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Experiencing Diversity in Exeter

Shiwangi Singh gives her take on multiculturalism at Exeter.


Students don’t need a reason to party. A cup of coffee can snowball into an alcohol-fueled night over a couple of calls from your mates. However, if you do have a reason to celebrate it gives your hangover a special meaning. Just last week, the International Students’ Council held its annual Diversity Ball, celebrating the variety of different cultures represented at Exeter. Events like these highlight how far we have come as a society, from waging wars over differences to celebrating them. Diversity has become an essential element of every university. Meeting people from different countries and cultures makes you grow as an individual by exposing you to different ways of being.

I am an international student from India which happens to be a hotpot of different cultures so the concept of multiculturalism has been a part of my ideological framework from a fairly early age. However, the cultural diversity in India is to a great extent within the local setting so it feels more like a collection of subcultures. I experienced what global truly means when I first came to the UK. People from opposite ends of your country might be have their individual traits but people from different countries are a new level of different. Luckily for me, I am fond of different.

Meeting people from different countries and cultures makes you grow as an individual by exposing you to different ways of being

Choosing Exeter to pursue my higher education was a big decision for me. I’d never been to Exeter before and my parents were caught up with work so they couldn’t accompany me for the whole moving into uni process. It was unnerving but thrilling at the same time. My first set of interactions at university was with students dressed in bright pink tops, famously known as the Welcome Team. They answered all my silly questions and effortlessly put an end to all my inhibitions. They did not let me feel the absence of my parents during the move in and after a couple of days you gel in with everyone else.

Let’s fast forward to my life in Exeter now. The last one and a half years, as clichéd as it sounds, have completely transformed me as an individual. I feel more confident and independent. This university has so much to offer in terms of societies, academic help, and career support. The majority of my friends are studying in the US and a handful in the UK. From what I’ve heard about their experiences at uni, I feel Exeter has managed to give me the best of both worlds; a quality education without having to compromise on partying or nightlife. Other students may have a different outlook on Exeter, but then again university is such a personal experience.

I believe the secret to having a great time at university is just to keep an open mind and make the most of everything Exeter has to offer. You’ll never know unless you try it!

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