Madeleine - University of Leeds

B Psychological Science (Honours)
Semester 2, 2019
My Exchange experience exceeded expectations, where I made heaps life-long friends and got to travel to so many new and incredible places.

Academic experience

While at the University of Leeds, I studied four psychology courses. Two courses were first year electives, and the other two were third year subjects which were considerably harder. The psychology school was very welcoming of exchange students, with friendly and helpful staff always available. The only academic challenge I encountered was understanding the academic expectations for students, especially as most of my final exams were essays. To overcome this, I made sure to consult with my lecturers, and talk to class peers to get further advice. Overall, the enrolment process was straightforward and any difficulties or questions I had were easily solved by contacting relevant staff members.

Personal experience

My exchange experience at the University of Leeds was absolutely incredible and some of the best months of my life. The Leeds University Union (LUU) is second to none, offering countless activities, clubs, sports and support networks for students. I greatly enjoyed my time as a Gryphon, playing netball for the University of Leeds. There were team socials every Wednesday along with extra socials like movie nights, Christmas dinners etc. I also loved having to travel to different cities, such as Newcastle or Sheffield, to play against the opposition. Joining a club broadened my exchange experience, as I was able to make great friends and sight-see, at the same time as playing a sport I love. Additionally, I have found some of the best, long-lasting friendships as a result of my study abroad. At my residence I was surrounded by an awesome group of friends, where we would hang out every day getting food together or exploring the city. Finally, a highlight of exchange was taking advantage of my free days and using them to travel. During the semester I travelled to heaps of places around the UK, some were independently organised, and others were organised by a UNI society (CityLife-UK). I also travelled Europe outside of the semester, which was another amazing experience.


On my time abroad I stayed in Charles Morris Hall, which in my opinion was the most convenient residence. Being one of the only on-campus residences, food was barely 100m away, classes were at most a 5min walk and the city centre was around a 15min walk away.  Charles Morris Hall is a catered residence, which I found very handy as it made budgeting much easier, and I didn’t need to cook or clean. I also met the majority of my friends on my floor in Charles Morris as my whole floor was internationals. Being a catered residence meant we would all have meals together, which helped us easily become great friends as we were constantly spending time with each other.


I highly recommend putting in the time to estimate a budget and keep track of your funds. I found the most beneficial way to do this was using an app on my phone, that way I could easily input any expenses and readily keep track of my spending. Overall, exchange cost me approximately $12,000, including extra food, nights out and any travel during the semester.


My biggest challenge was remembering to leave time to study for UNI, not getting caught up in all the social and travel opportunities. Unlike my classes at UQ, most of my assessments were 100% final exams, therefore I found myself falling into a trap of pushing back study and delaying revision. This ultimately made for a fairly stressful last few weeks, as I had even more study to complete while I was packing up my room and saying goodbye to friends. While it is important to make the most of exchange and throw yourself into every opportunity that presents itself, I would recommend having a planner or something that will remind you to stay on top of UNI work.

Professional Development

My exchange experience has made me more independent and extroverted. Everything you do on exchange is organised by you; therefore, I was forced to become more accountable and organised. Likewise, I feel that I have become more extroverted as being on exchange has helped improve my social skills and made me feel more comfortable in social situations. My time management skills and problem solving also benefited from exchange, where I had to schedule time for Uni work, while also organising social events and planning other travel.


Wednesdays were my biggest highlight. Every Wednesday was dedicated to varsity sport, where University of Leeds Gryphons would play against other universities in a range of sports. As part of the netball Gryphons, I was lucky enough to be a part of Wednesdays, where I got to travel to different cities to play netball. I was also able to experience going out with a sport on Wednesday night, where each week players partake in themed nights-out involving heaps of fun games. Ultimately, the best highlight of my time at Leeds was all the social events that were available to students as these made for a really fun and memorable time.

Top tips

Join a club! Whether its sport, music, art or something just for fun, I highly recommended joining at least one of the societies that LUU has to offer. I played Netball for the Gryphons (trials where the first week Sem 1) and it was incredibly beneficial to have a whole other group of people to hang out with outside of the people in my residence. I found that in Charles Morris Hall everyone on my floor was an international student, so joining netball meant that I had a group of predominantly UK friends as well as my friends from all over the world. 
Another tip: make the most of being able to easily travel to so many cool places. While studying I found it easiest to limit my travel to places around the UK, but during the Christmas break I did a big Europe trip and finally got to see all the places I had dreamed of.