Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Andrew Wilson

BA International Development | 2012 - 2016

Photo of Andrew Wilson

What motivated you to study your course and why did you choose Leeds?

Having undertaken voluntary work in both the UK and overseas I was keen to learn more about the development sector, with a particular focus on economics and economic inequalities. I was keen to study in Leeds because it is one of the few universities that offers International Development as an undergraduate course, allowing me to start learning about my interests from an early stage in my academic life. I also knew Leeds was a fun city to be a student in and would offer me plenty of opportunities to enhance myself both within and outside of the university. 

What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?

The lecturers in POLIS at Leeds are really what makes the course, they are passionate and endlessly knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. In final year I have really enjoyed seeing the two sides of my course; International Development, and Economics, come together and I can now relate both disciplines to one another.

Have you had the opportunity to study abroad, or complete a year in industry? If so, please tell us about your experience.

I decided to Study Abroad for a number of reasons including simply not being ready to give up the student life, wanting to experience new cultures, and gain new experiences.  I studied with Monash University. I spent my first 6 months in Melbourne and my second 4 months in Kuala Lumpur.

In Melbourne I lived in the heart of a large, vibrant city, which was a lot of fun and I met people from all over the world. I studied mostly economics modules in Melbourne, particularly looking at economic development. In Kuala Lumpur I mainly studied Asian politics modules as well as one on media and censorship in Asia. This gave me a chance to explore new areas that may not have been open to me had I not studied abroad.

The best thing about study abroad is all the new opportunities and experiences it offers, and the chance to meet other like minded people.

Some of my best experiences while on study abroad were while volunteering. In Malaysia I volunteered in a UNHCR school for Myanmarese refugees, teaching English and Maths, which although often difficult was a rewarding experience for both myself and the young people I worked with. In Melbourne I interned with Oaktree, Australia’s largest youth led NGO, where I gained a valuable insight into the workings of a NGO.

My experiences while on study abroad have increased my exposure to the development sector, which allowed me to build contacts and, more importantly, experience living and working in a very different setting to that which I have previously been used to.

I would not hesitate to recommend Study Abroad to anybody it is a great experience. Research thoroughly where you are going and apply to the right places for you and you will not regret it. Aside from the study and work experience opportunities, Study Abroad offers a great chance to do a lot of travelling relatively cheaply. While studying in Malaysia I was able to visit new countries on a weekend, with flights for less than £30 and cheap living costs out there. 

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