Charles – University of Leeds – England
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Business
If you’re reading these blogs and thinking to yourself, “Should I go on exchange?” or “Will I truly have a life changing experience like these people claim?” Well in short, a massive YES to both! Going on a 4 month exchange to the University of Leeds changed my life for the better and I’ve never had more amazing experiences, met more amazing people and had more fun in my life in such a short amount of time.
University life is back to its best at QUT post COVID, however, I sympathise with a lot of QUT students who began their degree during COVID like myself. A quiet campus with little to no social life and those awkward online breakout rooms have made a lot of our university experiences underwhelming. This was my main motivation to go on exchange before I graduated this semester. I believe I missed out on what an incredible experience university life can offer. And my time Leeds more than made up for those missed opportunities.
Life in Leeds
For anyone considering the Uni of Leeds, I would recommend choosing Montague Burton as your first accommodation choice. Monty B as its known, is full of international students and is only a 5 minute walk from campus. It’s also very affordable compared to other student accommodations. I became friends with my flatmates instantly. Two Dutch guys and a bloke from Adelaide. We would end up going on trips together to Dublin, Belfast, and Brussels. However, you’ll have no problem meeting people and making friends at the Uni of Leeds. There’s essentially 2 weeks of Freshers (O-week as we call it) as they have one for international students and then one for normal British students. So, for two weeks straight there are events on all day and all night! One thing that really stood out about Leeds were the clubs and societies they had on offer. There was literally something for everyone. I joined both the History Society (just to play for their social football team which was great) and the Snowriders Society. With Snowriders, I was able to go on the week-long Christmas ski trip to Les Deux Alpes in the south of France. Even though I knew no one going, I jumped straight in and had an incredible week with some lovely people.
I certainly found the study load to be lighter than it is here at QUT which allowed me to travel round on weekends and do assignments whenever. No to mention, the pass grade is 40% which means there’s no excuse to fail! In terms of going out, us Aussies found the food to be sup bar and mostly overpriced compared to back home. However, a lot pubs have will have cheap meals and even cheaper drinks, especially on student nights! One downside of going out in the UK was the price of club admission. You would have to pay an entry fee for almost every club, but drinks were cheap inside and they closed very late.
Outside of Leeds
One great thing about choosing Leeds is that you’re situated in the heart of the UK. Big cities like Manchester, Liverpool, York and even London are all less than 3 hour journeys away. I would certainly recommended visiting these cities on a weekend with some friends. Watching football matches with my mates was a real highlight for me. Seeing Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Leeds were all great, but nothing topped watching League 2 side Bradford City on a cold Tuesday night. $15 AUD for the best atmosphere money can provide!
I was lucky enough to travel round Europe as well while studying at Leeds. Some highlights include Rome, Vienna, Madrid and oddly enough Belfast. If you’re into your history and politics, I would spend a weekend in Northern Ireland as its dead cheap and fascinating!
In sum, my best advice is to save as much as you can now, spend as little on things that aren’t overly important, and maximise your time overseas with weekend trips and fun adventures with the friends you meet. There’s not a better time in your life to take a risk and go for it. And there’s no better city to take the plunge and make memories for life than Leeds!
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.