Angus - University of Leeds

B Biomedical Science
Semester 2, 2019
Trust me, you’ll never want to come home.

Academic experience

I used exchange as an opportunity to try a bunch of different courses from different faculties, doing courses in areas such as psychology and politics. It was really refreshing to study things I had never tried before and saving my electives for exchange, which in a science degree makes the semesters leading up to it quite tough, was totally worth it. The main difference I noticed in the course structure was that the exams and assignments tended to be worth 100%, so you would have one exam or essay at the end of the semester that counted towards your mark. Although this made it quite stressful at the end of the semester, I found that this actually freed up my time during the semester to do more trips and things outside of uni. Applying for exchange can seem quite overwhelming with all the enrolment and application processes but if you put some time into exploring your options and talking to advisors it all works itself out and is totally worth it in the end.

Personal experience

I can safely say that the six months I had on exchange and travel afterwards, were some of the best I have ever had. The friends you make whilst over there will stay with you for the rest of your life, even if they live on the other side of the world. It is not an easy thing leaving home and going to a place you have never been before, especially when you do it on your own. However, these nerves seem to leave you as soon as you get off the plane on the other side and are met with a whole bunch of people in the same position. With the friends I made in Leeds I went on weekend trips to Norway, Iceland, Spain and a heap of other places around the UK and that was just what I did during the semester! Leeds, although not a huge city, is full of students, so the energy and night life of the place is amazing. One of the big things I learnt whilst over there was to just say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. These are once in a lifetimes experiences and throwing yourself in the deep end is the best way to come back with a bucketload of unforgettable memories and zero regrets.


I lived in Devonshire Hall, which is about a 15-minute walk from uni (mostly through a park). The best thing about this hall was that everyone in my block were also international students on exchange for a semester. This meant it was never hard to find people to travel with or to just go out and have a good time. Everyone was also really open to making friends because they too, were a long way from home. I was also catered which took the pressure off having to worry about making food – only downside being I now know every way a potato can be cooked.


In total I would say exchange and my month of travel afterwards costs around $12000. My catered accommodation was about $5500 and this included access to all the sporting facilities. Then obviously you have to pay for flights and things like that. However, during the semester most of my spending money was used for going out and traveling so it all depends on what you like doing. I also took out the OS-HELP loan which was around $6000 and received a travel grant.


One of the challenges I had while in Leeds was that there are so many opportunities travel and do things you could be away almost every weekend if you wanted to. However, making sure I still explored Leeds and didn’t get too worn out and exhausted from all the travel was important too.

Professional Development

I would say that my biggest takeaway was the independence I gained whilst travelling and studying overseas. It gave me to opportunity to challenge and push myself outside my comfort zone and realise that I am capable of juggling more than I thought I could. Also meeting and forming friendships with people from different countries and cultures around the world. I think putting myself out there more is something I got better at while on exchange and also being able to deal with nerves.


The highlight of my exchange was probably going to a Flume concert in Manchester with all the Aussies I met. It was probably the last thing expected to happen but will be a night I will never forget.

Top tips

The best advice I could give to anyone considering going on exchange is, just go for it! There isn’t a boring day in Leeds, it’s such a bustling city full of other young students wanting to have a good time. If you have the opportunity to do something like this, you have to take it, things will be the same when you come back home but the amount you will have gained from this experience is invaluable. You will also meet so many amazing people and form friendships that will last a lifetime.