Laura Knapton

Laura Knapton

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Laura. I’m 22 years old and I’m from Preston. I am in my fourth year at Leeds and will be graduating this summer. Coming to Leeds has provided me with so many opportunities that I am so grateful for. For example, in my second year, I took on the role as the School of Education’s student intern which allowed me to get in touch which students and tutors and try to improve areas within the school that people felt could be developed. Also, in my third year, I was able to complete an Erasmus study abroad year in Madrid which was amazing and really helped me develop my Spanish language skills.

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you chose Leeds?

Leeds was always my first choice. When I came on open days to look around the campus I knew that I wanted to study here – I thought that everyone was so friendly and I liked the general atmosphere around campus as well as how close it was to the city centre. I chose to study English, Language and Education as I liked the fact that it gave you the option to take a year out and study abroad or work. I also liked the routes that it can take you down after graduation. For example, I would really like to work abroad for a while and teach English and this course equips you with all the skills you need to do that!

What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?

I have really enjoyed my course! I think that the amount of support you get from all the tutors in the School of Education is great and the amount of opportunities they have to offer are endless. A particular highlight would have to be studying and living in Madrid and the reason for this is because I never thought that I would actually be allowed to go over there. This is because I only started learning Spanish in my first year but by continuing it in my second year and then spending a month at a summer school in Salamanca before going to Madrid increased my language proficiency greatly!

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
The amount of support and guidance you receive from the staff in the School of Education is incredible. They are always there for you to send a quick email to and meet up to discuss any worries you have!

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

The facilities at the University are extremely helpful! I found that after coming back from a year out, it was really difficult to try and write an assignment but all the library workshops and online tutorials helped me out a lot especially with referencing again. There’s also the Careers Centre which is very useful if you need any help with developing you CV, looking for jobs, interview practice etc.

Have you had the opportunity to study abroad, or complete a year in industry? If so, please tell us about your experience.

I studied in Madrid at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and had such a great time! I found it very challenging to begin with as I had to rely on my Spanish language skills to complete the registration, signing up for modules etc. but over time I was a lot more confident with using the language and talking to people, and I felt as though I had come a long way. I made some amazing friends and could really take advantage of the fact that I was living abroad by being able to travel around and immerse myself within the culture.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?

I have been involved in a few extra-curricular activities. For example, I applied to be a student intern where it was my job to find out what changes students would like to see around the school and try and make that happen. I also joined the Modern Languages Netball Team which plays in a small intramural league on Tuesdays and Fridays as a way to try and keep fit as well as meet new people. I was also able to attend a summer school in Salamanca for a month at the end of my second year just before going to Madrid.