Todd, from South Africa, is studying BSc Business Economics with an Industrial Placement at the Streatham Campus in Exeter
1. As a member of the Exeter University Rugby Football Club, are you able to balance your study with your sport commitments?
Yes, however it takes a good level of planning to be able to structure your days/weeks with training to ensure you can do both. The Rugby Club accommodates your timetable and emphasise it comes first, but you also have a level of flexibility. The majority of rugby training sessions run in the evening or early morning so there are very rarely clashes with your course timetable. British Universities & Colleges Sport League (BUCS) matches are played on a Wednesday which sometimes means you miss the whole day if it is an away game. However, you can state when choosing modules that you will be unavailable on Wednesday and as a result your respective college will try to accommodate this.
I am currently also working two roles for the University at the moment which is more hours taken up than with rugby, and I have still been able to fit in both studies and these commitments.
2. Best part about your course?
Studying Business Economics has given me the opportunity to meet people with a broad range of backgrounds. Business and Economics modules at the University attracts many people which gives you the chance to hear different views and gain knowledge from students with diverse ideas.
3. How are the lecturers?
The lecturers this term have been supportive in the transition to a fully digital experience. There have been live lectures and seminars where the lecturer gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you have. Additionally, the lecturers also offer office hours in which you can ask any questions you have about content or the course.
4. Biggest highlight of studying at Exeter?
The highlight of studying at the University has been the wide range of opportunities offered. I have been able to play rugby, join societies as well as have a role working for the University. This has given me a wide range of experiences as well as chances to socialise with many people.
5. Are you a member of any societies?
I was a member of the South African Society last year which was a great way to meet other South Africans. We met up regularly and watched the World Cup as well as had braais and dinners. The society had regular events where you could socialise and had a homely feel to it.
6. Any tips for South African students thinking about studying in the UK?
My advice would be to explore the range of different societies and sports clubs on offer, as this is a great way to meet new people that could have different backgrounds to you.
7. How does the City of Exeter compare to your hometown in South Africa?
Exeter has a smaller feel to the town and campus and due to a lot of people being part of societies and playing sports, you end up meeting a lot of people regularly. So, when you are walking through campus to lectures or through town shopping you will likely meet someone you know which helps you settle in quicker.
8. What are the benefits of being part of Exeter University Rugby Club (EURFC)?
- It is a very good way to meet similar minded people at university and helpful for all years to socialise in different environments.
- There is a supportive network with your teammates but also a committee if you face issues with any aspect of University life.
- One of the top university training programmes in the country, helping you get into the best position to perform well.
- Exeter is in Super BUCS, which is the top 10 University rugby teams competing in the British Universities & Colleges Sport League. Playing in BUCS offers you the chance to play against other top-level universities. As well as having many different leagues across a wide range of sports, you have the chance to compete at the right level for your ability, whether that be the first team or the Freshers 4th team, who won their league last year.
9. What is the social aspect of EURFC like?
Last year there were socials every Wednesday after matches, this was a great way to see other members outside of your own team. This was also the best way to get to know other years, as everyone mixed during the socials. The socials often had games intended to socialise all years together, from freshers to returning masters students. This created an open environment with little pressure on freshers to have to meet other people on their own.
10. Tell us about rugby training?
Training is well structured with high blocks of high intensity drills and games. The culture around training is very positive from the high standards of performance but also commitment to having the right attitude. Training sessions at the start of the week were structured to prepare you for the game on Wednesday, tactically and physically. There was then a focus on recovery in the latter part of the week, as well as additional skills sessions to supplement the weeks training. There was 2 full pitch and gym sessions a week, as well as one recovery session. There would also be a prep gym and pitch session on a Tuesday for the game.
11. How are the links with Exeter Chiefs?
There are strong links with Exeter Chiefs, with Chiefs players attending training sessions to support with coaching, often leading certain sessions for the first team. There are a few current university players who are training with Chiefs academy.
12. Best University rugby moment?
Having the opportunity to make my First Team debut against Durham