Current student, Daniel, details his experience with living in city accommodation.

There are a few different accommodations available at the University of Exeter which are located in or close to the city centre. In my first year of university, I lived at James Owen Court (JOC). As a medical student, I wanted to live close to the St Luke’s campus but not necessarily just with other medical students, so this was perfect. JOC is located on Sidwell Street and is situated about the same distance from both the Streatham and St Luke’s campuses. This meant that there was a good mix of students and subjects amongst my housemates and the people who lived in other flats in the accommodation. Being in the city also meant that getting to the supermarket was easy – there’s a Tesco only a 2-minute walk away and many other world food stores in close vicinity, plus many different restaurants and takeaways in the same area.

Each room has a single bed, spacious storage, a large desk, and an en-suite bathroom. There’s also a kitchen and common area in each flat which is a great space for socialising with the rest of your flat throughout the year. I didn’t cook a lot before university, but I knew some basics, so being in a self-catered accommodation helped me to learn more, which is useful for second year and beyond when you usually don’t live in catered accommodation.

James Owen Court Kitchen

Getting to the campuses usually takes around 15 minutes when walking and even faster if you choose to cycle. You’re also not too far from the bus station where almost all the coaches in the city stop, so it’s easy to get to and from Exeter if you choose this method of transport. Walking or cycling is probably the best way to get around the city from the accommodation and nothing is too far. Exeter is a very walking-friendly city so it’s a good way to keep active.

The mix of students from different subjects meant that when it came to socialising, there was always something going on for all different types of moods such as sports, nights out and societies that you may have not heard of before. It also meant you could unwind and switch off without necessarily having to talk just about your own subject. For nights out, JOC is located around the corner from Unit 1 and less than 15 minutes away from Timepiece and Fever, three of the most popular nightclubs in Exeter. Most sports clubs are based on the Streatham campus, so although JOC isn’t as close to the Sports Park as other accommodations such as Lafrowda or Holland Hall, it’s not too far to go for early mornings and late training sessions.

I still felt like I was able to socialise and fit in as part of the St Luke’s community as subject societies, such as Exeter Medical Society, planned a lot of social events that allowed me to meet other students in my year and other years. I also felt that I diversified my friendships by living in a neutral location like JOC.

The only downside I can think of is being further away from each campus but for most, this is an opportunity to be more active just by going to university each day. Therefore, I would say living in the city was a great experience and I would definitely pick it again.