Rajalekshmi Kaippallil

After working for two years in transport, I knew I wanted to build a career in this industry. Senior colleagues recommended the Institute for Transport Studies because of its reputation for globally renowned research. 

After applying, I started looking into the visa application. This can be quite an overwhelming process, but the International Student Office eased any worries I had and even checked over my documents for me to make sure they were correct. I used the Link to Leeds service too, which put me in contact with current Leeds students so I could ask them questions about their experiences and settling into a new country.  

When I arrived in Leeds the University’s Meet and Greet service met me at the train station. They provided me with a welcome pack, helped me get a taxi to my accommodation and even provided me with a SIM card so I could call home immediately and let my family know I had arrived safely. 

Before the semester starts, there’s an International Welcome Week and Freshers’ Week, both packed full of activities and events you can attend. I went to Global Café a lot to meet new people and chat over drinks and biscuits. I also signed up to two societies, Bhangra Dance and Kick Boxing. The societies are a great way to socialise, so you should try and sign up for at least one.

The Institute for Transport Studies organised an induction week as well, where you could get to know your course-mates, find your way around campus and attend academic workshops and classes. 

I now work as a Link to Leeds ambassador myself, sharing my experiences with prospective students and answering any questions they might have. I want to tell them I’ve been in the same position as them and my experience has been fantastic – I love everything about it here!

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