My Erasmus year in Leeds has been the best year of my life tout court.
It is difficult to tell and list the amount of experience and emotions that occurred to me during that period, but surely it was a unique one. I had the chance to meet people from all over the world: for instance my housemates were two British girls, an American one, another from Hong Kong and last but not least a lad from Malaysia. We surely had the occasion to help each other and sharing points of view, we were studying different subjects and that was great to talk about such different matters. The University of Leeds is a great institution providing a real time for personal growth and thanks to seminars, parties, games and afternoon teas hosted for international students I had the occasion to meet even more people from Mexico, Spain, Australia, France,Ireland, Italy… I mean… all over the world!
I also had the chance to act in a play staged by the University Theatre Group. It was a great opportunity, a real experience. There were so many societies I wish I could have done more but still, time was limited, no regrets. I remember the great time at the union eating or drinking or just meeting people, it was great. Reading this you may think that everything was fun but we had to study quite a lot, I do remember evenings spent trying to finish essays in time. The thing is, British teaching method is rather different from the Italian one and it was interesting to compare them and trying different ways of learning.
During that year I was studying Modern Languages and Literature and I met great teachers from the School of English and French. I saw that a professor can be a real mentor helping his or her pupils develop their skills and dreams. One thing is sure, at my time at University of Leeds I felt cared for, I felt my ideas could be useful as comparing points of view could bring a real change in perspectives and sensitivity.
I thought that, that way of teaching could suit me as a career. Once I came home I finished my degree and started another one in set design that I am now completing, hoping to find a way, one day, to reunite my love for literature, art, crafts and theatre; maybe by succeeding in getting published or maybe, even better, by explaining to younger people why art can shape lives in a better way, or just how a bad day can become meaningful by reading the right book or watching a good play.
I think I grew as a person during my Erasmus year. I know that British can be reserved, but the worst thing I can say about people at the University of Leeds is that they are sometimes polite but shy and surely you have to know them well before getting their friendship, but it’s worth it! As I said, I met some amazing people, and Leeds is an amazing town for a student (especially if you like arcades, bagels and graphic novels like I did, little hint.). I told you it would be impossible and far too long to explain and tell the complexity of my time in Leeds, I tried!
by Folco Soffietti – University of Torino – Italy