undergraduate student at Leeds

Pablo John-Nguyen

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I am a French student from Germany doing a gap year in Bristol. My interests are Music Theatre, all types of dancing, rounders and travelling. I like to meet new people and doing activities that include large groups of people as well as smaller ones. 

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I visited a lot of universities but Leeds reminded me a lot of Berlin. After meeting some of the tutors and talking to them for a bit I thought that it wouldn't be bad to spend a few years here and who knows maybe more. 

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I'm interested in the portrayal of humanistic traits in everyday life as well as on stage and on the screen. If I had to define my main passion it would be the character study. I'm interested in seeing how far a human being's limits can be pushed and translated on a media. But I'm also very passionate about the rightful representation of minorities on stage and on screen. 

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

I guess it is a very common answer but in my case it's the first thing I thought of. I liked the experience of doing a performance project. I do not mind doing essays but designing and performing live is what stimulates my creativity the most. Whichever project I am in, I get really excited about all the possibilities that can be achieved. 

What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?

As someone from another country one surprise that I had was having to catch up on the British slang which caused me to have a lot of misunderstandings at the beginning of the year. But also I didn't expect to live in a smaller version of a society but it did prepare me for what's to come. 

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

To my mind there are a lot of great facilities that should be used more often. My main facilities are the EC Stoner computer building and the Edward Boyle Library. There are a lot of resources that can be used to your advantage it is just a matter of looking in the right direction. 

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

Obviously a big one would be clubs and societies. I have taken part in quite a few on-stage performances this year as well as a lot of Give it a go sessions. There are also a lot of free events in the union, for example the garden and the therapy dogs, which helped me make a few friends at the beginning of the year. I also participated in Leeds ball and most of the nightlife events happening on campus and I can honestly say that I had a blast.

Did you take a work placement or study abroad year? If so, how did you find this experience and what have you gained from it?

I have done a gap year in Bristol where I performed in nightclubs quite frequently. I think doing odd jobs prepared me for how worse things can get and help keep a positive attitude on my work but also spot elements in a situation that can go wrong very easily. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

I would give them my objective view of what I experienced. During the open day, I was able to honestly talk to students. I understand that this course might not be suited for certain people but might appeal to others a bit more. I said that there was a theoretical side and practical side that was being taught in this course. This results in a learning experience that is fuller than if someone went to drama school for example. 

What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

 Obviously my ambition is to excel both on stage, backstage and on a production team. I think as it is I am getting a gradual grasp on the industry that I want to work in. And in just one year I’ve accumulated a lot of experience from lighting designing to stage building designing and to being part of a production team.