Laura De Schryver
When choosing my study abroad destination, I knew that I wanted to study at an English university, and based on the courses I still needed to complete for my Masters in Belgium, Leeds had the most interesting courses to offer. Specifically, I took the following courses: Law of Obligations, English Legal System, Victimology, Privacy, Free Speech and the Media and Constitutional Law.
I had also never been to the North of England, and Leeds turned out to be a fantastic location to visit surrounding towns and cities.
I really enjoyed all of the courses I studied in Leeds. The professors have a very different style from the ones that were taught at my home university in Belgium. The atmosphere was a lot more relaxed, and my fellow students were a lot more motivated and prepared.
I lived in St Marks Residences along with other exchange students of various nationalities. In my apartment, there were people from Australia, Uruguay and Turkey. Life in a dorm like that is very pleasant. We often cooked together, went to the gym together and we all joined the Film Society.
My favourite place on campus was the Brotherton Library, where I usually went to study. Apart from that, the whole campus is a lovely place: beautiful surroundings to have a walk around!
We visited a different city every weekend, sometimes with the Erasmus International Student Society or with the Give it a Go programme. York was beautiful, but also Manchester, Scarborough and Skipton. In Leeds, there are many nice places to go have a coffee after doing some shopping, and plenty of bars to go out.
I stayed in England the whole time during my Erasmus exchange, except for a Christmas trip to Dublin. We also had a wonderful time in Scarborough, and one of my best memories was a beautiful sunny day in the park at Harewood house.
I am now working at the prosecutors office in Belgium as a Legal Advisor. One of the things I learned in Leeds, maybe the most valuable, is taking care of myself. When I arrived at the beginning of my Erasmus exchange, I knew no one and I was in foreign country. I spoke English well enough to live there, of course, but daily life and meeting all those new people, making friends from other places and getting used to other peoples habits definitely were very valuable.
Academically, for many of the courses I took in Leeds, it wasnt an exam but an essay, something which was new to me. Doing the research and writing the essays prepared me very well for my current job, for which I require very good writing and analytical skills.
My time at the University of Leeds was the best semester of my studies. It still makes me happy thinking back to it, and it was the best decision I have made so far, both for my professional development and my personal life.