Neuroscience study abroad student at University of Leeds

Isabella Kearns

Isabella studied BSc Neuroscience and completed a study abroad at the University of Adelaide in Aurstralia. Since graduating from the University of Leeds Isabella works as a Programme Manager for EASi.

Where did you do your study year abroad and why did you decide to do it? 

The  University of Adelaide, South Australia. I studied a mix of health science modules, plus an ethics and a psychology module.

So many reasons why I did it! I thought it would give me a chance to experience a complete different culture and way of learning, to travel and meet people from all over the world, to consolidate what i have learnt so far at uni and it i'm honest, I hoped that it might give me a bit more of an insight of what i want to do with my like post-degree.

Could you describe your day to day life whilst you were on your study year abroad?

Term-­time: Most days have involved a bit of uni work (it has got quite intense at some points, Australians set a lot of deadlines!) although not many contact hours, which has given me plenty of time to go out and enjoy being in Australia. That may involve a trip to the beach, going for a swim/cycle or exploring Adelaide. I do however have two jobs  that have taken up a lot of time: I have a part-time job in the city and I also volunteer at a research centre connected to the university. So I am always busy And procrastination always leads to the planning of future travels.

Time off uni (which is a lot! Australians have a lot of holiday time, especially long weekends!). I have managed to pack vacation time with travelling whether it’s a weekend in Port Lincoln, a roadtrip down the East Coast or a month touring New Zealand!

Has your study year abroad changed your out look on how you see your career path after University?

Oh yes! Studying in Australia has given me a lot of thinking time and a chance to think of careers that may be open to me outside of neuroscience. It has given me a lot of time that I wouldn’t have had if I had stayed in Leeds. I’ll becoming back to Leeds prepared for my final year, with a clear mind and a lot more motivation than what I left with!

What advice would you offer to students considering undertaking a study abroad year?

Get iin contact with someone who has previously done an exchange at the university you’re going to. We managed to figure everything out once we got there, but a bit of local knowledge wouldn’t have gone a miss.

Join any exchange student networks that your uni offers, they’re great fun.

Save money before youl eave, travelling isn’t cheap! Nor is Australia in general.

Get carried away with everything your exchange country has to offer, travel as much as you can and meet the locals, but don’t forget you have to come back to Leeds, try and improve your job prospects whilst you’re away.

You will love your year abroad no matter what university you end up in (Adelaide was my 4th choice, and I am so glad I ended up here!).