As I’m sure you’ve probably discovered by now, studying abroad will be one of the best experiences of your life. The culture, the food, the friends and the copious amounts of adventures you’ll take all define the study experience as something that will stick with you forever.
I was fortunate enough to have these experiences at Leeds, during semester two of 2017. Initially arriving alone, I quickly became overwhelmed. However, as the semester progressed, and I began to feel more at home, I realised that there were so many things I could have done that I had no idea about. This realisation continued as I became a Leeds Ambassador. Connecting with past and future Leeds students and expanding on my experiences, my eyes were opened as to what was truly possible in Leeds. The answer? Everything!
So, I thought I would write this blog post to help future (or current) exchange students to truly maximise their experience.
The entirety of the UK and Europe is at your doorstep. Use it!
When I first arrived in Leeds, my Australian mindset often associated travel with ‘long’ and ‘expensive’. Luckily for me, the UK and Europe tend to think otherwise. If you book travel in advance, it’s more often than not, ridiculously cheap. So much so, that my friend and I flew from Copenhagen, Denmark to Berlin, Germany for a cheap $55 AUD (£30). By doing this, I gained so many amazing memories and did so many crazy things (one of them being meeting Bella Hadid in a Parisian Café). So yeah, book ahead to book cheap. Also, at the beginning of the semester, still make the effort to schedule short train trips to close cities such as York or Manchester. It’s so worth it in the end. Even better, book a travel tour with CityLife Leeds. They’re cheap, student orientated and you’re sure to meet heaps of new friends.
Join University Clubs!
Now I can’t say from personal experience if the university clubs are worth it (definitely a regret) but from talking of heaps of others through the Leeds
Ambassador Programme, I’ve heard nothing but great feedback. Not only are there hundreds of clubs that suit every single interest you could think of, it’s a great way to socialise and make new friends.
Become a Leeds Ambassador!
At the start of my study abroad trip, I had no idea what a Leeds Ambassador was, let alone what they did, until the final stages of my semester. But, I think it’s safe to say that it’s probably one of the best things I did whilst abroad. To qualify as a Leeds Ambassador, all you have to do is have studied at Leeds (Duh.) and hold three sessions showing why the University of Leeds is a must-have of any study abroad experience. Since I had such an amazing time in Leeds, I loved having the opportunity to connect with others and basically do what I’m doing now, reminiscing about my experiences and help others maximise their study abroad experience. Being an ambassador has become a part of my identity now and it’s honestly feels like I have never even left Leeds which definitely helped me through the post study-abroad blues.
I hope that these tips will help you to make that study abroad experience just that much better and trust me when I say; make every, second, count!
by Georgia Myler – Queensland University of Technology – Australia