Sarah Griffin

BA English and Philosophy

Summary: Sarah explains what she got up to during her year abroad in Canada and shares her top tips for new students.

Why did you decide to study here?

Leeds was close enough to my family in East Yorkshire and with all the benefits of a big city and a university with a great reputation, it swung my decision to study here. The Times Good University Guide gave my academic department a good review and so that, along with a great student union (LUU), was what originally drew me to Leeds. Also, Leeds has a really diverse community, great social opportunities and has a good academic reputation.

Do you have any top-tips for new students?


1. Really give it your all – throw yourself into everything in the first year and make sure you meet as many people as possible.

2. Consider getting a part-time job as it may ease financial pressure in later years, the students union has a great service called Joblink where you can find flexible jobs, but don't let it impact on your studies - you will have a-lot of indipendent research to undertake! 

3. As a graduate looking back on my time at Leeds, I would also suggest that you start thinking about career options as soon as you can. It may seem daunting to think about this in your first year but taking advantage of the work experience opportunities available at Leeds, the careers service and making sure you choose your modules wisely, will all help to give you a much needed advantage in today’s competitive job market.

Did you study abroad last year?

Yes, I did, I spent my year abroad at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. 

Sounds lovely, what was your favourite part of the experience?

I think what I enjoyed the most was meeting so many amazing people from all over the world; it reminded me of when I first started at Leeds. The other great thing was that the whole experience boosted my confidence and feeling as if I had realised my independence along the way, not forgetting how great it was living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!

Apart from studying abroad, what is the best thing about Leeds University for you?

The variety of opportunities you will be exposed to at Leeds is immense, I have never struggled to find something that I can identify with, and so the best thing about Leeds University for me, is definitely its diversity.

What did you think of your course?

As an English and Philosophy student I have been given the freedom to study two of my favourite subjects that whilst being very different to one another in both content and teaching methods, both offer me unique ways to think about my research. Also, I think that being a joint honours student shows potential employers that you are multi-skilled – as you are proficient in more than one discipline.

Finally, what will you miss about Leeds?

One of my favourite things to do in Leeds is to visit the indoor market for their diverse range of food; it is the largest indoor market in the country after all! After stocking up on food from the market I also enjoy heading back up to Hyde Park, in the summer months it is great for having a picnic with friends. Leeds is lucky to have so many open spaces free to students where they can socialise and meet new people.