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Balancing Study and Travel – by Elly Stretton

This post is taken from exchange student Elly Stretton’s blog Elly’s Leeds Adventure. Elly studied at the University of Leeds in Semester 1, 2017. 

I chose to study at Leeds not only because it is an amazing university, but because it is central to the UK and a middle ground between many amazing cities. It’s a stones throw from Manchester and Liverpool – places I’d recommend if you enjoy fantastic nights out and adventure. They are also great for day trips: with the Manchester United Tour a great favourite of mine and the Beatles Mania tour in Liverpool a great day out.

5EDITLeeds is not too far from other fantastic cities, such as Edinburgh and York – both beautiful if you are interested in history and scenery. I would definitely recommend Leeds University to all future students who want to see as much of the UK as possible without spending too much time travelling!

I also found it easy to travel to Europe from Leeds. Leeds airport is a short twenty minute drive, easily accessible by Uber. Other flights can be taken through Manchester, just an hours train ride away. From here you can catch cheap flights to just about anywhere (Ryan Air is a saviour).

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I often get asked how I manage to balance study with travel. The course load and requirements at Leeds are not overwhelming or time consuming, but like any academic study, the trick is to complete your assignments as soon as you get them. I found that this freed up a lot of my time to explore and enabled me to fit lots of travel in too! My other tip would be to relax, don’t lock yourself up in your room over-preparing for presentations and exams. I found that a lot of learning came from group discussions in seminars, not external reading. I also learnt that tutors are a lot more relaxed than you think.
My ultimate tip when trying to find a balance between study and travel is to find a balance that works for you. Don’t shut yourself away – you’ll be there for six months after all! Yet don’t disregard your studies – you learn so much in new environments and you meet so many wonderful people.

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