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Loreto Aliaga

Country: Chile
Studying: PhD in Education

Loreto Aliaga


I am a PhD Education student and I came to Leeds because of the expertise of the academics and research-informed teaching. The School of Education is a vibrant and diverse space where to develop my research. My PhD explores teacher trainers’ beliefs and practices in the context of curriculum innovation. My supervisors have guided my research closely from the very first day, and I have felt well-supported by them, the school of Education, and the wide number of development workshops offered by the university. I have been able to present my research in the UK and abroad and therefore, expanded my network and knowledge. I have also participated in two societies: STAR (Student Action for Refugees) teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers, and HOMED, visiting foster houses for homeless.

I currently live in a privately rented house in Burley, a 30 minute walk from the university, or only 10 minutes on the bike. The university rents bikes on the VeloCampus at very convenient prices during the academic year. I prefer to work at the university on an office-hours basis, so I can keep a life-work balance.

In my spare time, I usually go on road trips around Yorkshire and the UK, and enjoy all the variety of activities that you can do in Leeds, such as plays at the Grand Theatre, and exhibitions at the Art Gallery and the Tetleys. I also love visiting the Leeds Market, which is the largest in Europe and an architectural jewell. It is by far my favourite place in Leeds. Just a couple of miles from the city centre is Kirkstall Abbey, which is one of the best conserved abbeys in the UK. There is a farmer market once a month,  and other events over the year. That is my second favourite place in Leeds.

Being an international student can be hard when you don’t know anyone in a new city, country and culture. But, Leeds has different groups to meet new people in a safe way. For example, Internations, an international community for expats, meets once a month; Couchsurfing is a community for backpackers and travellers around the world has a weekly meeting; and Meetup has a large number of groups for all age groups and interests. Through these groups I have met all my friends outside the university.