Extracurricular opportunities during summer at the University of Leicester
Article writen by: Beth
Leicester University is known for having a long summer break which you can spend doing whatever you like, but it’s a little know secret that summers are the best time for excelling yourself, taking up opportunities held by the university, and networking with peers for other amazing opportunities. 2022 was the most jam-packed summer for me as I filled my time with activities, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve had I not chosen the university of Leicester.
My first opportunity this summer was to attend a volleyball tour event in Portugal. It was advertised through the university of Leicester volleyball club. Most sports teams host tours at the end of the year, so watch out for which sports teams hold these events. The cost tour was £300 which included flights, hotel, coaches for training, and other events. This was a 4-day training and parting weekend, during the mornings there was optional training, then in the afternoon there were matches of different categories, and in the evening, we partied and just had a really good time. I liked that the weekend was really laid back and you could participate in as much or as little volleyball as you liked. The area of Portugal we attended was lovely, with nice sandy beaches and cool bars. It was also only a 20-minute walk from the town where you could go for lunch or dinner if you wish. We were also given a food parcel for breakfast which was large and had many options. If you want to participate in something similar, I suggest joining one of the sports clubs, it’s also the best way to make friends at university.
My second opportunity this summer was offered to me by a peer from my volleyball club, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is an example of why it is so important to join societies and extracurriculars, as the more people you meet you more opportunities you will be provided. I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to volunteer at Glastonbury and obtain a free ticket. My volunteering hours were 3 sessions of 6 hours helping at the campsite crew, which was really light work helping guests to find locations and offering help and assistance to guests. The work was super light-hearted and easy and was also enjoying the other volunteers were full of life and make the whole experience super enjoyable. When we weren’t working, he has free range of the festival and I got to see some of the biggest modern-day artists live for free. You can do something similar by looking out for ads on social media or by talking to friends to see if they have done anything similar before and asking if they can refer you as a lot of volunteering is done on references.
The third opportunity I partook in this summer was spending the weekend in London volunteering at the hyper Japan festival in London. This was a 3-day festival with a concert in the evening. I found this opportunity online through an ad on social media. Whilst there I helped with queues and stalls and spoke to many different people and made many connections. The festival this year was considerably smaller than previous years due to covid having a large financial hit on the festival. When you weren’t helping you were free to shop at the festival or watch the live performances or play at the games station. If you want to participate in something similar make sure to google your favourite festivals or look out for ads or posters.
Nara women’s summer school
My fourth opportunity this summer was the chance to partake in an online summer school hosted by Nara university to brush up on and improve my Japanese language. This was a free opportunity provided by Nara university and advertised by languages at Leicester. I would not have been offered this opportunity had I not studied languages at Leicester. The online summer school was an amazing way to improve my Japanese and make connections with Japanese learners abroad. If you want to partake in something like this, try taking lessons with languages at Leicester, id highly recommends learning a language if you have the recourses and time available to you.
My fifth and favourite opportunity this summer was offered by Tokyo Metropolitan university and advised by the university of Leicester. This opportunity involved me visiting Tokyo for a week to attend a student conference surrounding the Olympics. This opportunity was highly competitive and having attended Japanese classes at Leicester I believe this gave me a boost in my application. This opportunity was entirely free, with flights, travel, visa, and accommodation paid for by Leicester and Tokyo metropolitan university. A PCR test was required this year and cost £50 however when this is offered again next year this additional fee will likely be dropped. While in Tokyo we visited a variety of Olympic stadiums and after 4 pm we were free to visit all the tourist sights. There was enough time for visiting places you wanted to visit. The conference required us to produce a presentation that involved a specific topic surrounding this year’s theme of the Olympics. If you wish to participate in this next year, please look out for an advertisement in your emails at the start of summer.
My final opportunity was to visit the desert in Almeria, Spain for a week. This trip was funded by my course (Geography), so I bared no costs for this trip. While in Almeria we visited the desert almost all day to carry out fieldwork and attend talks the lectures on landscape production. It was an interesting trip that allowed us to better understand how oceanic mountain ranges were constructed. To do something similar check your course’s fieldwork models, as some courses offer fieldwork to amazing destinations. Human geography visited New York for their fieldwork so check out which courses travel to which locations on the university of Leicester course sight.
This summer I visited 3 countries, 2 festivals, and a summer school thanks to the university and its students. The summer of 2022 has been the most opportunity-ridden summer of my life and id be lucky to do half as much as I did this year next year. The university and the students can offer you so many opportunities if you put yourself out there and apply yourself to not only your studies but to the wider student community. Your course is essential to your student life but extracurriculars and the additional opportunities they offer are what’s going to make you stand out to employers.