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Hikari Owan

Country: Japan
Studying: BA Chinese and Asia Pacific Studies

Hikari Owan


I’m Hikari Owan and I’m in my third year studying Chinese and Asia Pacific Studies. Whilst I was doing my A-levels in Bellerbys College Brighton,  I had an opportunity to visit Leeds on one of the Open Days and completely fell in love with the University.

I chose to study in Leeds as the University matched my academic interest. University of Leeds is one of a few universities offering Chinese studies and an amazing opportunity to study abroad in Taiwan. Abundant choices for joint honour degrees also attracted me because I wanted to study international relations in Asia as well as Chinese language. East Asian studies has a good review in UK and staff are also expert in their fields. I also liked the fact that Leeds University is a campus university near the city centre. Everything is close to the University- from places to shop, the beautiful Hyde Park and much more.

Coming to Leeds is the best decision that I have made. Leeds provided me with the best environment to pursue my academic goals. University libraries Skills@library helped me with how to write essays and how to cite sources in the first year. I love the libraries in the University. The Brotherton library is wonderful not only as a library that has a good collection but also has a traditional and magnificent architecture. Recently renewed Edward Boyle and Laidlaw library are very modern and can satisfy individual needs with their quiet/group study rooms and café facilities. My personal tutor has helped me with applying for internships and has also given me career advice.

There are numerous opportunities available to enhance your university experience such as societies and language exchange. I joined Irish Dancing Society and East Asian Research Society (EARS) in the first year, which not only allowed me to challenge new things but opportunities for social gatherings. The Language Centre offers a fantastic language exchange system, by which you can teach your language and practice a new language. Through this programme I’ve made a lot of friends. I also spent a year study abroad in Taiwan last year. I could re-immerse myself in studying Mandarin and my friends and I came first in speech contest. Apart from language studies, I joined the choir society and got travel opportunities.

Leeds is such a dynamic city! There are many shopping centres, entertainments and food choices to satisfy international students as well as home students. My favourite place in Leeds is Leeds Market, where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables and other ingredients at a low price.

In my spare time, I enjoy going to cafes with my friends in the city. There are many independent cafes in the city and Headingley. When the time and weather allow, I often go to explore Yorkshire Dales, which is a good way to escape from a busy life and to appreciate the beautiful Yorkshire scenery.

I currently stay in one of smaller residences, which I also lived in the first year. I really recommend this accommodation because the location is perfect! – It takes less than 5 minutes to get to the Union and just 15 minutes to the city centre. Moreover, if you stay in a university flat, the Edge sports membership comes included with it. In addition, the proximity to the Edge enables you to maximise benefits!