Yaxing Mao, MA New Media student

Yaxing Mao

Before coming to the University of Leeds, I studied English as my undergraduate degree at Soochow University in China. Fascinated by English language and British culture, I decided to come to the UK and study at the University of Leeds. And this decision has made all the difference to my way of thinking and viewing the world, how to deal with things and people, and even the direction of my future career and life.

I first heard of the university from my friend, who had a wonderful year here for her postgraduate study. I was tempted, and I found Leeds had courses which could help me prepare to find a job in the media industry.

I am really grateful that I had this chance to study here, and I cannot remember how many times I was thinking, “I have made the right decision. I’m far away from home, but it is truly worth it.” Not only because the University’s School of Media and Communication is one of the best in the country, but also because students are cared, supported, encouraged and inspired in every possible way! I bet every one of us can achieve a lot more than we would imagine so long as we are willing to learn and reach out.

I was a little bit shy at first until I dropped in a “Meet and Speak Kick Off” of Erasmus Student Network Leeds society. Students from different countries and backgrounds just mingled with each other, talking and laughing. No one would notice that they were strangers five minutes ago. I also met three German undergraduate students there and now we are all good friends. Since then, I began to love joining various but equally fascinating events and become more and more outgoing and confident. This is my favourite thing about the University.

Opportunities like this are everywhere. We won’t have a chance to feel lonely or bored. Apart from meeting new friends, you are able to learn many skills as well. I like staying at the Language Zone where I attended Book Chat, Conversation Club and watched films to improve my oral English and communication skills. The University's Career Centre provides active support for our career guidance. I made use of these services and get a lot of valuable advice and encouragement.

When it comes to the best thing about my course, I think it’s the ability to study independently, working collaboratively and thinking critically that we are gradually developing under our tutors’ guidance. We’ve got lectures for theoretical inspiration in combination with workshops, tutorials and group projects for empirical study. What’s more, we are encouraged to make reflections on what we have done. To tell the truth, such process of learning is hard, but I benefited a lot from it.

I lived in a private rented apartment only ten minutes’ walk away from the campus and from the city centre. It is super convenient to live and study in city of Leeds. I really love it and bet you will too.