Studying in the United Kingdom

I chose Leeds because I had heard good things about it being a city with a strong student population, and it did not disappoint. It can almost feel like living in a student bubble, but with this comes an abundance of events to keep you constantly busy throughout the semester. Leeds is a relatively small city, so depending on where your student accommodation is, many things are within walking distance. The university has pretty much everything you would want it to, and the campus is beautiful with its English features. The Union is constantly organising events and these are alongside those run by societies. There are fees with joining up with societies and these are usually calculated on an annual basis so I didn’t go crazy with signing up, but you can still attend heaps of events without becoming a member. I did join Leeds Snowriders and go on their December ski trip to Les Deux Alpes which was an amazing experience, and you don’t have to know how to ski beforehand. You’ll always have something to do in terms of nightlife, and there is literally a nightclub on campus. It’s also absolutely essential to partake in an Otley run, which are the traditional pub crawls of Leeds!

 I stayed at Devonshire Hall, which made for an amazing place to stay for the semester. There are heaps of events being organised, including formal, Halloween and Christmas dinners. I chose Devonshire partly for these social aspects but was too persuaded significantly by the photos of the Hall, which also feels like Hogwarts in person. It looks amazing during the spring months and (if you’re lucky) when it snows, making the trek up the hill a little easier. Devonshire Hall facilities are pretty good, and watching movies in the Junior Common Room make for cosy nights, especially when you’re staying there during the colder months! I was self-catered, and this personally suited me, but knew people who were catered and they found the meals were good.



 With the same language spoken I didn’t experience too much of a culture shock, and was surprised at just how many other fellow Australians were doing the exchange experience at the same time. Probably the most bizarre thing was being able to get on a plane the occasional weekend and discover a new part of Europe to be back to classes on Monday. I tried to travel as much as possible while still spending a lot of time in Leeds, and thought this made a good balance. I also recommend taking advantage of those places in the UK that are within a train ride, and getting a railcard. Leeds makes a pretty good spot for this as it’s about halfway between London and Edinburgh, so either destination is a three-hour train ride away.

 In terms of academics, I was really happy with University of Leeds and the quality of teaching. I study business and did mostly business subjects overseas, and you’re expected to attend most of your classes and content isn’t always recorded. However, it keeps you up to speed with your classes and most student accommodation is a close enough walk to the Uni that it doesn’t matter too much. Many subjects have only a final exam which means you can still have plenty of free time during the semester to explore and have fun.


Living in the United Kingdom

I budgeted about $15 000 for my time in Leeds (not including accommodation) and this turned out to be more than enough. Other than the unfavourable exchange rate while I was there, the cost of living in Leeds is much cheaper in comparison to Brisbane. Because it is a highly student populated city most things are inexpensive, and you can do your weekly grocery shop at Morrisons quite cheaply, and can get away with going out a lot more.


I would definitely recommend the Student Exchange Program to anyone considering it. It can be very stressful when planning, preparing and trying to make decisions but you’re guaranteed to look back and say it was worth it. You’re likely to get more travelling done than you ever have before, and still be able to feel as though your chosen destination has become a second home. More than that, I recommend Leeds! You hear good things about it for a reason, and it is definitely a popular choice so you’re likely to meet some fellow Aussies. Exchange definitely made me become more independent and was incredibly rewarding. It really is such a good decision to not only travel overseas, but also study and live there. You really get so much more out of it this way, though the time still flies by!


Write A Comment