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Austra Laima Aprane

From: Latvia
Studying: BA Languages, Cultures and Politics (Arabic)
I speak
Latvian, English, Russian, and Arabic
BA Languages, Cultures and Politics (Arabic)

Hi! My name is Austra, and I’m a mature, international student from Latvia. I’m in my fourth year studying BA Arabic and Politics. 

Languages are something I have always enjoyed studying. I am fluent in Latvian and English, and I am working on my Russian and Arabic to someday speak fluently in these languages as well. In my free time I like to explore Leeds, go on walks, play volleyball and watch feel-good TV shows. When I have more time, I love traveling around the UK as well as going abroad, exploring different places and cultures. 

I chose to come to Leeds for many reasons, most importantly because of the University’s high scores in THE World University Rankings129th place overall and 69th place in arts & humanities category. 

Firstly, the community here is so diverse and big, yet everyone will find their place and feel safe and included.

Additionally, I felt it was very important to me that the university I was applying to would be able to provide me with an exciting year abroad opportunity since I am studying Arabic at the moment. In a nutshell, I spent a year learning Arabic in Morocco and had a fantastic experience thanks to the commitment of our university to support students studying foreign languages. 

Now I’m in my fourth year and I can say that the opportunities and support I have received here, in University of Leeds, have exceeded my expectations!  

Firstly, the community here is so diverse and big, yet everyone will find their place and feel safe and included. As a mature international student, I felt nervous about moving away from home and not fitting in. Since coming to Leeds, I have found a sense of belonging, and made so many interesting connections and valuable friendships. I don’t even know why I was worried! 

Throughout my degree I have felt so supported by the University.

Secondly, there are countless opportunities to try something new and develop useful skills. From doing a placement year, choosing optional modules, publishing research papers to trying part-time jobs, internships, volunteering, signing up to mentoring schemes, there are always ways how to make the most of the university experience! Alongside studying, University of Leeds has allowed me to grow professionally as well - I have completed two internships and worked different part-time jobs to earn some money, learn new skills, gain work experience and make connections. 

Lastly, I appreciate the tremendous variety of support available to all students. Throughout my degree I have felt so supported by the University, starting with my lovely academic personal tutor, support within my Schools, Wellbeing services, library resources and study spaces to Careers Service, their mock interviews and campus internships.  

During my studies I have made so many friends from all over the world, lived in student accommodation (Leodis), joined various societies (like Volleyball, Amnesty, British Sign language), pursued a year abroad, navigated through British customs and their way of life, completed different internships and part-time jobs. I am so grateful to this University that my experience has been wonderful, and I am so pleased that I chose to come to Leeds. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and sharing my experience with you! 

You can chat with Austra on UniBuddy or send her an email here

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