham and St Luke’s so I was not too worried about being close to the city centre. Because whichever campus I lived on, I knew the city centre would still be close.

5. University accommodation of my choice

One of the best things about the University of Exeter’s accommodation is that you can put in your preferences when you’re applying for a room (provided you are eligible for University accommodation). I got lucky that I got all my preferences; ensuite, female-only, alcohol-free flat.

The University didn’t have any accommodation close to St Luke’s that matched my criteria where they could place me. And I wasn’t sure if I could get the same if I looked for private accommodation.

Wrapping up

After weighing the pros (many) and cons (there aren’t any!), I knew that the Streatham Campus would be a great place for me to live during my time at the University of Exeter.

There’s so much to do here on campus that I’m never bored. By living here, I can get the best of both campuses, diversify my experiences and meet more people. I don’t mind walking between campuses because it’s good exercise and it isn’t that long.

I hope you found this blog insightful and that it helps you decide where you want to live when you come here!