I’m originally from Cambridge and spent some time growing up in Australia. I studied Politics, History, and Sociology at A-Level, and felt a degree in International Relations would be able to combine my main interests in international politics and history perfectly. I’m currently the Social Secretary for the POLIS Society and am also the POLIS 5-a-side football captain.
Why I chose International Relations at Leeds
One of the main things that impressed me about Leeds was the fact that it is a campus university that is also really close to the city centre. Coming from a fairly small southern city at home, I was attracted to the idea of venturing north to experience something a little different. I was also extremely impressed by the Union in terms of size and what it has to offer, it’s clear to see why it is seen as one of the best in the country!
The course offered a wide range of flexibility with regard to choosing modules, and I liked the idea of not being too constrained in what I could study. This meant I have been able to take modules in areas such as Middle Eastern studies, as well as American, Israeli and British politics to give myself a broader knowledge base. This is largely down to the wide range of staff that POLIS has to offer, it seems that there’s an expert on just about everything!
My Year Abroad
I was aware of the opportunities Leeds provided with regard to studying abroad, but never really considered it until the start of my second year. Knowing a few people from home at Leeds meant I felt I should take more of a step in the deep end, so I decided to head for Calgary in Canada to experience something new, and living in -30 degrees weather for much of the time there was certainly an experience I’ll never forget! Meeting people from all over the world truly made the experience, as well as travelling across Canada and the US whilst there, including a trip to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday.
I would highly recommend studying abroad, it really is as brilliant as everyone who goes makes it out to be, if not just for delaying graduating and heading out for the ‘real world’, but also for the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and meet students from around the globe.
Finally, a bit of a shameless plug here but I would highly recommend getting involved in the POLIS Society! It’s a great way to meet people on the course considering POLIS doesn’t have as many contact hours as other programmes. It was particularly beneficial for me after coming back from a year on exchange to get to know people in my new year group quickly.