Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 19, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home InternationalBeyond Exeter My Experience with International Activities and Societies at the University of Exeter

My Experience with International Activities and Societies at the University of Exeter

Mathias La Pira talks about the variety of international experiences available to students at the university and his personal achievements in setting up international events such as ExeVision or Football World Cup.
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My Experience with International Activities and Societies at the University of Exeter

Photo provided by Mathias La Pira

Mathias La Pira talks about the variety of international experiences available to students at the university and his personal achievements in setting up international events such as ExeVision or the Football World Cup.

Thanks to my International background, I’ve always been passionate about discovering new cultures around the world. When arriving at the University of Exeter, I was really amazed by all the different international societies available to me and all the different international students that I’ve had the chance to meet. From societies linked to language learning, such as French Society, to societies more based on party socials, like Latin American Society, the University really offers, a huge variety of international activities with students who will always be very happy to help you discover their home country and culture. However, at the end of my second year, I realized that, apart from the collaborations between the societies, there wasn’t much activities or unique societies that were reuniting all these International backgrounds together : this is why I’ve decided to come up with a EuroVision Song Contest at the University and a Football World Cup to be played between students.


The reason I’ve decided to come up with this Eurovision Song Contest (ExeVision Song Contest) idea is because music is a passion that we all share. I also realised that a lot of students really liked singing (and are so talented as well). By mixing my passion for the countries and international cultures with singing and music, having a Eurovision Song Contest at the University was inevitably the best thing to do. My biggest challenge at that moment was to find the singers who would wish to participate but thanks to the spectacular committee I was surrounded by, Xpression Radio (campus radio), XTV (Campus TV) and RAG society, we managed to build a show that was way more spectacular than my original expectations from a year before, when I came up with the idea. Some singers were really easy to convince thanks to their passion for Eurovision Song Contest; while for some other countries, it was slightly more difficult to find singers but in the end, all 12 of them did such a great job going on stage and bringing such a good show and atmosphere for happy fans and spectators in the Great Hall.

From societies linked to language learning, such as French Society, to societies more based on party socials, like Latin American Society, the University really offers, a huge variety of international activities.

The same logic goes for the Football World Cup: so many students play football at the University, no matter from which country they all come. Just to test the format a bit, me and my two friends came up with the idea of the “Mixed Football World Cup” which was a great success. Our aim was not only to bring different students competing against each other and representing a country but also to promote Women’s Football which we believe needs more recognition and coverage. By mixing men and women players in the teams, we had the opportunity to see players who were less in the strong, competitive mind and more focused on the real joy of playing football. A truly enjoyable moment that so many people loved!

 Two months after this first World Cup, we organised the famous Men’s World Cup: 16 teams, more than 100 players, 32 matches played in 1 day and such a beautiful atmosphere, which gathered a lot of supporters to come and support their country (as the campus has more British students than international students, players had the possibility to represent a country other than their own). A true life experience that I could never forget! No matter the social or activity, students will always respond when it comes to supporting or representing their own country.

Photo provided by Mathias La Pira

After having had the chance to make these big events happen, I would not only want to thank all the amazing people I’ve been surrounded by to organise them; but also spread the message “Don’t be afraid to discover!” The University of Exeter offers so many possibilities for international activities; whether it can be with the societies or with the students directly between themselves. Never be afraid to join them, contact them if you need. Everyone is here at the University to welcome you. To finish, if you have any new ideas to bring up at the University, whether internationally linked or not, never be shy to go ahead. You will always find the people and students that will help you build that new experience. 

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