Mika Shirahama

Since I graduated from a normal high school in Japan, my English academic skills were not enough to study directly at a university in the UK, so I chose to go to IFY to improve my skills.

At first, I found out the program is challenging because of the large number of tasks to read and write. However, I began to notice how to manage my time and the process to deal with the problems.

The staff are all very supportive. My tutors always help me when I get stuck on some problems by giving advice to improve my academic skills. Furthermore, the IFY team also provides me a lot of information about opportunities in the university.

My first impression of Leeds is a cosy place to live and I could benefit from the convenience of the access to everywhere. I was very nervous about the years I will spend here and I did not know how to deal with my anxiety. The staff supported me a lot from the beginning of the year. For example, during the induction week, they provided activities to meet new friends and allocated mentors for us in order not to stress out in the new environment. These activities made me feel much better than before.

Now I am living in an on-campus accommodation which makes me feel very comfortable and is close to everywhere in the university and this has helped me settle down in my IFY.

Furthermore, I like the point of self-learning spaces everywhere in the campus. Not only the libraries but also there are study spaces in cafes and computer clusters to go to.

On the IFY I have made friends from Taiwan, Italy, Mexico, China, Indonesia and so on... which made me understand other interesting cultures.

The University of Leeds is the best place to explore new experiences and IFY is the place to develop your academic skills and let you settle in university life! It is your turn to have wonderful memories!

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