Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Josh Aulak

Politics and Parliamentary Studies | 2009 - 2013

Photo of Josh Aulak

About Me
I come from Leamington Spa, which is a town in Warwickshire. I studied at Myton School which was a brilliant secondary school in Warwick, and it was where I stayed to do my A-Levels. It was only when I started my AS level Politics programme where I actually became interested in Politics.

Why Politics?
Prior to studying Politics, I had no real interest in it, yet it would go on to influence me in so many ways. I first thought I would merely study politics for one year, then drop it when it came to completing my final year of A-Levels. Then suddenly I became oddly intrigued by a subject alien to me. Learning about new concepts that affect our everyday lives, and gaining the ability to air my views and listen to others, enabled me as a person to grown in confidence.

I went on to complete work experience placements in both Newport and Stratford, which gave me the invaluable knowledge of the day to day runnings of a constituency office.

Studying politics also complemented my study of History very well. My main piece of History coursework during Year 13 was of the 1945 General Election. I had become fascinated by Politics and I wanted to discover more.

Why I chose Leeds
As with many students, I attended various open days, and on the whole all were good, and had their own personalised selling points. However when it came to Leeds I found that it had the all round package. When you look at what the department has to offer for studying politics, the onus is on you to study and engage in what you enjoy.

The freedom to chose particular modules is a key element to any politics degree at Leeds, and it is certainly a huge positive. The course I study, Politics and Parliamentary studies, is unrivaled in its unique ability to offer students the chance of a placement in not only Westminster, but also Ottawa and Washington. It was for this fact that I applied without having attended an open day. On the day of my interview for the course, the University and the city of Leeds did not disappoint me.

On an educational perspective, the welcoming staff showed me immediately that I would feel welcome in the department. Their willingness to explain and help with any questions or queries made me feel wanted, which is the sort of feeling any prospective student values immensely.  

The city itself was a reason enough to strongly consider coming to here to study. Leeds has a reputation of having a great night life, and this is very true, but more importantly it has something to offer for everyone. This became evident immediately as the city centre is full of shops, pubs, clubs and various other attractions.

The diversity of the University and city really hit home for me during Freshers week, where I was amazed by the sheer volume of societies on offer at the university. Leeds is renowned for having one of the best student unions in the country, but it is only when you see it for yourself that you fully comprehend its impressive stature. There is something on offer for everybody, and it is most certainly an aspect of student life that everyone should grasp.

My placement
During the 2011/2012 academic year I will be working in the Canadian Parliament and the Westminster Parliament as part of my placement year. During semester one I will travel to Ottawa and work with a Member of the Canadian Parliament. I will then return for Semester two to work for an MP in Westminster.

I was tempted by the opportunity to work in Ottawa due to the fact that the Canadian system is not too dissimilar to ours in Westminster. In addition to this, Canadian Politics is fascinating, and as a new parliament will be in place upon my arrival I cannot wait to start working.

Outside of study
Whenever I walk past the Students’ Union there is always some form of activity taking place, which symbolically portrays the nature of Leeds, as there is always something going on.

For me personally I like to socialise with friends in my free time, and this can involve anything be it going to a comedy club, going clubbing, or going for a drink.

The sports scene at Leeds is something to behold too. There is a new state of the art gym called the Edge which I sometimes go to. Whilst for those who excel in sports there are various sports societies to get involved with. I myself joined a 5 a side football team as a form of keeping in touch with friends made in our first year of study.

There is so much going on in Leeds that will ensure you will never get bored, in fact if I have any regrets, it is that I didn't get involved enough.

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