Luc’s Study Abroad Experience

Luc JanssensI studied at the University of Leeds from September 2017 to January 2018. At my home university (UCT) I study Bachelor of Business Science (Finance with Accounting), so at Leeds I studied various subjects in the Leeds University Business School (LUBS).

I really wanted to study in the UK, so when I got accepted by my home university to study abroad, Leeds was a ‘no-brainer’ for me. The University of Leeds is also one of the top universities in both the UK and the world, especially for business and enterprise subjects. My home university does not provide many enterprise or entrepreneurial undergraduate course/ modules, so Leeds gave me the opportunity to explore modules in that field, which was great!

Because of my home university course, Bachelor of Business Science (Finance with Accounting), I was required to study Intermediate Macroeconomics (LUBS2610), Ethics and Economics (LUBS2680), and Principles of Marketing (LUBS2160). I also studied a further three modules in the LUBS and Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES). My home university does not provide many modules in enterprise and entrepreneurship, so it was a great experience for me to study such modules. My favourite module was either Social Networking and New Venture Creation (LUBS3009), where we were required to start a new business and pitch the idea to a panel of ‘dragons’ or pretend venture capital investors. I found that the assessment system at Leeds was very essay-focused, and the teaching system was very self-study-focused, with only one lecture per week per module.

Leeds is the perfect place for students; it is very much a student city, with the city centre just a short walk away from the university and many activities to do, even on campus in the Leeds University Union (LUU). My favourite place on campus is definitely the Leeds University Union (LUU). It was everything from restaurant, cafés, nightclubs, bars, to a bank and supermarket. One of my favourite aspects of the university is its Give It A Go (GIAG) programme, where you can test out most of the societies for free or for a marginal cost. This gave me the opportunity to explore all aspect that the university has to offer. In the end I did not commit myself to one society/ sport club, as I was only at the university for a semester; however, I highly recommend joining, or at least trying out, as many societies/ sport clubs as to you can.

The UK is so easy and relatively inexpensive to travel around. I highly recommend using companies such as Megabus and National Express (which are both coach companies) to travel to surrounding cities all around Yorkshire and UK. Leeds, however, has so much to offer in itself. There is a strong emphasis on nightlife, due to the many universities and colleges in the city. There are plenty of bars, clubs and pubs to keep you busy all semester. The LUU even has three nightclubs in it, so you don’t even need to leave campus to have a nice night out. The LUU GIAG programme and companies such as VIVA Trips and CityLife who organise many day trips to surrounding cities in the UK and international student events throughout the semester. York is an amazing little historic city (one of the oldest in the country) and it is only 25 minutes away via train. I highly recommend getting a 16-25 Railcard as soon as you arrive in the UK, as you save 1/3 on every train trip you take.

I was unfortunately unable to travel beyond the UK, due to visa constraints. That being said I have had an awesome time travelling around most of UK. I have visited Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow), Wales (Cardiff), Ireland (Dublin), and various cities in England, including London, Oxford and Liverpool to name a few. My favourite place to visit was definitely Edinburgh. It was one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited, full of history and beautiful buildings.

My favourite memory from my semester in Leeds would definitely be meeting and making the friends that I have. Leeds has so many international students and it is a great way to expand your global network and make connection with people in various countries. I live at home, back in South Africa, and having to live with flatmates and cook, clean and buy groceries was an amazing and new experience for me. However, if I was to name a single even as one of my highlights, it would have to be watching the North London Derby in London (Arsenal F.C. vs Tottenham Hotspur F.C.). I have been an Arsenal fan for years and to have the opportunity to watch them live at the Emirates Stadium was simply incredible.

This was one of the most incredible experience of my life and I have made friends and networks from all over the globe. I highly recommend going on a Study Abroad Programme if you have the chance, and Leeds is the perfect place to do so. It is a student city, booming with energy and you will not get bored of things to do. It is also in the ideal location to go traveling around the UK and with an airport in the city and Manchester airport only a train ride away, it is so easy to travel the rest of Europe. The university is also an incredible place, with magnificent facilities and some of the top academics in the country. I would come back and study again in a heartbeat.

by Luc Janssens – University of Cape Town – South Africa

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