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Vera van Iersel on exchange in Leeds! | 19 juni 2018

Vera van Iersel was on exchange during Module 6 at Leeds Beckett University. Read her blog about the great time she had studying and living abroad.

Exchange at Leeds Beckett University

The day that I arrived in Leeds, I was surprised by the city which would be my home for the coming 5 months. You never truly know what to expect, if you haven’t been there before, so you are taking a bit of a risk. I chose to go to Leeds on exchange and would be studying at Leeds Beckett University. Before I arrived, I didn’t know that there were two university campuses, one in the city centre and one a bit outside the city, which were called City campus and Headingley campus. Both unique and impressive. Headingley campus use to be an old hospital which turned into a university several years ago. It has all the sport facilities you can imagine e.g. a track, tennis-, hockey-, football-, rugby- and lacrosse fields, a gym, swimming pool etc.   

Great campus

The accommodation was assigned by the school, which placed me and the other Dutch girl I went with, in Kirkstall. A accommodation further from the centre but close to the Headingley campus, luckily, as I discovered quickly that all my classes were at that campus and it was one of the most ideal places to live. It even had a free shuttle bus in the morning and afternoon, which brought you straight to Headingley campus. The accommodation was a fun experience, it looked a bit like the campus at the Hotel Management School Maastricht but here we had our room plus 2 showers, 2 toilets and a kitchen shared with 5 others. Our accommodation even had a common area, which was a study room with a bar and where you could order food and drinks. So even if you didn’t feel like going to the supermarket, you could get a burger or a pizza.

Travelling with "Don't be a Tourist"

During the first week there was an introduction for all the international students, which gave you plenty of opportunity to make international friends. The activities in the introduction week made us familiar with the school, the city and most importantly they explained to us where to go if we needed help. One of the best activities during this week was a lecture of the company “Don’t Be a Tourist”, which is a travel agent for students. They offer really cheap trips within the UK. Trips I wouldn’t organise myself, because I wouldn’t have a clue where to go. My new friends and I went on several trips and discovered the different aspects, history and stories the UK has to offer. When you are there you want to make the most of your stay and you want to see as much of the country as possible. We visited Liverpool, the Peak district, York, Whitby and Edinburgh. Of course, we had to see Manchester and Sheffield and planned these trips on our own. And of course, we needed to figure out the train system in the UK first, which is a bit different than the OV chipkaart, but it was a good experience and lots of fun in the end.

Brushing up on my English

During the 5 months I studied at Leeds Beckett University, I was surprised by all the help they offered us, the resources and the facilities we could use. We could borrow almost all the technology equipment and teachers were always willing to help.The library was one of the most valuable facilities during my exchange, it has a big online catalogue with online books, journals and databases. You could borrow your books or open them online, which saved me some money too. I was afraid at the beginning that I couldn’t get used to the language, but it surprised me how fast I got used to speaking English. I truly recommend going on an exchange. You study at another university, which is a valuable experience, you make lots of international friends, you get to know another country and you improve your language skills!

It was an amazing experience and I wish I could do again.  

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