I started university at 21 as I worked and travelled for 3 years after finishing college. This gave me longer to think about what I wanted to do and I feel that in the long run these extra years helped me choose the degree I was most interested in. It also meant I was ready to settle down and work hard. I felt more prepared for university life than I did when I was 18.
Why I chose BA Criminal Justice and Criminology at Leeds
I applied to the University of Leeds because I thought the Criminology course offered a good mixture of Law modules and Social Science modules. I attended an open day and was very impressed by the Law School and the enthusiasm of the staff I spoke to. Leeds is perfectly located and there is some stunning countryside to get out and explore around Chevin Forest, The Yorkshire Dales, and the North Yorkshire Moors- if, like me, you have a bike or love to run. The deciding factor for me was the opportunity to do an International Exchange Year. I originally considered doing a degree in Law but I wanted to know more about why people offended rather than the Statute that punished them. I love the variety of modules at Leeds as it offers an interesting mix of forensic psychology, social exclusion, restorative justice, victimology and youth crime. I also had the option to choose some of my modules which meant being able to study other subjects, not necessarily specifically to do with crime, which can be a refreshing change.
I wanted to study abroad because I love travelling and felt there was so much more of the world still to see. I thought studying in another country would offer a different insight into another criminal justice system, the crimes experienced there and how they deal with offe nders. I chose to study at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand- the windy hilly city that is 'The Coolest Little Capital in the World' (Lonely Planet). I couldn't agree more! I took a paper on New Zealand's Criminal Justice System as well as Alcohol, Drugs and Crime, Criminal Psychology, Women, Crime and Social Control and priso ns and punishment.
The best thing about studying abroad was having the opportunity to explore somewhere new and study my degree in a different context which helped to renew my enjoyment of it. I have met some amazing people, seen some incredibly beautiful places and enjoyed every minute of my time. Kiwis are the most kind, genuine people and I had a year of fun running the trails of Wellington, swimming around the coast and exploring New Zealand by bike with some of the most exciting and adventurous people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
It's hard work getting everything together to come out here- application, flights, visas, accommodation,setting up your life on the other side of the world- but it is one hundred percent worth the effort. I would recommend a year abroad to anyone with a sense of adventure and desire to see what the world has to offer.
I hope to return to New Zea land on a more permanent basis and work for the Department of Corrections as a Probation worker.