Lee-Ann - University of Leeds

B Business Management/Communication
Semester 1, 2019

Academic experience

The University of Leeds is an incredible university with very attentive, helpful and friendly staff. The facilities are amazing, especially the state of the art gym that is on campus for students to use. You will gain a true sense of student/college life as the university is always bustling with students, especially every Monday where they have food markets or a vintage clothing sale on campus. I studied three courses that comprised my Public Relations major, with my favourite course being Journalism Ethics. The course was run by two industry experts who gave very insightful, real-world examples from their own experiences into their teachings which made the course more enjoyable. Attendance for all classes and lectures are marked at Leeds however I feel this added to the experience as it encouraged you to make friends and create a relationship with your lecturers.The enrolment process was extremely simple and any difficulties could be easily fixed by consulting the staff members.

Personal experience

University of Leeds gave me some of the best, long lasting friendships and absolutely everyone you meet are the most friendly and outgoing people. It  is an extremely social university where every single night you'll encounter a new, fun experience. My favourites were definitely nights at Bierkeller or nights at the warehouse. The Garden Party day festival was also a definite highlight. Even on more quieter nights, it was nice to just go to the pub with a bunch of friends to watch a sports game or just simply hang out with everyone. Manahatta or Hyde Park Pub were by far the best. On a beautiful sunny day, Hyde Park completely fills up with all the university students either having picnics or kicking a ball around, so this was a nice way to hang around with the locals and get to know other students. It was also amazing to join some of the day/weekend trips organised by a society within the university (CityLife-UK) where I was able to travel to places like Glasgow or Oxford and Cambridge. I was also able to explore plenty of other places like Ireland, Budapest, Nice, Monaco, Barcelona, Lisbon and Lagos during my exchange which was amazing.

Accommodation

I stayed on campus at Devonshire Hall, where I met majority of my friends and formed such amazing, life-long bonds with. It is a catered accommodation where breakfast and a very tasty and substantial dinner and dessert was served daily. The rooms were very spacious and it was super handy to have a cleaner come once a week to clean the bathrooms and communal kitchen spaces.

Costs

I definitely recommend organising some sort of budget before you leave.  Make sure to allow plenty of extra money for spontaneous trips you might go on such as the CityLife trips around the UK or for when you find some super cheap flights to another European country you want to explore. I personally obtained the full OS-Help loan which covered most of my accommodation costs and the extra travel grant provided by UQ helped with my flight costs. I personally spent approximately $10,000 during my time at Leeds which went toward extra food, nights out and extra trips throughout the semester.

Challenge

My biggest challenge was honestly trying to decide from the many options available on what to do each week! I had such desires to travel and explore places around the UK and the rest of Europe but I enjoyed my time so much at Leeds and sometimes would really want to stay in the city and spend some time with the local friends I made rather than friends that were also on exchange.

Professional Development

My time on exchange has definitely taught me to become more independent as everything is up to you to sort out. I have definitely also improved my time management skills as with all the travelling throughout the semester, I sometimes needed to ensure I completed my assignments well before the due date if I was going away. My social skills also improved as I was able to meet and make a whole new bunch of friends from all aspects of the world.

Highlight

For sure, my biggest highlight of my exchange was doing an Otley Run! It was by far one of the most fun days out and is an absolute MUST if you are a student living in Leeds! Another absolute highlight was going to one of the "Bongo's Bingo's" nights - I won't give too much away to spoil it but you're just going to have to trust me on this one!

Top tips

I highly recommend going on exchange and especially to Leeds University! My biggest advice would be to not get too caught up in wanting to travel outside of Leeds and actually try and spend some time exploring the beautiful city you live in and its surrounding county of Yorkshire. Kirkstall Abbey and Roundhay Park are really cute little day adventures. If you can, I would also highly recommend visiting the Birmham Rocks which is about a 40 minute drive outside of Leeds - On my last day I was able to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen here and it was definitely the most incredible way to end the trip!