Rumana Hossain

Talking about
Being a PhD researcher

Leeds is a fantastic city. It's a very welcoming place. I'm from Bangladesh, and I was able to bring my family with me to the UK. Before I arrived here, I had a very informative online chat with one of the student ambassadors about life in Leeds.  

When I arrived, everything was really well organised. The International Student Office helped me bring my family with me. I was so happy with all the help the University of Leeds gave me that I became a student ambassador, and I started giving advice to new international students using my own positive experience.

I received a welcome talk which was very interesting. I feel it was great to speak to a fellow student and ask questions. There were so many activities going on across campus, I was head over heels to take things in.  

I did a lot of courses and workshops, attended and presented papers in seminars and conferences as a Doctoral student, and I worked as an International Intern at the Leeds Doctoral College for six months. I won a Leeds Partnership Award for Postgraduate Academic Representative of the Year. I felt like I'd made an impact, that I'd been able to provide support.

On successfully completing my MA TESOL at Leeds, I really didn't want to go anywhere else. My supervisor was very supportive of my PhD ideas. He let me work on it until it was a fully-formed, proper PhD proposal. My kids were already here, and the University helped make it a very smooth transition for me. 

In our school, we’ve organised PhD lunches where we bring a dish in and have lunch together. We also have parties at Christmas and other festivals where we invite our supervisors as well. We always try and make people feel part of the community.

I always feel at home at Leeds. People are extremely helpful. Even passers-by help you out if you ask them questions. You feel welcomed, and my children did too.