I chose to do an exchange semester at the University of Leeds because it was one of the few international universities that would allow me to take advanced science courses towards my degree back home. Knowing little else about Leeds, I embarked on a six-month journey that became the best experience of my life, filled with extensive European treks, local English ales and lifelong friends.
One aspect about Leeds that sets it apart from most other cities in the world is that it is a student town in the truest sense. Walk down Otley Road on any day of the week, and you will find dozens of old pubs, modern shops and local supermarkets buzzing with students. Just a bus ride outside of the city puts you in the middle of Yorkshire’s picturesque landscape, characterised by rolling hills, fluffy sheep and hundreds of walking trails. Between the student culture and the extensive Yorkshire outdoors, I never found myself without something to do in Leeds.
The University of Leeds has a large campus with multiple classroom buildings, libraries and research centers. It offers endless academic and extracurricular opportunities, and most students are very involved in activities outside the classroom. I joined a society called Leeds Snowriders and went with them on a ski trip to the French Alps over Easter Break with 500 other students. I used the rest of the month-long break to travel around Europe. I was able to visit an ossuary in the Czech Republic, eat Wiener schnitzel with a local in Vienna, go bride-jumping in Bratislava, walk through an underground hospital in Budapest and join in a chorus of fans as they chanted their team’s name in Barcelona.
I found that the University of Leeds not only provides a top-notch education in the classroom, but it also encourages students to learn through exploration. Looking back, going to Leeds could not have been a better choice.
by Nicholas Lenze – University of South Carolina – USA