My first experience in Leeds

Posted: 11.09.2016
Author: David Ngechu

When moving in to a new country, how you spend your first few weeks builds an impression of the place for you. As an international student, I had to make the most out of it to be comfortable and enjoy my stay in Leeds.

I landed in London Heathrow as I was going to visit my relatives in Luton. The weather was fairly gloomy but not too cold as it was the end of summer. I loved the infrastructure and the development of the city and I there and then knew I was going to enjoy my stay. We stayed a couple of days at my uncles and I got inducted to the types of stores, the lifestyle of people and most of the basic necessities.

We travelled to Leeds by road which took about 4 hours. The trip was spectacular as I admired the beauty of the country and how easy it was to travel from city to city. Being a fan of vehicles, I was excited seeing cars that I’d always see when enjoying episodes from Top Gear UK.

I instantly loved Leeds when we arrived because I saw some of my favourite restaurants and new ones I often heard about and how big the city was. We went to my accommodation, which was a fairly good place and I met some of my flatmates. Mum helped me with the shopping and got so much stuff wanting to leave knowing I was ready to live on my own. Dad was there telling her I’ll be fine but I don’t think she bought it.

Fresher’s week, as I came to learn was the name of the first week of school, wasn’t about studying but about getting students to be comfortable with the university experience. Registration went on smoothly thanks to the friendly staff and guides all over school. On the school grounds, there were so many restaurants giving vouchers for free food and offers, which I stocked up on in case of a rainy day. The student union was absolutely amazing from the pubs and clubs to the shops and restaurants and even a bank. There were a lot of societies on stalls for students to join as they displayed what they were about and I joined the East African society which is a cultural society that embraces the East African culture. The nights were great as the streets were filled with students and you could really see the city come to life. The first place I went to was called Pryzm which is within the city centre and I loved the variety of music being played plus the company since I went to bond with my flat mates.

On the second week I had a very interesting start, aside from the fresher’s flu. Since I barely knew the names of areas in the Engineering building, I found myself in a post graduate introduction session. My course being Mechatronics and robotics, I had mentally prepared myself it wasn’t going to be easy. After a few minutes into the session, I started considering changing my course since I didn’t know what was going on and because of how difficult everything seemed. I got relieved when I found out I was in the wrong class and I was guided to my class where I was introduced to the rest of my class. I made a couple of friends in addition to the friends I knew from home who came to study in Leeds.

It was a good start to the University Life which made me anticipate the rest of the time studying in the UK.