Zoology with study abroad student at University of Leeds

Ben Newbery

3 Reasons to Choose Study Abroad

You get the chance to learn new things

I completed my study abroad year at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. My degree is BSc Zoology, but here I take general biological science modules, as well as some Spanish language modules.

I felt that I wasn’t quite ready to go into my final year of university already, so I wanted to extend the experience. On top of that I have always wanted to do some travelling and experience new ways of life, so this study abroad year just combined everything that I was looking for.

You get to be a part of a different culture

My days tend to start around 7am (in tune with the Australian culture of ‘starting early while the day is still cool’), I’ll get ready and go into university for some lectures, then take advantage of the sun and sit on the grass to eat lunch. There may be some classes/labs in the afternoon but if not then I’ll head to the gym or the pool to keep fit. In the evenings I either go to society meet-up or relax at home with my housemates, potentially heading out into town if we’re feeling up for it!

You get to travel around the world

The whole thing has been a highlight, but some of the best bits include the feeling of starting university again and not knowing anyone during the freshers’ week here. I met so many fantastic people at that time. But also being in Australia, the summer holidays stretch between December to March, so I had several months to go travelling within Australia and out to New Zealand and even Fiji!

3 things I learnt from being a student ambassador

Talking about your experiences makes you a more confident person

I became an ambassador because I am really passionate about the university experience and wanted to share the things I have done with prospective students. I hope that I can communicate my excitement to the visiting students and their parents. It helps that I really enjoy talking to people and sharing my experiences!

It has also been helpful to have a job that fits in so well around my studies. It can take up as much or as little time as I like, depending on when I am available.

I’ve developed skills that are useful for my career

Being an ambassador has allowed me to improve my verbal communication skills and this is an essential transferrable skill for interviews and jobs in the future. Alongside this, many of the students and parents ask plenty of questions about the course, the university and prospective careers, so you get “interviewed” while your walk and sit with them. Speaking about the university has improved my self-confidence a lot, and I now feel like I can give a comprehensive summary of university life.

Being an ambassador allows you to speak to many different groups of people from all across the country. I really enjoy hearing peoples’ stories and interests, so that I can inform them of relevant opportunities here in Leeds.

It’s nice to give back to the University that’s given me such great experiences

I have really enjoyed all my time being a student ambassador. The best parts for me are taking the students on a tour of the campus and explaining all about the different buildings. I know how confusing campus can be so I try to make sure they know where they are going and have all the important information.

Another exciting thing is when I tell people that I studied abroad in Australia last year, and they ask me so many questions about it. I can happily waffle on about the possibility of doing study abroad for ages!