My postgraduate guide to Leeds
Hi everyone! My name is Ellen. In this blog, I will talk about my experience as a postgraduate student in Leeds.
You may be wondering what life is like for a postgraduate student here, in Leeds - what you can get involved in at university, what the city offers and where you can live and work. Having been a student in Leeds for two years, here are some tips from my experience, which I hope you will find useful.
Check out your accommodation options
Before you move to Leeds, I recommend joining Facebook pages that advertise student flats as this is a great way to connect with other students that are looking for accommodation. I also recommend looking at websites, such as Spare Room, for a bedroom in a shared flat, where you can read the description of the other flatmates that are currently living there and ask them any questions too. I did a mixture of the two throughout my studies and even managed to create a group chat on Facebook with my future flatmates, which was a great to get to know each other before we all moved in together.
There are many great websites to search for a flat - however, make sure you can request viewings through them too – I always recommend viewing the flat before you move in to see whether the area is right for you. For example, I decided to find a quieter area in my second year of study as in my first year I lived on a very busy street.
Societies are a great way to meet likeminded people and take part in fun events and activities. And if you can’t seem to find your dream society, you can start your own.
Join a university society
Leeds Beckett University has so many societies that you can join. Societies are a great way to meet likeminded people and take part in fun events and activities.
I decided to join the Spanish Society to maintain my Spanish language skills, as well as the Speech and Language Therapy society to keep up to date with the activities my course friends were hosting or were involved in.
Societies aim to provide something for everyone but if you can’t seem to find your dream society, you can start your own. This would be a great asset to your CV to attract potential employers. You just need a minimum of 3 people to take up the leadership roles of President, Secretary and Treasurer, complete the relevant training and you’re good to go.
If you’re into sports, there are two university gyms onsite which you can join – City Campus and Headingley Campus, you can attend whichever is closer to home.
These gyms offer a variety of equipment and classes. I personally love attending the classes as you can meet friends there and exercise together, I find exercising with friends a lot more enjoyable and there are many amazing classes you can attend. My favourite is Yoga as it is a great way to wind down after a busy student day.
Leeds is for students
Leeds is a great city to live and has a lot to offer. If you’re a music lover, then I definitely recommend the world’s biggest annual music festival, Leeds Festival, or going to music venues such as The O2 Academy or First Direct Arena.
Depending on your interests and when you have some free time, Leeds is also great for shopping. I love visiting Trinity Leeds shopping centre as it has many high street shops and a variety of indoor street food. Our city also offers historical shopping arcades, which contain designer shops - this is also a great place for taking Instagram photos to share with your friends your wonderful new city.
The student population in Leeds is one of the biggest in Europe, which brings an amazing sense of diversity and excitement – it also adds to the nightlife. There are fabulous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that you can enjoy with your new university friends. If you love Chinese cuisine, I recommend visiting Tattu, I loved going there for my birthday treat!
And if a night out isn’t your scene and you fancy a day out instead, one of Leeds biggest attractions is its location – Yorkshire! Just outside of Leeds, there are some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and countryside, from the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District in the north, to the Peak District in the south. I recently visited Saltaire, a beautiful Victorian model village in Shipley, and I would highly recommend visiting Salts Mill. So, get your hiking boots ready and explore the surrounding beauty of Leeds.
Leeds Beckett offer careers advice, where you can chat to a careers consultant in person or on Live Chat. The team can also help you write your CV and create your LinkedIn profile.
While you’re studying at university, you could apply for a part time job. The Leeds Beckett Job Board might be a good starting point for you, as you could find a role that could fit around your university timetable. And if you choose to stay in Leeds following graduation and you’d like to find a full-time job, Leeds Beckett offer careers advice, where you can chat to a careers consultant in person or on Live Chat. The team can also help you write your CV and create your LinkedIn profile; I personally found this very useful as they gave me really good tips on how to make my LinkedIn profile engaging and now, I receive messages from LinkedIn employers regularly.
I also recommend building contacts when on placement as you can always ask whether there are any job opportunities following your course or any volunteering opportunities as they will already know you and know your work ethic, this would also be great to add to your CV.
So, those are my tips on how to make the most out of different opportunities available whilst studying your postgrad, I hope you found them useful.