Alina’s Top Exchange Experiences

Alina Stadler 1

I loved my time at University of Leeds!

I mean, there have to be reasons why they are titled “University of the Year 2017” and I totally can see these reasons now. In Germany, I study Music and English teaching for high school. I expected to get fluent in the colloquial English language, get to know English traditions and I just wanted to spend some time in the UK to be able to teach my future students the real usage of the English language. Definitely, all of my expectations were exceeded. Now, I am able to communicate in the Northern slang and I can tell my future students vivid anecdotes about the UK. Moreover, I took a class for English academic writing to improve my essays and I can already say, it was more than worthwhile. I loved the individual feedback and the commitment of the other students to improve which created an amazingly inspiring atmosphere.

Apart from the English classes I took, I enjoyed to give two choir performances and to get in touch with English music vocabulary. The rehearsing process is, surprisingly or not surprisingly, quite similar to what I experience in my home university Franz Liszt Weimar in Germany. Apart from the modules and classes which are related to my actual degree, I took advantage of the discovery modules which aim to broaden the student’s understandings and individual interests. As my hobby is dancing, I took a class where I studied several choreographers and learned how to develop my own choreography which was amazing as it was very practical oriented. All in all, as I said before, my expectations were exceeded in every way.

The University of Leeds offers diverse extracurricular activities which, mainly, is the result of the exceptional students’ engagement. That is why I enjoyed going to the students’ Union. And, even if you are not a member of a society, you can feel the inspiring vibe of “plan-do-and-achieve something” in the area of this building. I love the effort students put in this organisation and the fun they have while doing so.

Besides the Union, I loved Hyde Park Source Leeds for which I volunteered and worked in the community garden “Bedford Fields”. It is amazing, how much love and care the workers put in this garden! I learned not only numerous new vocabulary and facts about gardening, I met as well the loveliest people outside university. And not to forget, I got the chance to eat real German bread, thank you so much Bedford Fields!

During my Erasmus semester, I enjoyed hiking trips to Ilkley Moor and the Lake District. I loved to spend time in the nature outside of Leeds, it is such a nice complement to the city life. Moreover, it presents itself to visit other cities in the UK, Scotland and Ireland, just because Leeds is so central. I can not list all cities I visit but I’ll tell you my favourites: Bath, Oxford, Edinburgh, Durham and Liverpool. The company Megabus is the cheapest way to travel to other cities and all of the students I met enjoyed travelling with them. It is great fun! Besides of that, the university offers trips to all worth-seeing places which is a great opportunity to connect with other students and to travel around the UK. What could be more fun than exploring new places with like-minded people?!

by Alina Dorothea Stadler – Weimar Music Academy – Germany

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