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Minori Iwahashi

Country: Japan, Germany
Studying: BA in Film, Photography and Media

Minori Iwahashi

Hi,

My name is Minori. I was born in Japan but went to the International School of Stuttgart in Germany for 15 years, spending the entirety of my education at one school. After completing my International Baccalaureate I decided to come to Leeds and I now study Film, Photography and Media.

I chose the University of Leeds because I wanted to do a degree in media and film and Leeds not only had this course but they were the only university which included photography as part of the course as well! That by itself set Leeds apart from the other Universities, making it unique to my preference, but other than that, the social aspects and the diversity the city offers is what truly drew me to applying and studying here, beyond its established reputation.

My University experience has been great overall but that is not to disregard the downs that come with ups. My ups include my course, which is a lot more intense and stimulating than I expected. My experiences with the Union societies have been great so far as I am involved in Freestyle Dance Society as a competitive Hip Hop dancer and the Leeds Rag Fashion Show, where I will be modelling to promote and raise awareness for two charities combatting unstainable and unethical clothing. The social aspect of Leeds is indescribable, so full of unexpected, fun days and nights. The friends I have made so far are all lovely, contributing to my positive experience so far. The downs are to do with being an independent adult and moving away but I think everyone goes through that to a certain degree and it is simply a part of life.

My favourite thing about the University is how every week is uniquely different. The people, activities and interests I’m exposed to are limitless and exciting but there are enough constants in my life to make me feel grounded and stable. So I guess in a nutshell, the adventure of finding myself is my favourite aspect of University.

Since I’m in my first year, I haven’t been exposed to a lot of things yet but being able to model is extremely rewarding since I’m 5’4. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I’m almost too comfortable being behind the camera, dictating the shot instead of being in front of it. I find it important to step outside of your comfort zone so you can discover what potential you may have in something different, which is why despite it sounding a bit pretentious, I am really happy about being a part of a fashion show. To add even more to that, I am able to model for a relevant, important cause, making the opportunity even better and fitting to my personality and what I stand for.

The best thing about my course is that I am able to properly learn what I am good at in a professional, academic and supportive manner. I am self-taught on most of my abilities so having guidance not only builds my confidence in the path I have chosen but enriches the quality of my work and my understanding of my abilities. Outside of my studies, I am currently part of two societies, for which the training takes up most of my free time. Normally, I enjoy dancing and being around friends and family. Taking pictures and creating films are also something I enjoy outside of my studies, despite learning about it academically.

The best thing about Leeds is that there is no best things about Leeds!! There is so much variety in everything and everyone’s opinion of what is the best can clash. That should tell you how eventful and rich the city life is. But in my opinion, the best thing about Leeds is the food and social hangouts that are available. A few of my favourites are the Belgrave for their food and atmosphere, Library Pub or Dry Docks for their 25p Wing Wednesday deals and Hyde Park Book Club for those lazy mornings when you just need to brunch outside of your kitchen.

I live in an en-suite room at one of the University accommodations off campus, and have five flatmates, making six in total. Despite my constant complaint of being tired, I like the fact that I can walk home and feel like I am out of University. As much as on-campus accommodation is handy, I think I appreciate the morning walks through Hyde Park too much to trade it in.