Deeva Parikh, BA Geography student at the University of Leeds, case study

Deeva Parikh

Why did you want to study abroad?

I wanted to study abroad because I have lived away from the UK before and I was curious to learn about England, the EU and other geographical topics from a different perspective. 

How did you choose this university abroad?

The Study Abroad Coordinator and I looked at which countries and universities would be suitable and where a language barrier wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Hong Kong worked well, as many of the signs etc. are in English and the university had appropriate modules.

Can you please give me an insight into your arrival at the university abroad and some of the first experiences you went through?

At most universities in Hong Kong you will be sharing a room with either one or two other people. Luckily, I only share with one another. Meeting new people is extremely easy as even though everyone is nervous they also want to make friends, so even if you don’t have the confidence to speak to someone they’ll speak to you. As well as this, Leeds is partnered with many universities in Hong Kong so there are loads of other students from Leeds to meet up with, which has actually been a great help in expanding my social circle.

What are you enjoying the most so far? Are you involved in interesting projects or extra curriculum activities? 

Getting used to the social activities in Hong Kong is probably the best part at the moment. Most people hire boats on the weekend and have what they call a ‘junk boat party’ or they go to the beach. Life here is completely different and, due to the country being so small, nothing is ever too far away. Also the Baptist University campus is about 20 minutes from Lions Peak, which is one of the amazing hikes you can do in Hong Kong.

What do you think you have got out of this experience so far?  What exciting activities are you planning to do during your year abroad?

I plan to travel all around South-East Asia as my university allows me a flexible timetable. Unfortunately, it is illegal for exchange students to work or volunteer here but with the help of my university, I will hopefully go to Thailand to do some volunteering as it is very cheap to do this through their version of the RAG society. 

Do you have any tips and advice to current students thinking of studying abroad?

Come to Asia. Many students want to go to Australia or Canada, and I would still honestly love to visit there, but I think this is the one opportunity you get to literally go anywhere in world. I think this opportunity is best utilised however by throwing yourself into the deep end, into a culture you probably know nothing about and will never experience again. Learning about Chinese, Hong Kong and many other Eastern cultures has changed my opinion on my traits that we have in the West, and that is something I know I wouldn’t get elsewhere.