My personal statement in my application to Leeds noted: “I am going on exchange to shake my life up, remove the boring from my life and take a leap of faith for once instead of always brooding over all the decisions that I make.” I have written a poem that explores the previous quote further from a personal perspective, it is named: Act XXI: Leeds Bound.
I never had the chance to take a break
My parents emphasised that conventional education and work
is the path to take.
Acting was my passion and I used to be bubbly, but
I had to grow up fast,
I studied commerce full-time and picked up an office job in contrast.
Studying abroad will change my personality, surroundings, routine and life
Others believe it could put my career and academics in strife,
But conversely and to my parent’s admiration;
Studying abroad will be my greatest career and life preparation.
Studying abroad will exhort me to interact with many personalities,
As I experience and learn from new social and cultural idiosyncrasies.
This is helpful for life in general,
For my career
Without social schism, far beyond the ephemeral.
Studying abroad means I will be leaving my job which is career-related
However, it will enrich my skills and learning further
Which is highly underestimated.
Learning on the other side of the globe
Opens paths to new knowledge,
Methods and perspectives in my studies to probe.
Studying abroad will do more than shake my life up,
Remove monotony and dive head first for once,
Now I can finally counteract;
Break social expectations, rediscover my soul and,
Fast forward to the present and I have travelled for 45 days around Europe (visiting 10 countries) and I now have finally arrived in Leeds. It is currently freshers week and the last few days have been fantastic, to be honest I have partied 4 nights in a row so far and have lost my voice!
There are realities of settling in but you never notice them because you make friends who are going through the same experience as yourself and your newly found room mates just make everything so much fun. I have been meeting an amazing array of people from around the world and I believe that this will be the best part about exchange. You learn from people who are different to you and this in turn helps you become a better person or even a better cook! I can already sense that my time here in Leeds is going to be brilliant, I am so glad I chose to come here on exchange!
Lastly, my personal motto is to stop living a life that looks good on the outside and start living a life that feels good on the inside. Do what your gut tells you to do. Leeds was where I wanted to be, where I am today and what is definitely making me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for me in Leeds!
And with this in mind … will you act?
by Tyrone Floro – University of New South Wales – Australia