Student Profiles

Sophie Mills: BSc Biology

Study year abroad at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

"I’m on the study abroad programme at the University of Newcastle in Australia. I’ve been living on campus and enjoying the Australian student culture, whilst studying full time at the Uni.

The modules I’ve taken while I’ve been out here are very similar to the structure of those at Leeds which makes things a bit easier, and allows more time to focus on getting the most out of living in a new country, rather than getting stressed over the study side of things. I’ve become involved in things that I wouldn’t necessarily have at Leeds, such as writing for my college’s magazine or volunteering for a children’s charity. All of which I hope will make me a more rounded and successful person in the long run!

I think there are countless ways in which this time abroad will help me in the future… I especially feel like I’ll be a lot more focused and capable of achieving my potential in my final year.

In terms of finding a job I think going abroad shows a lot of qualities potential employers would want in a person, such as initiative, organisation, capability, and a sense of adventure! I’ve enjoyed meeting so many fantastic and interesting people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, whilst enhancing my education, and seeing parts of the world that I didn’t think it was possible to see by the time I was 21!

The most challenging part was actually making the decision to go when the first applications went in. Once I’d decided, that was it, I was going… so there wasn’t much point in worrying from then on. It’s just important to focus on making the most of this once in a lifetime experience after that. If you have the courage to even consider going abroad then you’re half way there! Most people dismiss it for whatever reason or excuse, but if you just have the confidence in yourself to take a chance, then the benefits to you and your education outweigh any possible disadvantages. For anyone that is considering it I would say have as much fun as possible while you’re there, see all you can, meet everyone you can, do things you wouldn’t normally do…because believe me, 12 months goes so much quicker than you imagine it to!

Overall, its been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had, and I encourage everyone who has the opportunity to seriously consider taking it!"