Exeter House is located at 235-239 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SQ. ☎ 01865 245472Exeter House has plenty to offer apart from its rooms. Table tennis and pool are available in the Chapel (not actually a chapel any more!), as well as an extravagantly lovely grand piano. There’s a big TV in the pavilion. Both the Chapel and the pavilion are common rooms, and you can use them for what you want, when you want, provided it’s not too messy and not after 11pm! If it is messy, we have ample on-site laundry facilities. Exeter House is a really sociable place to begin finding your feet as you begin your graduate studies. We have plenty of events at the start of the year for you to meet the other residents, and we don’t stop there. I run table tennis tournaments, a weekly film night, a termly party (which is unashamedly fabulous), and am always open to suggestions for any events any resident would like to organise! Last but not least, we welcome anyone and everyone. There are rooms for families, mature students, immature students and everyone else. If you have applied to Exeter and are around Oxford, somebody will be around to show you Exeter House if you’d like to see it and answer any questions you may have. See you soon!
235 Iffley Road. It’s not in the centre of town, but the centre is 20-25 minutes away on foot and a bit less than ten minutes on a bike.
Exeter House comprises ten residential blocks and two common rooms, named the Chapel and the Pavilion. All residents have access to all buildings, and all MCR members (see below) have access to the common areas. You will need your Bod card (the swipe card provided to you by your college) to access all buildings; don’t leave home without it!
The ground floor flat of N Block has facilities for the disabled, including lower kitchen surfaces and hobs, and walk-in showers in two of the rooms. The Chapel is located above E Block and the Warden’s Flat, and can be accessed from the door facing N Block. The Chapel contains two computers and a printer, which can be used by members of Exeter College, as well as a grand piano, ping-pong table, pool table, couches, and a chess set.
The Pavilion is the building directly in front of the entrance. It contains the Hostel Supervisor’s office, pigeon holes (see below), and a television. Residents are welcome (and encouraged) to use the Pavilion to socialise and watch TV at any time.
There are two laundry rooms in EH: one at the back of Q Block and one below N Block. The latter can be accessed via stairs at the far end of N Block. The machines only accept £1 and 20p coins; a wash cycle costs £1.40, and drying costs 20p for 13 minutes. Note that EH is self-catering, but three meals a day are served at Exeter College, which are partially subsidised by your battels. The hall in college doesn’t serve food outside term time (except lunches by prior arrangement), so you will probably end up using the kitchen.
‘MCR’ is one of many, many, many bits of Oxford jargon you will pick up. It means ‘middle common room’, and means all graduate students. It also means the common room and kitchen provided for members of the MCR (i.e. graduates) in college. Similarly, ‘JCR’ means the undergraduates, ‘battels’ means your termly bill, ‘proctors’ are the strong arm of University law, ‘trashing’ is what happens to you at the end of your exams, and so on. Don’t worry about it – you’re clever people, you’ll pick it up. A good one is ‘College Parent’ – you’ll be assigned one of these before you arrive. Someone from the year above, hopefully who does your subject or one similar, will be in touch with you over the preceding summer. Ask them all of your stupid questions – they probably asked them when they arrived.
You effectively have three options:
Shop around for the best deal, and be patient. If you need a phone now and don’t have a bank account, you can pick up cheap pay-as-you-go handsets for the short term.
Signal in Oxford is notoriously poor. Vodafone have the best reputation for good coverage here. Inside many buildings, which unfortunately includes Exeter House, you will have intermittent or no reception. Many rooms have reliable ‘hot spots’ in window sills and the likes. Find yours! For international calls, there is always Skype.
It’s not a great idea to bring a car as Exeter House does not have parking facilities. You can park on some of the surrounding streets, but everything in Oxford is a cycle or walk away so it’s best to do without a car if you can.
There are plenty of bike racks in Exeter House, and you probably will end up with a bike as it’s so convenient. If you do decide to cycle, first learn how. When you can ride your bike, think about your safety – a helmet is not a legal requirement but is strongly recommended. Lights are a legal requirement, and the police do spot checks here all the time. Get lights. Lastly, bike theft is common in Oxford, so get a good lock. The police give (http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Cycle-Security-Advice/1400005851380/1400005851380) some good tips for bike safety here.
In order to leave your bike at EH or Exeter College, you must register it at the Porter’s Lodge at Exeter College. They will provide you with a sticker and number to identify your bike.
There are several bike shops on Cowley Road, 5 mins away from Exeter House, and they often do package deals on bikes plus helmet, lights and lock. They also run ‘buy-back’ schemes, where you buy a bike at the beginning of the year and return it to them at the end, and they’ll give you some percentage of the original price back. This can be useful if you’re only in Oxford for a year. Bike shops also often do repairs. There is also a Bike Doctor at the University Club, on Mansfield Rd. near the science campus, on Wednesdays from 10am-4pm. Arrive early. Seriously.
Also, if you’re unused to cycling on the left and especially to navigating UK roundabouts, be extra careful. Don’t be shy to ask other MCR members or you college parent to walk you through things or cycle with you the first time!
There are two computers and a printer in the Chapel for use by members of Exeter College. In order to log on you will need an Exeter College IT account. You will receive details about this from the College shortly after the you move in. WiFi (eduroam and OWL networks) should be available in all communal areas and bedrooms.
First, food. On Iffley Road there is a small Co-op supermarket which is open till midnight every day. On Cowley road, there is a sizable Tesco Metro and a Sainsburys’ local. If you do have a car or a friend with a car, there is a gargantuan Tesco just outside the ring road at the out-of-town end of Cowley Road, if you want to stock up or buy some very obscure ingredients. Cowley Road is also home to an Asian supermarket, a Polish supermarket and other specialist food stores.
Second, money. The nearest ATM is inside the Co-op.
Third, pubs and grub. Our most local pub is just across the road – the Magdalen Arms. This is a bit of a gastropub, and great for when someone is taking you out. Our local watering-hole is the Rusty Bike (quieter and cheaper than the Magdalen Arms), although we also have a soft spot for the Fir Tree on Iffley Road. There are approximately 85 million other pubs in the Cowley/Iffley area, so there is plenty of choice. All these pubs serve food, but if you’re after a restaurant, Cowley Road is the place to go. You can get Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Indian, Thai and even English food.
Exeter House is very close to the University’s sports facilities on Jackdaw Lane, off Iffley Road (http://www.sport.ox.ac.uk/oxford-university-sports-facilities/sports-facilities). It has a swimming pool and gym (currently £30 a year to us) and a weights gym which you can join additionally. There is also a park and playing field on Jackdaw Lane.
Every Saturday morning, there is a Farmer’s Market behind Tesco’s off Cowley Road (http://www.eastoxfordmarket.org.uk).
There is also a branch of G&D’s, Oxford’s local ice-cream company, which is open until midnight every day. There are many independent shops on Cowley Road, including Truck, a record shop, and the Ultimate Picture Palace, an independent cinema.
There are branches of all major banks in the city centre. On Cowley Road there are branches of NatWest and Lloyds.
There are regular bus services into the city and to the rail station from the bus stop across the road from the Magdalen Arms, next door to EH. Time tables can be found at the bus shelter, and print copies are stocked on most buses.
Iffley Road is served by Stagecoach and the Oxford Bus Company bus numbers 1 and 3, roughly every 7-8 minutes.
An ordered taxi (“private hire”) is less expensive than getting a “big black” taxi (“hackney cabs”) from a stand. For hackney cabs, there are several in the centre, by Carfax and Gloucester Green for example. To get phone numbers for private hire taxi companies, visit http://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/oxford/guide/taxi (this website it worth browsing – it has a lot of useful information about living in Oxford).
If you misplace your Bod card, you’ll have to contact the College Lodge. They can let you in (they have remote control of the electronic gate and doors), and can give you a temporary card. Lost Bod cards cost £10 to replace; contact the College Office at to arrange this. If you lose your room key, contact Jim Dobson (weekdays during office hours), Mahima Mitra (outside of Jim’s office hours), or the College Lodge in order to be given a replacement key. Contact details can be found at the end of this document.
Your room will be cleaned weekly, and your kitchen daily, by your lovely scout. It is not their job to make your bed, tidy your room, or do your dirty dishes; please help them by keeping your home as clean and tidy as you can. You’re grown-ups now.
Every Friday at 10.30am there is a fire alarm test. These may be short or last several minutes; unless you are otherwise notified, there is no need to evacuate. If the alarm sounds at other times, please assemble at the front of EH by the Pavilion. Do not attempt to shut the alarm off; the Warden or another College representative will sort it out. Please do not put headphones on and stay in your room. There will be a fire drill during term. Be forewarned.
Please be considerate to your neighbours. After 11pm and before 8am, the Chapel should be used only for quiet socialising or study; the piano, ping-pong table, and so on should not be used at these times.
Sound can carry in the flats. Please do not let doors slam at night, as this can be heard throughout some of the blocks. Similarly, some kitchens share internal walls with bedrooms; please be quiet in the kitchens at night. Remember that Exeter House is home to people with small children, medics with night shifts and many other people who would be very grateful if you could avoid keeping them up late at night. For this reason, also be a considerate consumer of toast. 4am fire alarms for your burnt toast after a night out (or even before rowing) do not make you popular.
No smoking is allowed inside; outside most blocks there are cigarette bins. If you do smoke, please be considerate of those in ground floor bedrooms. Be quiet at night, and do not smoke by open windows.
There is no official booking or approval system for parties (like there is on the main College site), but please let the Warden know if you’re planning a bigger party (10 or more people) either in your kitchen or in the common rooms 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, the rules of conduct contained in the “Red book” apply also to Exeter House. Familiarise yourself with them, and it’s not a bad idea to spend a few minutes flicking through the red book in general – there’s lots of information about who can help you in college and around the university in general.
There are cards telling you what to do in case of fire in every kitchen and every bedroom. There are also plenty of fire extinguishers, but don’t do anything to compromise your own safety. The UK emergency number is 999 – hopefully you won’t ever need to use it.
In case of minor troubles around Exeter House (hot water gone off, lightbulb gone, fusebox tripped, bad hair day…) go to Jim Dobson’s office in the pavilion. If it can wait, put it in the maintenance book (on the desk in the pavilion). If it’s out of Jim Dobson’s hours, go to the Warden and then the college lodge. In some cases – particularly if the fire alarm goes off and neither the Warden nor Jim Dobson is around – you may need to contact University Security Services. You have to wait 15 minutes or so for them to turn up.
The University offers counselling services and Nightline is available to talk to through the night. Exeter College’s nurse holds a surgery a couple of mornings a week, and can get an appointment for you at the Beaumont Street doctors’ surgery, or you can book one yourself.Freshers' guide.