Nikita – University of Leeds – England
Semester 1, 2020
Bachelor of Business and Law (Honours)
I know what you are thinking… An exchange in Semester 1, 2020? How was that possible with COVID-19? Well, luckily enough, I was able to fit in a jam-packed two months studying abroad at the University of Leeds in England before having to fly back to Australia. Although this was completely disheartening, the fact that I was so upset about having to come home was a testament to how amazing my exchange experience was.
If there was one piece of advice I could provide to my past-self whilst preparing for my exchange, it would be that patience is key. As much as you try to get everything done at once, it just isn’t possible. There are multiple stages to the exchange process, and everything is a waiting game (which can be frustrating at times!). So, stay on top of things when possible and complete forms at the earliest date you can. However, try not to stress yourself out and remind yourself everything will come together in the end! Another important thing is to be money conscious in the lead up to your exchange and SAVE.
Life in Leeds
I was in denial that I had left Australia until I walked out of the Heathrow airport, sleep deprived yet full of adrenaline, and felt the 2-degree wind and sleet fall upon me. After getting on the train north bound to Leeds I was able to settle into my accommodation. I stayed at Montague Burton, which was a 5-minute walk from the University of Leeds campus. Living in student accommodation was an incredibly different experience. It was very on the go and social, there are constantly events on, and you’re always meeting new people! Leeds has a fantastic night life, and if you really wanted to, you could attend a different event every night of the week. Not only was the social aspect of Leeds outstanding, but the location meant you could travel to different English cities and other European countries. I was lucky enough to fit in a trip to Scotland and other English cities such as London and York. I also spent a week exploring the Amalfi Coast in Italy during the earlier part of the semester.
Advice for Future Students
Although my exchange was cut short, I cannot recommend applying for an exchange experience enough. The two months that I spent studying at the University of Leeds were some of the best I have experienced in my life so far. Not only have I created lifelong memories, but I have also created lifelong friends who I am still in contact with to this day. Make sure you take up every opportunity and appreciate every moment whilst you are there, because it will be over before you know it (or it could end due to a global pandemic!). Just kidding, let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.
I 110% believe an exchange is something every student should apply for at some point in their degree. You will not regret it.