I am in my 4th year studying Criminal Justice and Criminology with just about a month left to go until my finals. Having applied for similar courses across the country, Leeds was the one that stood out for me.
I have always wanted to join the police force, and after completing work experience at a local police station at home, I wanted to more than ever. Studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at university was a course that appealed to that interest: a mixture of law, psychology and sociology. Living and studying in such a vibrant city was a key choice.
The range of module options for 2nd and 3rd year was a strong attraction. Courses such as War Crimes and Genocide and Interpersonal Violence might not seem like your typical modules, but after studying them, my knowledge and interest for possible careers has broadened significantly.
Writing a dissertation is undoubtedly a huge challenge, but having just finished mine, there is a real sense of satisfaction once it is written.
I have travelled and volunteered abroad, both during my gap year and before, and have a real passion for travel and adventure. But my trips so far have been relatively short-term.
Study abroad gave me the opportunity to pursue this passion over an extended period of time. The chance to fully immerse myself in a completely new environment, on a continent I’d never visited, was too appealing to turn down.
I went to Carleton University in Ottawa and joined the Criminology programme there. Studying at Carleton meant that I could gain an international perspective on many core issues of Criminology, and that helped me not only choose my final year classes in Leeds, but also my dissertation topic.
Ottawa is a beautiful city with so much on offer –the Parliament Buildings, the Byward Markets, the National Gallery, Kayaking, ice skating on the Rideau Canal during Winterlude, and Canada’s highest bungee jump a favourite. Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Mont Tremblant, Quebec and even New York are all within easy travelling distance. The university year finishes in April, so there is opportunity to travel across Canada to British Colombia and Alberta too.
I would definitely recommend study abroad to anyone who is considering it – it has been the highlight of my university life, and I have made lifelong friends from all parts of the world.
Moving to another country is daunting, and does have its challenges – one of the main ones being to convince people you’re English and not Australian or Irish! The rewards of the experience make it all worthwhile though.
Since returning to Leeds, my experience in Canada has focused my studies and given me a clearer idea of the career I want to pursue, hopefully in an international field.