James Owen Court (JOC) is an ideal accommodation for exchange students – mainly short-term exchange students – for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the only accommodation choice offered by the university that has a 17-week contract. Secondly, it is located on the main street – making walking home or to the shops very convenient. Having said that, it is also walking distance from the university.

JOC is made up of 8 lodges, each containing several contained flats, housing 6 people in each flat. Each person has their own room with en-suite. The flats also have their own shared kitchen and living room space, making it ideal for shared dinners and gatherings inside. In my flat, there are two Swiss, an American, a Portuguese and an Italian. In the centre of the lodges is a communal quad, with a bunny rabbit – named Pippin – living in the centre. There are also table tennis courts, and tables ideal for meeting fellow exchange students. There are also laundry facilities available at the hall, however, I have not used these yet, as they are quite expensive – 5 pound for a wash and dry.

Our flat is quite social – we have a WhatsApp group where we plan group dinners and the like. At JOC there is definitely an option for everyone – people who wish to be social have room to host people in their flats, whilst those who wish to take time to themselves have their own rooms, without the distraction of others. Being an accommodation for mainly exchange students (who are largely older than most first and second years), everyone is respectful of other people’s property and space.

Please see below photos for a visual description of my room. The room contains a single bed, bedside table, desk, desk chair and shelves. It also, thankfully, contains a heater. The bathroom contains a shower, toilet, sink and a towel warmer. My room has a view of the quad which is a nice sight to wake up to in the morning.

Although I have only been living at JOC for just over a week I have really enjoyed it. The accommodation system is a bit different to ANU accommodations. Unlike ANU, JOC places less emphasis on interhall activities – for example, during Fresher’s Week, there were no events conducted at JOC. At Exeter University, student clubs and societies are where people make the majority of their friends.

The cost of accommodation is going to be greater, especially in residential halls, than in Australia due to the relative strength of the Pound. However, I did not know anyone who lived in Exeter so moving into a share-house was off the cards. But for a self-catered hall (only catered halls and on-campus accommodations are offered to first year students), JOC is definitely the most ideal!