Talking Points

A Christmas tree in Leeds Yorkshire

How to have fun as a student in Leeds this Christmas

While it is well known that many students head home each year for the Christmas break, many students also stay at university, too. So, if you are one of those students staying at uni over Christmas, don’t feel alone — you are far from it.

In fact, there is plenty to do at uni and in Leeds over the Christmas holidays, so get involved and you’ll soon be wondering why anyone would want to go home in the first place!

The best way to deal with spending Christmas at university is to make a plan and that way you won’t find yourself sat around feeling homesick. So, read on for more information.

Why might someone stay at university over the Christmas break?

There are many reasons why people may choose to stay in Leeds over the Christmas holiday. These include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Being an international student who can’t afford to fly home between each semester
  • Being an international student whose flight times aren’t inconvenient
  • Being estranged from family
  • Family being elsewhere this Christmas
  • Being from a family that’s not close
  • Being from a family that doesn’t celebrate Christmas
  • Preferring to spend Christmas alone
  • Being a postgraduate

The above doesn’t even touch on the vast number of potential reasons, and all of these add to up to a fair number of students chilling out around campus over the festive period.

Can I study at university over Christmas?

A student studying at university

Firstly, if you need to get your work done over the holidays, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll be able to access the libraries and — even better — they’ll be much quieter than usual!

The University of Leeds libraries are closed for a few days and then operate on skeleton hours while the university is closed; you can find out the full hours for the exact library you need here. The 24/7 IT clusters will still be open as usual.

The Leeds Beckett Library is open 24/7 self-service throughout the Christmas break for staff and students, aside from the second floor of Headingley Library and the fourth floor of Sheila Silver Library. You can find full details here.

The Leeds Trinity University library is open self-service between 9 am and 4:45 pm on many weekdays during the winter break, but you can check the full opening hours here.

What’s happening on campus over Christmas?

The Leeds University Union has put together this fantastic Christmas in Leeds 2019 guide, which outlines everything that’s happening on campus over the winter break.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the wide range of activities LUU has organised — from carol services and Harry Potter screenings to yoga and board game sessions. Not to mention all the city trips on offer!

Leeds Beckett and Trinity universities don’t seem to have much on over the holiday, but there’s plenty to do in Leeds itself so don’t worry.

If you live in Halls, make sure you’re a member of any Facebook or WhatsApp groups for your hall so you can keep up to date with what’s happening and stay in touch with everyone else who will be around throughout December and January.

What’s happening in Leeds?

A view of Boar Lane in Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire
There’s always loads to do in Leeds

Leeds city centre will be buzzing with activity over the break. If you enjoy shopping, the sales will start on Boxing Day (26 December) — if not before!

For those of you who love all things festive, there’s a great selection of Christmas-themed activities listed in this blog post.

If you’re after more general Leeds fun, there are loads of great ideas for December (50, in fact!) in this article. This includes gigs, art exhibitions, theatre performances, nights out, and much more.

Finally, if you prefer the stage, there is a great selection of cinemas and theatres for you to choose from.

What if I need support?

If you study at the University of Leeds, the Help & Support team will be operating as usual over Christmas. You can find them in the LUU Foyer. They offer drop-in sessions, appointments, and much more.

If you need emotional support and someone to talk to, whichever university you attend, the Samaritans is a 24/7 service. You can give them a call on 116 123 or email them at You can also visit the Samaritans for a face-to-face session (subject to volunteer availability) between 9 am and 9 pm. The address is 93 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9LY.

If you’re in a position to be looking for new student accommodation in Leeds, you can browse our wide selection here.

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