Hi guys! My name is Ye Chit Oo and I am from Myanmar (Burma). I am currently studying at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as a full time international student. I recently studied at the University of Leeds for 2 weeks as part of the Leeds International Summer School (LISS). I was able to apply this through UTS Global Short Programs. I chose to study the Business and Cultural Awareness: Bridging the Gap module. My lecturer was Dr. Gideon Azumah, and his lectures were engaging and interesting. I decided to study in Leeds because it is one of my dreams to study there, and I want to learn more about the culture, visit London simultaneously and get out of my comfort zone. It’s a whole new experience for me.
It was fascinating. The program staff are friendly and the program is engaging. As the borders have reopened, students are coming from all over the world, and the course I chose met more of my expectations. I was able to get in touch with people from different backgrounds and I was able to exchange ideas. The LISS program is also excellent. There are plenty of activities for socializing and exploring places near Leeds. I’m sure it will be more fun for 4 week olds. I participated in the activities that LISS organized as much as possible because they were engaging and interesting. As part of the module, we made visits to companies contributing to the subject.
Accommodation at the University of Leeds is reasonable. I got my room with a shared bathroom and a common area (kitchen). It was not bad. They also offer sheets, blankets, towels and soaps. The program is all-inclusive except dinners and weekends; they offer breakfast and lunch. The meals aren’t bad; you can choose from various things. And yes, sometimes you might want to eat something different, remember you can use UberEATS. For transportation, you can use your credit/debit cards, especially Visa and Master contactless cards, ApplePay, SamsungPay and GoogleWallet. You can use the Circuit laundry app, so download it from the App Store or GooglePlay Store. You need to reload 5 books; you can use credit/debit cards and PayPal to top up. They don’t provide laundry detergents, so buy one from Co-op, the store closest to the accommodation. Please note, there are no laundry bags or baskets; I personally use the food box I received at check-in to carry clothes. You can join Eduroam using your university email address and password to access the internet. If you have already joined Eduroam at your home university, you can join quickly without the need to reconfigure.
On the day of arrival they gave all the essentials when checking in. The meal card, the purple lanyard of the room key to identify yourself as a LISS student and the SIM card. They also offered a box full of food to cover 1-2 days for convenience. There may be a wait time for check-in, but not too long as there are a lot of students. So prepare not to be disappointed if you travel a long way to get there. There is a co-op on the Student Union campus; you can do your shopping there, don’t forget to use the membership card if you stay there for a long time. Note that the Coop closes on weekends. There are other stores on campus around the Parkinson building. Do not forget to fill in the information for the identity check of the students on your arrival. Remember that you must upload a photo for the student card. You can pick it up when it’s ready; when collecting, bring your passport with you. It will be at the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building. You also have access to the gym for a month as a LISS student.
I have to choose London Heathrow airport because I can’t get plane tickets to Manchester airport or Leeds Bradford airport. You can buy the train tickets in advance for convenience, but I wouldn’t recommend it as sometimes flights can be delayed. There is a student discount on trains on Unidays, but this is only available to UK students. So if you are already a Unidays member from a country other than the UK, you will not be able to get it. One thing you can do is change your region by applying and registering under Uni of Leeds. You can use the Uni of Leeds email to register if you have not registered. As I’m only here for two weeks, it’s a bit of work I have to do so I didn’t. I bought the tickets in advance for the return because it is cheaper. You can also get $5 off if you sign up for the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). Worth doing as we are students, cheaper the better. Of course, if you are arriving at Leeds Bradford Airport or Manchester Airport, you can request a free pick up from Leeds University Airport.
One thing I found difficult was that as people come from a variety of backgrounds, knowing the do’s and don’ts is key. Also beware of British culture. People in the UK don’t talk about transport, especially the tube. I do not know why. This is the trickiest situation for me. Note that there is no service/reception in the basement. I would learn from my mistakes to improve myself.
I have shared a lot here from my experience. This will come in handy if you are planning to study at the University of Leeds. All in all, LISS is a great opportunity to explore while learning and gain lots of useful experiences in everyday life and in the workplace.
I wish you the best in your future studies,
Ye Chit Oo