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PhD student, University of the West of England

My favourite memory from University is when I went to Taiwan as part of the study abroad initiative. It was my first time travelling abroad solo and I learned so much from my time there.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity 

I chose to attend Leeds Trinity because I liked that everything was on one campus, and it wasn’t too far away from my home in Manchester. I also liked that it was a relatively small university, so it wasn’t hard to access support from my lecturers.

Christia Huntington Taiwan.

My best student memories

My favourite memory from university is when I went to Taiwan as part of the study abroad initiative. It was my first time travelling abroad solo and I learned so much from my time there. I made lifelong friends who I still speak to and send postcards to. I will definitely return one day!

Valuable placement experiences

In my first year I completed a placement at a Sure Start children’s centre in Leeds. It was incredibly insightful to witness the work that Sure Start do with parents and families.

In my second year I completed my placement with Greater Manchester Police, working within the child sexual exploitation department. Although this was a challenging placement due to the nature of the department, I enjoyed shadowing the police and social workers during their investigations and learning more about their roles.

Christia Huntington placement.

My increased confidence

My confidence has grown significantly since first starting university. When I was a first-year student, I couldn’t even raise my hand or answer a question in a lecture without feeling nervous. But by the time I graduated I was presenting talks to hundreds of people on Open Days about my experiences as a Leeds Trinity student.

Continuing my educational journey

Whilst I was finishing my Masters thesis, which was exploring the healthcare experiences of people with body image and appearance concerns, I applied for a PhD at the Centre for Appearance Research at The University of the West of England, in Bristol. It had been my dream for the last few years to pursue a career in appearance research, so when I received a phone call saying my application and interview had been successful, I was over the moon. I went on to research the experiences and provision of online support of people affected by burn injuries.

My advice

Study something which you will really enjoy. As you learn more about the subject, it will hopefully become clearer as to how you can progress within this field. If you enjoy the subject, there will always be a way to further your learning.