Makiyah Ruggieri-Vesey

I always knew I wanted to study abroad, ever since my French teacher in high school talked about travelling to Europe and living in the south of France for a few years. That idea seemed exciting and I couldn’t wait to go. So when I started university, I made plans to study abroad — getting all my classes done, as well as saving up.

I selected the University of Leeds because I was interested in their Design program. There were so many more practical classes offered at this University than my home institution. I was very excited to be able to take web design, photography, and music classes. When I arrived, it took me a while to get used to the student lifestyle because it was so different. Classes were shorter, I had to get used to the different accents. There aren’t large differences in culture between the United States of America and the United Kingdom, but a lot of little differences, which sums up to a large difference.

Coming from my third year of university, I was not accustomed to making an effort to meet friends. I have made really close friends at home, and I was very happy. It was like relearning how to make friends again. I think I found friends in every aspect of my Leeds experience, and I am truly grateful. I joined ballet and an A Capella group outside of classes and met really awesome people; I found that friendships do not differ from continents to countries. I was welcomed in an already close community. I also made friends with other study abroad students as well.

Overall, my experience at the University of Leeds was one I will always remember and treasure. Great friends were made and Northern England is absolutely beautiful and stunning. I am very happy I picked Leeds because I got to travel throughout England, and I don’t think I would have had the opportunity if I had studied somewhere in London. I loved the people up North, the classes were inspiring, and I met people I hope to stay in touch with. I’m very grateful for this experience.

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