Summary: Claire tells us about studying linguistics and life in Leeds, and shares her top tips for new students.
For me, Leeds is one of the universities that offers the best academic experience in the UK. This was really important to me as I wanted to get the most out of my course. There is a thriving student population at Leeds along with the opportunity to get involved with loads of extracurricular activities with the union. Leeds is a very cosmopolitan university which means that you are always meeting some interesting people from all corners of the world. The city is vibrant and is a great place to live too. I definitely enjoy a good night out and Leeds has a great music scene. There is loads of choice from classical to pop and dance and jazz so there is something to keep everyone happy. The shopping in Leeds is also very good with lots of little individual boutiques and vintage shops.
I like how friendly Linguistics and Phonetics at Leeds is, it means you get to know people really quickly and theres a great atmosphere during seminars. I was drawn to Linguistics because I wanted to experience studying a completely new subject and Ive loved every minute of it.
For new students I would say work hard and enjoy student life; it's amazing how quickly the time goes. There is the opportunity for most students to study abroad although due to training commitments I did not take a year out but fully intend to take some time out in the near future. (Claire won a silver medal in the Womens 100m SB8 breaststroke final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. This latest medal adds to her impressive tally of three bronze in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games)
I think the main differences between studying at university and 6th form/college are that you have a lot more control over your life and therefore need to be organised. Try and cook a few dishes for yourself or family before you come to university so that you are well prepared!