Jonathan Owen

BA Japanese and Russian B

Summary: Jonathan shares his top tips for new students as well as his highlights from his year abroad.


Why did you decide to study here?
The variety of joint honours courses available immediately attracted me to Leeds. The fact that Leeds is a Russell Group university reassured me that my course, Japanese and Russian, would be of a high standard and I would receive an unparalleled, world-class education here.

What are your top-tips for new students?
Make the most of the relative freedom in first year; the workload really steps up as you progress from year to year.
Take modules from different subjects to get a taste of what interests you.
Take advantage of extracurricular activities like societies and clubs, so that you have a life on and off campus.

Where did you spend your year abroad?
At the International Christian University, Tokyo 2007/2008 and the Moscow State University, Moscow, 2008/2009.

What did you enjoy most about the year abroad?
The year abroad allowed me to submerse myself in another culture and communicate with the locals. This is probably one of the most important things that I have learnt during my time at Leeds. Waking up to the view of Hokkaido’s northern lakes in Japan on a camping trip are other highlights from my year abroad.

What is your favourite thing about Leeds University?
You can always find a group of people with a range of interests who are willing to get involved.

What's the best thing about your course?
The opportunity to become fluent in two very challenging foreign languages has always appealed to me and I feel I am working towards this very well. I would say my two years abroad have had the biggest effect on me; I acquired some essential skills as a linguist and a host of incredible memories.

What university clubs and societies are you a member of?
I am President of SlavSoc and a member of Leeds University Boat Club, the Japanese Society and Green Action.

Give an example of one of your favourite things to do in Leeds.
The cycle path to Ikley Moor is beautiful! But in Leeds itself, I’d say The Common Place is my favourite thing. As an autonomous, radical social centre in the heart of Leeds, it provides a fantastic opportunity to meet and party with like minded people.