- MSc Transport Planning and the Environment 2019
I am a transport planner by profession, and I currently work with Transport for New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. In my current role, I plan for public transport services in rural and regional areas of New South Wales, which often takes me to really interesting country towns and villages. I live in the sunny and beach-side town of Wollongong, and life is great!
As an Urban Planner (by first degree) interested in transport, going to Leeds for a Masters programme was an obvious choice for me. I gained an MSc Degree in Transport Planning and the Environment at the Institute for Transport Studies, which is one of the top transport schools around the globe. The one-year course is quite intense and there is a lot to learn – so it’s best to prepare well to hit the ground running! The Institute’s (and the University’s) focus on high quality research and hands-on learning through practical exercises was a great way for me to reinforce the knowledge I gained through my undergraduate degree.
Being so far away from home, family and friends, the University becomes your home away from home in every way. The University is very conscious of the all-round needs of students – academic of course, but also health and wellbeing. The University provides a lot of support through several formal and informal channels. From the meet-and-greet when you first arrive in Leeds, to the amazingly helpful support staff everywhere in the University, student volunteers, organised tours of the key facilities (including the famous Library Pub!) and last but in no measure the least, the teaching staff – these are the factors that make studying at Leeds an experience of a lifetime.
In addition to world-class academic staff and facilities, the University was pivotal in assisting me to become ‘industry-ready’. The Careers Centre often organises jobs fairs, which is a great opportunity to get to know who’s who in the industry, make contacts and learn about work opportunities. This is very important for international students especially who otherwise may not have much local knowledge. In addition, the Careers Centre also provided training in preparing high quality job applications, including writing a CV and cover letter. As a result of this support, I was able to secure a great first job even before I graduated.
Life in Leeds
Leeds is quite the ‘student town’, and has heaps of exciting things to do all over the place – student societies, theatre, restaurants, pubs and clubs. Living in Leeds exposed me to a culturally and ethnically diverse environment, which has been one of the greatest life experiences for me personally. Interacting with the local community, fellow students and faculty members belonging to a wide variety of backgrounds enabled me to deeply appreciate diverse cultures, practices, planning challenges and techniques, and problem solving approaches.
While the University provides a high quality education, I believe it is this multiculturalism that adds immensely to one’s experience of living, studying and working in Leeds. To this end, I would also recommend living in any of the numerous University halls of residence to get a real and close sense of community around you.
To anyone considering Leeds as a potential for progressing your academic career, I would like to assure you that from the moment you reach this beautiful little city, you will be able to embrace it as your home away from home. Make the most of every moment, make friends, take in the beauty of the Leeds countryside, party hard and study harder!