Chi Cheng Ip
- Course: BA English Language and Literature
- Year of graduation: 2020
- Nationality: Macanese
Why did you choose to study BA English Language and Literature with us?
I always wanted to do a combined course of language and literature, and Leeds provided various combinations of course opportunities, and they suited my preference and interest.
The Leeds website was the most accessible and informative website among others I searched. Since the first contact for an international student is always the website itself, it gave a really good and professional impression.
What opportunities have you taken advantage of so far?
The libraries have got a large range of resources and I really enjoy studying there.
In my second year, I took a subsidised summer school abroad in Japan and had an extraordinary experience learning outside Leeds.
I have also had the opportunity to exchange letters with elderly people in Leeds by joining the Writing Back pen pal programme and I learnt a lot from them.
How do you think studying at Leeds will help you in your career?
Aside from providing a lot of careers support and advice throughout the year, Leeds also introduced me to people from all over the world.
Leeds expanded my network and I am able to see opportunities both in and outside the UK. From my course, I am able to develop my critical thinking and I think that will definitely be a great help in my future career path.
Tell us about the skills you’ve gained so far.
I have learnt how to think critically about social issues and I’m able to contribute to debates and discussions on contemporary topics.
I have stepped out of my comfort zone and have been enthusiastic to meet new friends coming from different places. I have also become a lot better in doing group work, communicating with others, knowing others’ needs and listening to their suggestions, while shaping my own values and perspectives.
Have you worked closely with a particular tutor or member of staff?
I have worked closely with the International Foundation Year staff members as I was promoted to undergraduate from this programme.
We communicate a lot, organise events together and make suggestions about where and how to improve foundation year experience. I have been an IFY ambassador for two years now and have been sharing my own experiences with new foundation year students.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering studying your degree?
I think that the reading is really important, as it improves and inspires your way of thinking, making you more aware of those neglected things, like the language we use.
Sometimes the workload could be difficult to manage, so definitely put some time on time management and organise your academic and social life in a way that works best for you.
As an international student, what’s been helpful to you at the University of Leeds?
I was really homesick when I first arrived in the UK. The Global Café, however, brought my life back to normal.
I met my closest friends for the year there, and we shared our worries and concerns with each other. I felt supported and was able to stand on my two feet again.
What do you think of the facilities?
I think the University provides a lot of resources to students.
I love the Brotherton library, where thousands of books are stored. Although sometimes there are journals or books not available or accessible, we can always send in suggestions of books we think useful.
I also like the Leeds University Student Union, where students can just relax and participate in different events and societies.
The University generally cares a lot about students’ well-being by introducing schemes like personal tutoring, and I feel comfortable here.
What do you think of Leeds as a city?
Leeds is not a big city, but not a small one either. I like how most essential things, like supermarkets, are located near the University.
Sometimes I do think that Leeds city centre can feel a bit too urban, lacking nature and colours, but the other areas, like Roundhay Park, are really nice places to visit.
In my opinion, Leeds is not a fancy city for travelling, but definitely a nice city to live in, as it has pretty much everything and is quite a safe and friendly place from my own experience.
And what about the arts and culture?
It took me some time to get used to and learn about British culture, at least the culture in Leeds.
Once I let myself out of my comfort zone and try to understand people here, it has become a nice experience and I also know a lot more about myself and things I have been neglecting.
Studying abroad has also given me the opportunity to see more and learn more, not just about others, but also about myself.