The grounds of Sugarwell Court were great, a big old building with a grassy courtyard and big windows, especially nice on those one or two days we got snow. We also had a (very) basic common area with a pool table and the occasional movie night organised by the residential staff.
My exchange cost me more than I expected. The UK is an expensive place! It didn’t help that the Australian dollar depreciated a lot while I was on exchange. I found Leeds to have a similar cost of living as Brisbane, my rent was a little higher for what I got but it was worth the convenience of the University organising it. Of course the best bit of an exchange is getting out of the city and exploring the rest of the country, or other countries for that matter! This was by far the most expensive part; I would frequently spend a few hundred pounds on a weekend trip as trains and accommodations are expensive.
I definitely recommend getting a student rail card! It saves you a lot and trains are nicer than buses. I ended up spending over $10,000 in six months not including my flights. I had expected this but it’s still a bit of a strain and definitely worth saving a bit extra to be on the safe side. I didn’t end up opening a bank account, as it is very difficult to do so in the UK if you are only doing one semester, so I had to content with lots of fees on getting money from ATMs.