Summary: Emily Wilson talks about being an English student at Leeds and how she benefitted from a study year abroad in Germany.
Why did you decide to study here?
The School of English at Leeds University has a very good reputation for teaching quality and I was surprised by the number of choices available on my course in comparison to other universities. Secondly, when I visited the University I was very impressed by the atmosphere on-campus. The Student's Union in particular was full of life with lots going on; I could see that the campus community would be very exciting to be a part of!
How would you describe your course?
My course offers unique modules taught by excellent tutors. I have found myself exploring really eye-opening areas of study which satisfied my cultural and historical curiosity whilst developing my analytical skills. I have been able to study African literature, literature from Pakistan and African-American literature, all of which engaged with challenging political and cultural issues.
What do you like about living in Leeds?
There seems to be something interesting always going on at the Student's Union. Either a charity event, themed night or theatre/music production. It is easy to have a bustling and exciting student life! The union also runs a fantastic 'give it a go' scheme whereby students can try many different activities or take part in trips. I think this is an amazing opportunity to discover new activities which you wouldn't otherwise learn about.
Where did you do on your year abroad?
Studying in Munich for a year was such a brilliant decision to make. During the year I developed my confidence, learnt a new language, was able to travel, and had a chance to explore new areas of my degree. But the most valuable part for me was the opportunity to make friends with people from around the world, learning so much about different cultures. I have so many valuable memories of the year and at the same time I have broadened my horizons for the future.
What university clubs and societies are you a member of?
I am a member of the English society and Scribe. These provide many activities such as creative writing workshops, theatre trips and poetry readings which allow me to explore the artistic aspect of my degree in a more relaxed way. I have also joined the Action group which runs many worthwhile projects volunteering with local children and old people. I am inspired by the Leeds RAG charity group and will be cycling to Paris this Easter as well as working with schools in Uganda this summer to raise funds for charity.
What other opportunities are there in Leeds?
The city of Leeds has lots to offer in terms of cultural events throughout the year: Light Night, the Leeds Film Festival, and the German Christmas Market are just a few of them. One of my favourite regular activities is to watch music gigs at several of the local venues. Many bands visit the Student's Union as well as many lovely small venues in the city which have a brilliant atmosphere.
What are your top-tips for new students?
Start with an open mind and a willingness to make use of the many opportunities which university has to offer. University is about so much more than parties and studying! So I would advise new students to try new activities, join societies and keep up to date with what is going on around the campus.