Catriona Banks

BA English and French

Summary: Catriona tells us about her experiences so far at Leeds, talks about her forthcoming study year abroad in France and what her favourite things to do in Leeds are.

Why did you decide to study here?

I decided to study at Leeds because I wanted to be at a University that offered me a well respected course and a bustling student lifestyle. Leeds offered me all of this as the English and French course had a high reputation and I know Leeds has a great nightlife and excellent Student Union. Leeds is a fair distance from my home town too and I was excited about living in new city that was completely different to Surrey.

What are your top-tips for new students?

Give everything a go! Leeds has a fantastic range of clubs and activities and the city of Leeds has plenty of shops, restaurants and entertainment so there is plenty to choose from.

Don’t limit yourself when you first start university. This way you will get the most out of uni life, settle in easily and make friends.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?

After I have gained some teaching experience, during my year abroad, I want to spend some time in Asia, teaching English.

Where are you spending your year abroad?

I will be spending my year abroad in Belfort in the east of France.

What will you be doing during your year abroad? 

I will be working as a Teaching Assistant in a secondary school. 

What are you most looking forward to about the year abroad?

I am most looking forward to becoming immersed in French culture so that I can find out what it is really like to live and work in France. Improving my fluency will be another highlight!

What's the best thing about Leeds University?

I find that Leeds University has a fantastic atmosphere. There’s a constant buzz around campus which is mirrored in the staff’s enthusiastic approach to teaching.

What's the best thing about your course?

I love that I have been able to pursue and develop my interests through the wide range of modules available. For example, I have been able to continue my appreciation of French cinema with the module “the seventh art: cinema in France” and I really enjoy the opportunity to get stuck into the ideas of my favourite directors in the seminars.

Give an example of one of your favourite things to do in Leeds.

Leeds has a fantastic nightlife and exploring this side of student life has been an amazing experience. One of my favourite things to do is head down to the Hifi club in town on a Sunday. They have live soul, jazz and reggae bands playing and it is free to get in so it doesn’t always cost an arm and a leg.

How is University different from 6th Form or College?

Being able to learn in the way that suits you brings a lot of freedom which is really refreshing. At university you are in control and responsible for your own organisation and discipline so it’s important that you keep on top of things and get as much out of university as possible.