Portrait of Katarina valachova

Katarina Valachova

I am from Slovakia and went to a bilingual Slovak – English grammar school where I studied English which later enabled me to study in England. It was a very common thing at my school to apply for universities abroad, so I decided to give it a go.

At first, I didn’t know what to study. I had an interest in learning foreign languages I decided to choose something new and, for me a very exciting, language, such as Arabic. I used to do belly dancing and I really liked Arab culture, so I did some research on British universities offering Arabic courses and I found out that Leeds has one of the best Arabic departments in the UK. And that's how I came to studying Arabic in Leeds. 

My year abroad in Egypt was an amazing experience. I studied at ACL in Alexandria, travelled around Egypt, saw all the famous places and made many great Egyptian friends. I took a trip to Dahab, which in my opinion, was the most beautiful place in Egypt. I fell in love with Red Sea and enjoyed every second of my trip. Everybody was super nice, the atmosphere was very chilled out and I felt very safe even though I travelled there on my own.

Outside of studying at Leeds there are plenty of opportunities for students. I took part in the Intercultural Ambassadors Programme. It was an amazing experience, because I met many great people and gained many useful skills. I also joined Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies Society, where I worked as a Culture and Academic Sec. We organised many fun events for our members and non-members too.

Now I have graduated I will be working as a freelance translator in Leeds. I would like to save some money and move to Dahab in the future.