When and what did you study in Leeds?
In Fall 2011, I studied English Literature, French, and Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages.
What made you choose Leeds as your study abroad destination?
When I was a college student in my sophomore year, I heard about the opportunity to study abroad at Leeds from my home university in China, and I was interested in visiting this beautiful place I had never been to before. Besides, I was majoring in English Language and Literature at college and I felt it would be a good opportunity to learn more about the English language and culture if I really came to the UK.
What were your favourite modules as a study abroad student?
I liked all the modules I took: French language, English Fiction, and Teaching English as a second language courses. Some were really challenging, especially the English fiction class offered by the department of English, because it required lots of reading, and I found it hard to keep the pace with the rest of class at first. But the teachers and classmates were so nice. They knew I was not a native speaker and at that time my English was not good enough, so they really offered me a lot of assistance in learning, such as lending me their notes, proof reading my papers, etc.
My favourite module was “Teaching English as Second Language” offered by the School of Education. I actually continued my graduate study in TESOL in the United States after college, and it is greatly because of taking this course at Leeds and forming a strong interest in it.
What was your favourite place to visit on campus?
My favourite place on campus was the Parkinson building, I was there every week. I liked doing assignments and studying in this beautiful library.
My favourite aspect of life on campus was that I could meet students from all over the world. I enjoyed the diverse campus and open minded atmosphere. There are activities that accommodate different cultures and groups while also foster communication among groups. I made friends with so many different people, such as my German roommates, Japanese classmates who became my good friends, Italian neighbours, British classmates who introduce me the city, Canadian group partner who always helped me with notes for class, and so on. Meeting these people was amazing.
Where were your favourite places in Leeds and Yorkshire?
I visited many interesting places around Leeds. I liked York, it was a beautiful town, I just could not stop taking pictures. I also liked going shopping with friends in the centre city every weekend. The dorm made me feel at home, I lived in St. Marks Residence which is just 5 minutes away from campus. I liked to eat the fish and chips which I found in small restaurants across from the campus. I knew it was unhealthy to eat so much fried food, but they were just so delicious. Yes, I once took part in a university trip to Whitby, it was a beautiful place to spend a weekend afternoon by the sea.
Did you visit other UK cities as a study abroad student?
Yes I travelled within UK such as London, Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham, York etc.
London is the most memorable destination. I visited there during Christmas vacation. I like the buildings, the churches, the beautiful riverside, the streets with lots of nice shops, and the nice people.
What are you doing now, and how do you think your study abroad experience prepared you for further study/your career?
I am now working as a lecturer of English and Chinese language in a Chinese university.
As mentioned above, I took a course in TESOL at Leeds and that was the first time I developed an interest in applied linguistic and language education. So I continued graduate study in TESOL in the US and took a career in language education after graduation. I have taught various language courses including Chinese and English to different age groups and at different places before my current job, and I like it a lot. So the course I took at Leeds was in some way fundamental for my future study and career. Also, the study abroad experience made me an open minded person who welcomes diversity and enjoys a multicultural community.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I hope I could have some opportunities to visit Leeds once again!
by Siqi Song – Wuhan University – China