Anna Wheeler

Anna Wheeler

I became interested in Japanese language, history and culture when I spent four months in Japan during my gap year, which made me decide to apply for a degree involving Japanese culture at university.

I have a great interest in the history, culture and politics of Northeast Asia and Asia Pacific studies has allowed me to broaden my knowledge in all these areas. I have also had the opportunity to study abroad and learn Japanese, which has allowed me to study Japan in even greater depth.

The East Asian department has always been very supportive. It is quite small, which has allowed me to get to know the other students on my course and form friendships with my classmates. We are a close community, which makes it easy for us to provide peer support to each other.

I spent a year studying in Japan, in Akita prefecture (about a seven hour drive north of Tokyo). Living in a remote campus in the middle of the Japanese countryside was a very different experience to living in Leeds. It was a brilliant year for me and I learnt a great deal about traditional Japanese culture, as well as greatly improving my Japanese language skills. I would highly recommend doing a year abroad, as it added an extra dimension to my degree that I would not have had otherwise.

During my time at Leeds, I have been involved in the committee for the University’s LGBT Society as a Welfare Officer. In this role, I have been responsible for supporting the members of the society and working with the other committee members to organise events and run various workshops and talks for our members. This has taught me a range of different group skills that I expect to find extremely useful in any future career I choose to pursue.

Leeds has a big student population, which means the many attractions the city has to offer are often geared towards a student budget. There are a huge variety of bars, clubs and other venues, many of which offer student discounts. Student accommodation and housing is also relatively cheap, which has made it easier to live on a student budget.