After I started studying in England, at the University of Leeds, I began to receive a lot of questions about my life here, but the ones I hear most often are:
1. Can you travel in England, and is it expensive? Traveling is always an option, especially when you’re in England. Many cities are in close proximity, and no matter where you go, you’ll find historically significant places to explore. Moreover, being in England, it’s easy to take a train ride to completely different countries like Wales or Scotland. Ticket prices are relatively affordable, allowing students to travel to various destinations at least once a month. Exploring the rich history and culture of the UK is not only accessible but also budget-friendly.
2. Is the food different? Yes, but mainly in terms of cost. In England, groceries are significantly more affordable compared to the United States. The favorable exchange rate and a wide range of food options in local markets make it economical for students to maintain a balanced diet. Dining out in restaurants is a delightful experience as well, with meals costing about half of what they do in the U.S., and the food is equally mouthwatering. Furthermore, tipping is not expected, which can help international students save more while enjoying delicious cuisine.
3. Is it true that it rains all the time in England? While it’s true that in England, and particularly in Leeds, it rains quite frequently, it’s important to note that the weather is highly variable. There are sunny days, but they are more of an exception, and having an umbrella handy is essential. The temperatures are relatively mild, and it can be a bit windy, so if you come to study here, be sure to invest in a warm jacket. If you’re prone to feeling down due to gloomy weather, you might experience a bit of apathy in England. However, if you love rainy days like I do, you’ll embrace this place. I especially enjoy listening to the sound of rain while baking after a challenging day of lectures.
4. Are the people different? People are always different, no matter where you are. It’s impossible to categorize all individuals solely based on nationality. However, this diversity is a good thing. Here, you’ll encounter people from various backgrounds, making it likely that you’ll find like-minded people and expand your horizons by interacting with different people. Engaging in cultural exchanges and building lasting friendships with people from around the world is one of the most enriching aspects of studying abroad.
5. Is the student life different? I believe that student life in Leeds is quite similar to that in the U.S. The only notable differences are the absence of fraternities and sororities, but students still work diligently and occasionally host house parties. Moreover, the bar culture is well-developed, with bars often resembling cozy restaurants more than traditional bars. Therefore, students frequently spend their time in these places, enjoying a fantastic atmosphere and delicious food. Leeds offers a vibrant student community, with numerous clubs, societies, and events to participate in, ensuring you’ll have an exciting and fulfilling student life experience.