Feeling at home in Leeds

Life in a new social, cultural and academic environment is exciting but can feel challenging. Whether you've recently arrived in Leeds or you've been here for some time, there's lots of support to help you feel at home.

A group of students walking near the Business School.

When you live in a new country, things like the climate, food and behaviour in social and academic situations may all be different to what you're used to, and some of the people around you may have different values and viewpoints. 

Our Feeling at Home in Leeds workshops and online guides provide a space for international students and researchers to reflect and share experiences of living in Leeds, navigate cultural differences and support each other while adjusting to culture change. 

Feeling at Home in Leeds group workshops

Who can take part?

The workshops are open to international students and postgraduate researchers.  

When do the workshops take place?

The next set of Feeling at Home in Leeds group workshops will begin in November 2024. You should attend at least 2 workshops to participate and make the most out of the programme.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for our next set of workshops from September 2024. Register your interest to be notified when the sign up form opens. 

What can I expect from the workshops?

The course provides an opportunity to share your experiences of culture change with fellow students and postgraduate researchers. You’ll also help each other develop strategies for making the most of your intercultural experience at Leeds, including improving and developing skills in these areas:

  • Participating in academic groups

  • Making friends and connecting with others

  • Seeking help

The Feeling at Home in Leeds course has been developed by the International Student Office in collaboration with Student Counselling and Wellbeing.

What previous students said

“The course was a breath of fresh air for me. This activity helped me to enjoy more my time here in Leeds [and] helped me to find the balance between my personal and student life. The course gave me tools to 'survive' in a global environment, not only to understand the British culture but also to understand other cultures.”

Feeling at Home in Leeds online guides

You can also explore the Feeling at Home in Leeds online guides on Minerva for undergraduates, taught postgraduates or postgraduate researchers to help you settle in, adapt to changes and make the most of all the opportunities for learning and personal growth. 

How to access your online guide

Taught students

Follow the instructions below to enrol in the Feeling at Home in Leeds organisation on Minerva, using your University of Leeds email address and password.

  1. Log into Minerva by using one of the links below to take you to the Feeling At Home in Leeds Minerva page for your study level:

  2. Click on the "Submit" button to enrol yourself on the organisation. After clicking "Submit", you will see a message confirming that you have been successfully enrolled. Please note: this message will tell you to click "OK". However, the "OK" button is currently not working as intended. Simply close this screen by clicking on the red "X" icon at the top left, and then go to the "Organisations" page where you will be able to find a link to the organisation you have just enrolled on.

  3. After you have enrolled, you will find your Feeling at Home in Leeds guide listed under 'Organisations', which you view by clicking on the 'Learn' tab in Minerva.

Postgraduate researchers

You’ll find your Feeling at Home in Leeds online guide in the Leeds Doctoral College organisation on Minerva.

Who can use the online guides? 

The online guides will be particularly useful if you're studying in the UK for the first time, but all international students and postgraduate researchers are welcome to explore the guides. We hope that everyone will find something useful in the videos, activities and resources. 

There are different versions of the guide for each of the three study levels (undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research postgraduate).

What’s in the online guides

In the guides you’ll hear about students' experiences and advice about settling in, making friends, and making the most of all aspects of University life.

You’ll hear from students and postgraduate researchers who’ve shared their stories of making the transition to living and studying in Leeds. You’ll hear about what they found different and exciting, what helped them meet challenges, and what they’ve learned from their experiences. You can also use the interactive activities to help you apply the ideas and strategies to your own situation.  

You can explore these different sections of the guide in any order:

  • Navigating change and cultural differences
  • Making friends and finding balance
  • Getting the right help and support
  • Getting the most from University life
  • Navigating the Leeds academic environment.  

Feeling homesick and finding support

Feeling homesick affects two out of three University students at some point. It's a perfectly normal part of the experience of leaving home or moving to a new place. 

Read out more about things you can do if you’re feeling homesick and contact the Student Information Service if you need help. They can put you in touch with the right people if you need more specialist support or advice.