Kara’s Top Exchange Experiences

kara-elliottI’ve heard so many stories from friends and family about exchange experiences. Where they met the coolest people, ate fancy food, travelled through Europe, and experienced life in a different way. Exchange was always preached to me as a transformative experience that happens once in a life time. And though I had always wanted to go on an exchange the idea of moving to an entirely new city and continent was slightly scary to me.

Arriving in Leeds in September, obviously I was nervous about the next three months and what would become of them. I could have never expected the amazing and exciting experience they were to give me. Leeds is a vibrant student city, and the school being voted as the best university for 2017 is no exaggeration. First and foremost the education was top notch, I got to enrol in courses that expanded my understanding of the media through my professors as well as my British classmates. These were perspectives I would have never encountered at my school in Canada, and it’s knowledge that will help me in my future endeavors.

However the friends and travelling I got to do was the part that really made this all worth while. I lived in Lupton Residences in Headingley, with a floor full of interesting personalities from all over the world. We got to experience Leeds together: going out to the pubs, indulging in greasy British foods, and exploring through the parks and historic sites the city has to offer. One of the best trips we went on was to the Lake District National Park, where we hiked up to the top of the Cat Bells. Though the climb up was long and ultimately exhausting, the view was killer and thankfully the walk back down was slightly less tiring.

Those life changing, perspective-altering stories you hear about the exchange experience are all true. I was super nervous for my semester at Leeds, which was totally normal. But I didn’t let it stop me from experiencing Leeds, and all it had to offer me. If I learned one thing from my exchange in Leeds, its that doing what makes you nervous, what makes you scared, helps you grow. Leeds truly helped me grow as a person, make friends from all over the world, and collect some pretty unforgettable memories.

by Kara Elliott – Carleton University – Canada

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