Minori Iwahashi, BA Film, Photography and Media student

Minori Iwahashi

I was born in Japan but grew up in Germany for 16 years. After completing my International Baccalaureate, I decided to come to Leeds and I now study BA Hons. Film, Photography and Media and am looking to do a Year in Industry.

I chose the University of Leeds because I wanted to do a degree in media and film and Leeds not only had this course but was the only university which had photography included as part of the course as well! That by itself set Leeds apart from the other Universities, making it unique to my preference. However, other aspects such as the social life, diversity and comfort the city offers drew me to studying here, beyond its established reputation as a Russel Group University.

My University experience has been great, both first and second year so far. My course is intellectually stimulating and creative, half theoretical and half practical as described. I have also been able to immerse myself in societies, being a part of the Leeds Freestyle Dance Society as the PR Secretary and a competitive Hip hop dancer whilst also being a model for the second time for the Leeds Rag Fashion Show. Having made great friends through my time here, every day is different, and every week is special. Filled with unexpected, fun activities and events, it is a perfect city for any student, whether UK, EU or International.

Moving away from home can be scary, especially if it is the first time. But a fresh start is very rewarding if done right. I find it important to step outside of your comfort zone so you can discover what potential you may have in something different that is unavailable at home. Try new cuisine, pick up a sport, learn a new language – anything is possible on campus, in Leeds, and in the surrounding areas.

I am asked a lot what the best thing is about studying in Leeds. The best thing is that there are no best things about Leeds! It is what you define your student experience to be, focusing on particular aspects of what the city has to offer. A large part of me loving my time at Leeds is eating out. A few of my favourites are Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Hyde Park Book Club, Trinity Kitchen and Rustica across Parkinson Steps. Also, being in second year, living in a house with six other people has been really great as you are surrounded by your friends. I first year, I lived in an en-suite at one of Leeds University’s accommodations off campus, namely Devonshire Hall. Both of my homes have given me the opportunity to walk through Hyde Park to get to University, a place I am sure you will spend time basking in the rare Leeds sun when exams are over and summer is here.