Summary: James tells us about his Leeds life...
Why did you decide to study here?
Leeds has always had a reputation as one of the best places to study languages in the UK, and the French department has an excellent teaching rating. I had friends studying here who told me about the excellent Students Union and extra-curricular opportunities, as well as the renowned nightlife in Leeds. This combined with the fact you spend nearly 18 months abroad if you study two languages meant I had to choose Leeds.
What are your top tips for new students?
Firstly, get involved! With the wealth of activities available at Leeds, there's something for everyone. As with everything, the more you put into it the more you'll get out. Getting involved with sports and societies is a really good way of meeting like-minded people.
Where did you spend your year abroad?
The University of Ferrara, Italy for a year and the University of Pau, France for 3 months. I studied French language in Pau University and a variety of film and literature subjects at the University of Ferrara.
What did you enjoy most about your year abroad?
I really enjoyed experiencing other cultures and ways of life, I liked being in a situation where I was forced to speak in a foreign language, it was perfect for me! My favourite part of being abroad was definitely making friends with other students and locals, I now have friends in both Italy and France that I will have for the rest of my life.
What's the best thing about Leeds University?
For me Leeds is all about great choices. In all aspects of University life, academic and extra-curricular, there is an emphasis on inclusiveness. A degree from Leeds is a top quality achievement, but they allow for a lot of flexibility in terms of module choices. If you have more than one passion you want to pursue academically, Leeds can make it happen.
What is the best thing about your course?
I was given the opportunity to do Beginners Italian at Leeds, the course is geared so that people with no experience in Italian can get up and running in a year, and be included in classes with those who are studying post A-level. The Italian department is also really friendly so you get to know everyone; there is a real spirit of community that extends beyond classes or societies.
Could you give an example of one of your favourite things to do in Leeds?
Leeds has a great selection of bars and restaurants, as well as decent University club nights. A perfect evening for me, therefore, would be going to Call Lane for a couple of glasses of wine before heading to a restaurant on Greek St. After that I'd walk back to the Union for the club night Fruity to meet up with friends.
Finally, how is university different from 6th form or college?
The main differences are freedom and independence. At University you receive guidance on how you go about work, and there is support if you need it, but you are left largely to your own devices. This might seem daunting, but it is actually a great way for you to learn things about yourself and the way you work, it's also great for promoting independent thought and creativity.