Chetna Gurung

MSc Environment and Development  2022

Why did you pick the University of Leeds?   

The main reason was my course, which covered subject matters I wanted to learn and the lecturers from the School of Earth and Environment were prominent researchers in their respective studies. I also found that the University is renowned for its research works and I knew I had to apply here.

When I looked further into the facilities provided by the University, I was genuinely surprised by the amount of support they provide to international students before and after their arrival in Leeds. Likewise, the close location of the University to the city centre and other facilities was also decisive to me because it meant that I didn’t have to travel long distances to access the necessary facilities.  

How was studying in Leeds different to your previous academic experience?   

I would say my learning experience at Leeds is unique because I came during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and all teaching was online. All the staff and students were adjusting to changing situations so at first it was a bit difficult to adjust to online learning.

However, the lecturers and staff provided all necessary support for us to make the most of the online learning environment. In the second semester, I had hybrid teaching which meant that lectures were online, but I had to go to the University for seminars. It was a good way to interact with other students in my course and the lecturers as well.

Despite the difficult times, lecturers were always supportive, understanding and kept delivering us quality education. So, it was a one-of-a-kind experience that I hadn’t experienced before and won’t come across again.  

What support did you access at Leeds to help with your career goals?  

In the University, they have a main Careers Centre and a separate one for each school.

When I first started my course, I wasn’t sure on my career path, so I had a one-to-one meeting with the career officer of my school. She gave me useful advice on this topic and advised me to go to the University’s Careers Centre.

Since then, I’ve joined various workshops and events they hold virtually. Such online events have helped me to understand my career prospects and how I should go ahead in the future. I’ve got helpful tips on applying for jobs and gained perspectives on various aspects of how I can shape my career.  

How was the international student community? Did you feel at home?  

When I decided to come to the UK for further studies, I was unsure on how I would settle into the student life here. Since it was the pandemic, in-person socialisation was very minimal, so I was worried about being isolated from other people.

Fortunately, through the University’s online social events, I got to meet other people from the University. It was nice to meet people from various backgrounds and cultures and hear their stories. Once the lockdown and restrictions were lifted, I was happy to meet my friends whom I met online.

Since there are so many students coming from various countries, the student community is very lively and welcoming. Not once did I felt lonely throughout my time at the University. It truly felt like a home away from home.  

Why would you recommend Leeds?   

It was my first time travelling alone and leaving my home to pursue further studies. I contemplated many times if it was the right choice to come to Leeds but after arriving here, I’m glad I stuck with my decision.

I believe Leeds is the perfect place for international students in terms of education, student life and further opportunities after graduation. It’s a growing city with so much happening every day. I’ve made unforgettable memories here with my friends while getting education from excellent researchers.

The support the University and the wider community provides you to become a better student is incomparable. Even after graduating, the University will still welcome you if you need support further into your career.