r11 - 28 Oct 2010 - 15:27:38 - EmilyDrabekYou are here: Astrophysics Wiki >  GradStudentGuide Web  > LivingInExeter


Obviously one of the most important things to sort out before you arrive. This can be quite a daunting task if you have never been to Exeter before as you don't really know the scale very well from maps. The moral of this story is going to be, as Hitchhikers Guide says, "Don't Panic".

I had some trouble finding somewhere over the summer and therefore had a short amount of time to find a place, three weeks might seem like an age but throw in the time it takes tying up lose ends elsewhere it is not, I started by emailing people in the department. This is a surprisingly good tactic as the PhD students here are usually more than willing to help and indeed why this part of the wiki was set up. I used several different avenues, most of which I will list at the end of this little story, in an attempt to find somewhere. Websites, Noticeboards, asking people in Exeter to check the actual physical noticeboards around campus are all good places. So here I was phoning round places asking whether they had any room for a boring Scotsman who only really wanted to watch sport. Eventually I found an ad that I liked; Studio Flat, centre of town, newly redecorated. It all sounded great and because I felt I was in a rush to get somewhere and get it sorted, I accepted it over the phone without ever seeing the place, only receiving a description from the landlord. This is why I suggest not panicking. When I finally arrived in Exeter the total size of the room was maybe 6m by 4m and this included my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room!

So to the point, don't panic if you suddenly find yourself without a bed to stay in. Email your supervisor, let them know your plight, you wouldn't make a very good student to them if you are homeless. Email some of the other students, doesn't matter who, pick a name we are a close knit group and so everyone would ask around for you. Many of the students are willing to allow a short stay at their respective homes if things haven't worked out for you in the getting a home stakes. Visit Exeter in the summer before you start and view a few houses then. If this isn't feasible then at least ask for pictures and dimensions of the place where you are likely to stay for your first year. As I know all too well finding a nice place where you are happy is vitally important as to how well the first year of your PhD progresses.

Ok so now onto what you have almost certainly been wanting to know since the beginning, how do I actually find somewhere to live?

Websites: First and foremost there is the all round astro wiki pages, where you will find much more info than I am able to cram in:


The two in particular I have used are:

http://exeter.gumtree.com/ This is useful for everything really and everyone checks it, if there is somewhere you like get in there fast but make sure you get all the info before you dive in. Pay close attention to the e-mail address on this website, they tend to have some fake adverts which are just trying to direct you to some other property website (which is probably of little use). These adverts tend to point out ridiculously cheap places.

http://www.its.ex.ac.uk/noticeboard/ The uni noticeboards are good and things maybe don't disappear so quickly but still make sure you get all the info on a property before signing anything

The last thing I should say is read the full astro wiki page on accommodation, it is full of pretty much everything you could ever need.

What to do outside of work

At Uni: Sports, Community Action

In Exeter: Cathedral, Quay, Shopping Centre, Cinema, Theatre

Around Exeter: Dartmoor, South Coast (closest sand beach: Exmouth)

Doctors and Dentists

The Welcome To Exeter? wiki has some usful information on how to register with a Doctor, how to find a dentist, and where to find a pharmacy.

Eating out

If you go anywhere with other members of the group you will undoubtedly sample The Ghandi (near the clocktower roundabout), Tiger Bills, and the nearest Wetherspoons, The Imperial.

There are other places too.



Campus (Streatham)

Advice for International Students: Cell Phones

Obviously, if you are an international student, then you should expect some things to be different in the United Kingdom. Cell phones are no exception. Once you arrive, you will probably want to purchase a pay-as-you-go cell phone in order to phone friends in the UK or internationally. There are various different tariffs you can choose from (some of them allow very inexpensive international calling and texting) and many different networks (Orange, Virgin Mobile, O2, Vodafone, T Mobile, 3-Mobile, etc). Pay-as-you-go cell phones are typically more available than monthly cell phone plans. Unfortunately, most international students must prove residency of 3-6 months before opening monthly cell phone plans. Residency is proven typically by showing evidence of a bank account opened for that period of time as well as any bill or bank statement sent to your UK address.
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