University of Exeter graduates answer your questions about studying abroad
Hugo and Nicola, from Hong Kong, recently took over our Instagram account to answer your questions about studying at INTO University of Exeter.
They met through the Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Services Society in their first year and have just graduated In BA (Hons) Marketing and Management with Industrial Experience.
Let’s see what they have to say…
Why did you choose to study in the UK and would you recommend it?
Nicola: “I went through the British education system when I was young, so it just made sense.”
“Compared to other countries, the UK offers more tailored degrees. Also, they’re known for being super international, and that’s the environment I wanted to be in!”
Hugo: “I was born and raised in Hong Kong and took the HKDSE before starting my International Foundation.”
“I’d had a fantasy of coming to the UK since I was little. When I went on a study tour in the UK for three weeks I felt like it was the country I wanted to stay in!”
Why did you choose the University of Exeter?
Nicola: “I did a lot of research and after looking at league tables and the course, Exeter was the one that appealed to me the most.”
“I really wanted a campus-based experience, and Exeter gives you that. Also the people here are super friendly. Also, you’re not too far from London but you’re also close to the beach.”
Hugo: “There are three main reasons…
Firstly, they have the best sports facilities in the UK. When I was researching Exeter, the first thing that popped up was their gym!
Secondly, the campus experience. You’ve got a really green campus and city.
Thirdy, for INTO, because it’s different from other organizations. They have an arrangement with the uni, so if you achieve certain grades you’ll progress to Exeter. At the same time, you could choose a different UK university if you wanted.”
What did you wish you knew before coming to the UK?
Nicola: “I wish I’d brought less stuff from home. Most things, like a rice cooker, you’ll be able to buy here and there are many Asian supermarkets and ethnic stores.”
Hugo: “There are lots of things I’ve seen students bringing from home, like instant noodles. But you can get these easily from the supermarket.”
How can other students prepare to study abroad?
Nicola: “Don’t just look at the University website. I think it’s really useful to hear student experiences, because it can be different for everyone!”
Hugo: “Check out the Exeter student life page on Instagram so you can see what they’re doing on campus and how amazing it is.”
“I know a lot of international students bring textbooks from home, but INTO provides lots of material and so does the University.”
How has the change to online learning been?
Nicola: “We transitioned to online learning in March. We only had a couple of weeks of teaching left before our summer assignments, so they recorded the lecture and put it online.”
“If you had any questions you could comment, post on the forum or email your lecturer.”
Hugo: “The online learning platform provides a forum for students to discuss lectures and assignments, and then the professor responds straight away.”
How many hours do you have in-class each week?
Hugo: “It depends on what course you do, and what modules you take. But as a Business student in my final year, 10-15 hours per week in-class.”
What do you enjoy most about living in Exeter?
Nicola: “Everything’s in walking-distance. I live in town and it’s 15 minutes to uni. I know Hugo is passionate about cycling!”
Hugo: “Yes, because I like to save time! There’s a bit of a hill to climb when you cycle through the campus, but you get used to it!’
“Exeter isn’t a big city, so when you meet someone it’s likely you’ll see them again. Everyone knows each other.”
What advice would you give to someone who is nervous about studying abroad?
Hugo: “Before I studied abroad, I hadn’t really met anyone from overseas.”
“I would recommend joining Freshers week. I went to a ‘white t-shirt social’ with new friends. People were writing messages on my t-shirt. I thought – if this is life in the UK, it’s going to be great!”
Nicola: “Join as many events as you can. Even if it’s not for you in the end, at least you’ll meet some people.”
Are there lots of societies to join at Exeter?
Hugo: “It’s amazing, there are more than 300 societies: Chocolate Society, K-Pop Society, Harry Potter Society, Taylor Swift Society… you name it!”
“We joined the Hong Kong Society and I joined the Muay Thai Society, and the Exeter Student Volunteers. Definitely check out the International Society, they plan lots of great events.”
“I also joined the Expedition Society where you go to a national park up North or in Wales and sleep in a tent for a few nights.”
Was your International Foundation year tough?
Hugo: “INTO feels more like a high school than a university. You really get cared for by the teachers.”
“The pass-rate is quite high, so if you work hard you’ll progress to Exeter.”
What are your goals after university?
Nicola: “I didn’t know what I was going to do with my career at the early stages of my university journey.”
“The University invites HR teams from different employers and sectors, and through placement fairs I was able to learn more about what’s out there.”
“That led me to a placement at Dyson, and I’ve been invited back as a graduate! For me, the whole process was organic, unlike others who knew from the start what they wanted to do.”
“It’s OK if you don’t know what you want to do with your future – the uni will help you.”
Hugo: “I sought help from the Career Zone, and now my goal is to work in the UK as a graduate. I hope I can work on projects in the next five years that will make a positive impact on society.”
If you enjoyed reading this, you may like to read Securing an industrial placement at university: Hugo’s story.
To find out more about your study options with INTO, click here to visit our website.