Somphospheak Heng

MA in Creative Writing and Critical Life 2021

Why did you pick the University of Leeds?  

It took a lot of time and effort to determine which university I should go to complete my postgraduate studies, but the more I looked into the University of Leeds, the clearer my decision became.

The University of Leeds was my first choice because of their research and teaching quality which is both nationally and internationally recognised. I absolutely love the fact that classes were taught by world-renowned academics and experts in the field, and I had plenty of opportunities to put the theories and knowledge I had acquired into practice.

I also picked the University of Leeds because I wanted a dynamic and enriching student experience. The University of Leeds definitely has one of the best student communities with active clubs and societies covering a wide range of interests.

Lastly, I really love that the University is very accessible. Despite it being a campus university, it is only about a 10-minute walk to the city centre and it is relatively easy to find good accommodation nearby. 

How was studying in Leeds different to your previous academic experience?

I believe I had the best academic experience of my life at the University of Leeds. It was very easy for me to find a space to do self-study at the University of Leeds. I spent a lot of time at the libraries which have state-of-art facilities and a lot of useful learning resources and materials.

Because of my credentials as a University of Leeds student, I also have free access to online courses on various digital education platforms such as FutureLearn, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, etc. These courses help me to develop my academic and professional skills and explore a wide range of new topics in my subject area and in other disciplines of my interest without having to pay anything.

At the University of Leeds, I feel that support was always there when I needed it. I could reach out to my personal tutor and course instructors for further clarification and more in-depth discussions.

The School of English also offered academic support to international students whose English is not their first language. There were useful workshops run by Skills@Library that made a huge difference to my research and writing skills.

When my laptop broke down three weeks before my assignment deadline, the Education Service Officer in my School arranged for the University IT team to loan me a brand new laptop. The Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service was always open in case I needed any support.

What support did you access at Leeds to help with your career goals?

The Careers Centre and the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures offer great support with my career planning. They helped me explore career options and ideas specific to my field.

They also sent me up-to-date information about exclusive opportunities and vacancies for students at the University of Leeds. The Careers Centre assisted me through every stage of the job application from writing a CV and cover letter to rehearsing job interviews.  

What did you think about the city of Leeds?

I really enjoyed my time in Leeds. This city offers a great balance between a modern and country lifestyle. Whether you are an indoor or outdoor person, there is always something for you in Leeds. When the weather was good, going for a walk or a hike was my favourite activity.

There are a lot of places to explore in Leeds. If it was raining, I usually spent my day in the bustling city centre shopping, visiting the museums, going for a movie, getting a drink with friends, or trying different indoor activities.

The distance between the student area, the University, and the city centre is generally walkable, but Leeds has a great transport system to help you explore further and get around more easily.

What is your top tip to make the most of studying abroad? 

Approach everything with an open mindset and get yourself out there! Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you will make the most of it by engaging in various activities by the University or specific clubs and societies and other available opportunities.

For instance, I joined the Link to Leeds scheme where I got to develop transferrable skills useful for my career and meet amazing people from the UK and all over the world with whom I built long-lasting friendships.