Hi everyone! My name is Vanessa, I am a Portuguese student doing her final year in Languages, Cultures and Societies, and here are my Top 10 Tips for studying abroad in Leeds!
- Research your options thoroughly: I always wanted to do Erasmus in England and I had 3 destinations to choose from: Leeds, Nottingham and Cambridge. I analysed every single one of them in detail, from the city itself to the university, the transport, living cost, people, culture, residences and organization and I came to the conclusion that Leeds was definitely the best choice!
- Don’t play it safe: I could have chosen a different city and I could have gone with a friend, but I chose Leeds and right now I know it was the best option for me.
- Being scared is completely normal: I was completely terrified about arriving in Leeds without knowing anybody but luckily I met a Portuguese girl at the airport and fortunately in the train station we were received by members of the Union that gave us a welcome pack and called us a taxi to the residence.
- Don’t worry if you don’t get your first choice of accommodation: I am living in Montague Burton which was not my first choice but to be honest, thank god! I am really glad I was placed into this residence. The area is really cool, the sub-wardens are helpful and I could not have asked for better flatmates… It is the first time that I am living alone and it has been an amazing experience! I am really blessed for having this opportunity and to have met the best people. I have met people from all over the world and I can say that I have met friends for life.
- Be open to adapting your style of working: When it comes to the University, it gets even better… The education system is really different from Portugal. It is harder and intense but I actually prefer it this way. The lectures are super dynamic and we have to study hard to prepare for the seminars. I am also improving my writing skills a lot by doing (almost) only essays!
- Enjoy the Leeds nightlife: Obviously, since I am here on Erasmus, it is not only about studying but also about partying! I have been to other cities and Leeds is probably one of the best cities to go out. There are lots of clubs, pubs and spaces we can go to have a beer, to chill a bit or to dance all night.
- Take advantage of cheap travel options and explore other cities: Thanks to National Express or Megabus we can go by bus to a different amount of cities for so little price, which is incredible. Going to other cities by train is also a good option if we buy the tickets in advance! Me and a group of friends already went to some cities in the North of England and we have a lot more to see!
- Consider your future: I never thought I could love this as much as I am loving it and I am seriously thinking about coming back when I finish my degree.
- Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone: Living in Leeds is synonymous of living and relating with completely different cultures! It might seem scary at first but you’ll see you’ll adapt and enrich your own culture and wisdom! You will have the opportunity to make friends from all over the world which is one of the best things that Erasmus can provide to you.
- Just enjoy every minute of it!: I am creating memories that will last forever and I can say with 100% certainty that I am loving my time at Leeds!
by Vanessa Lourenço – University of Lisbon – Portugal