Ryan Tanaka

Having grown up in Southern California, I was asked what had driven me to choose the UK as my study abroad destination. The many opportunities on campus, attractions in the city centre, and friendships I have developed prove that Leeds was the right choice for me. Therefore, I can say that choosing to study abroad at the University of Leeds was one of the best decisions of my life thus far.

While at Leeds, I took classes from various teaching schools. One of the main reasons I chose to attend the University of Leeds was the many module options available to incoming study abroad students. The option to take discovery modules made it extremely easy to learn about subjects outside of my main area of study. My favourite module was Transport Land Use and Development. In this module I was able to learn about my passion for urban development and land use with lecturers and students who offered different perspectives from what I had been previously taught.

The most memorable aspect of life on campus were the friendships I developed with my fellow students, flatmates, basketball team, and many other people I met at the welcome events at the start of the semester. I often found myself surrounded by people from all over the world. I enjoyed the many facilities at Leeds University Union and The Edge (the on-campus gym) which made it easy to spend all day on campus: grabbing lunch at the union, studying at one of the libraries, and working out after classes. 

My favourite place in Leeds was the Trinity centre (a large shopping centre). Aside from exploring the many bars and pubs that Leeds has to offer, Trinity was a nice place to grab a bite to eat or watch a movie after lectures. I recall going with my friends to try the food from every restaurant in Trinity Kitchen. Furthermore, everything in the city centre was a short walk from campus, which made it very easy to make the most of the vibrant nightlife.

Leeds is located in the centre of the UK, which makes it really easy to travel around the UK. While in England I was fortunate enough to visit Oxford, York, and the Lake District to name a few. Each place reflected the rich history that England has to offer. During the Easter break, I discovered London, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy. As a studying civil engineer, I appreciated the different examples of architecture and urban development in each city I visited. 

Ultimately, I decided to study abroad at the University of Leeds because I knew I could experience university life with a diverse group of students, take interesting classes outside of my degree programme, learn about English culture, and travel to many surrounding cities and countries. My expectations were not only fulfilled; they were exceeded thanks to the members of the University of Leeds community. I’m extremely thankful for this life-changing experience.

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