This online session provides insight into studying English at the University of Leeds. The School of English has an excellent reputation and it allows for a large variety of study opportunities, with staff that have an amazing breadth of research interests. Watch this session to learn more about what the department has to offer!
Recorded: 24 March 2022
Being from the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago), moving to the UK, and adjusting to a completely different way of living was challenging. Managing this, whilst studying (especially as this is the first time I lived away from home), required an openness to adapting and growing. With time, I developed an integrated approach to living, bringing old traditions from back home and merging them with a “uni-life” experience of the UK. Of course, doing this during pandemic conditions wasn’t ideal, but as time went on and restrictions were rolled back, I developed my new normal. The UK is a great place to study, as due to its metropolitan nature, they are very accepting of all cultural backgrounds, belief systems, and ways of people- therefore one need not feel like they will be ostracised for wanting to integrate their passions/hobbies.
This “uni-life” experience includes (but is not limited to) navigating your way through classes/exams/projects, making new friends/ visiting a local pub for a pint, attending various social events scattered throughout the year hosted by your campus/accommodation, exploring your town and environs to experience the landmarks and historic sites of the UK, and even taking a day trip to a nearby town for some time away. However, do not feel pressured to do all these things, at the end of the day your work is your priority, so knowledge of your limits must guide you accordingly.
Studying at my university was interesting and unique, as mine was the first year to begin and end under the lockdown conditions. What I would say is that our patience whilst everyone was “figuring things out” was rewarded with truly passionate teachers and instructors who guided us throughout the entire process, don’t get me wrong- at the end of the day the onus was on us to get the work done, but I never felt at any moment like I was not supported from my school’s staff. They went out of their way to make the students aware of the various ways in which we can receive help- if need be.
I studied for an MSc Transport Infrastructure under the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds, which Across the Pond offered massive support in helping me apply. They made the entire process of applying to transitioning over to the UK much simpler- which, with the confusing and ever-changing nature of applications in late 2020, definitely made the world of difference and allowed me to focus on getting the tasks done, having the support of experienced, knowledgeable and gracious staff to assist with navigating the waves of new information that was coming in weekly.
The cost of living varies from city to city, so depending on where you go, your budget will vary greatly. I started in Leeds, which is more economical than where I am now in York. Therefore, depending on the area in which you choose to move, your cost of living will vary greatly and may require prior research if on a tighter budget. Northern England is on average colder than Southern England as well- so for all the students who live in warmer climates- beware!
To the students who may be hoping to join the UK workforce, something I wish I knew sooner- many businesses offer graduate schemes and placements to students and recent graduates. Applications to these usually become available from October/ November for the jobs which are set to start September the following year. Apply as soon as possible, these are highly competitive, but there is much research material to support you through the application process online. Apply whilst in your various degrees, to assist with obtaining a position the following September.
Finally, embrace the full student life whilst here, visit the libraries and utilise all the free resources the University offers. For those applying to master’s programmes, the year goes by fast, so fully embrace it!