I studied my BA English Literature at the Government College University, Lahore, one of the top ranked universities in Pakistan. I then worked as an English Lecturer in a public college before applying to study MEd TESOL 2015 at the University of Leeds.
After graduating from this course, I moved back to Pakistan and got a job in a private sector university as an English Lecturer, based in Lahore. Other than teaching, my responsibilities include launching new courses like the MS TESOL launch that I am currently working on, as well as designing online English courses for the university.
Choosing the University of Leeds
As I intended to have a degree in English Language, the UK was my first choice. In regards to choosing the University of Leeds, my former teacher recommended it to me. After this recommendation, I did further research into the School of Education and the TESOL course, and it was the perfect choice because of its research reputation.
Studying at the University of Leeds
Studying at the University of Leeds was a new and a very different experience for me. It helped me discover my potential and broaden my academic horizon. Whilst studying in Pakistan, I mainly gained textbook knowledge whereas in Leeds I gained both book and practical knowledge.
The professors at Leeds were the best part of my Leeds academic experience. They were genuinely nice people, unbiased and professional. The teaching methods they used were both interactive and innovative. The materials provided and class activities were diverse and enriched, and despite having nine different nationalities in my class, each student felt as if it was focusing on their own culture.
The teaching facilities at Leeds were commendable; from fully updated libraries to modern computer clusters, the School of Education even had its own resource room. This experience introduced me to a new meaning of what teaching is.
I love every bit of Leeds! I still remember when I came out of the airport and saw the vibrant University of Leeds stand; the friendly welcome team greeted me as if I was a relative, it was an overwhelming sight! They provided me with a SIM card, booked me a taxi and helped me with my luggage. It was a great way to start my university experience abroad.
Throughout my stay, I found each person very kind and helpful. People at Leeds were always ready to help; whether it was a personal issue or an academic problem I got it sorted out immediately.
I would describe Leeds as a paradise for students. The campus is near the city centre so it was very easy to take short trips in to town and be back in time for the next class. Similarly, my accommodation was close to the campus, which made my stay at Leeds easy, as everything was so accessible. There was a prayer room on campus, commonly known as the Green Room, for Muslim students, which was extremely useful for days where many hours were spent in the library.
Leeds was so diverse in terms of culture and food that I found almost every kind of restaurant. You could also find traditional foods in the market located in the city centre.
I met many Pakistanis both on and off the campus. Wherever you were, the Pakistani community was very active; they celebrate Eid and other religious occasions with great zeal so you did not feel that you were away from Pakistan. The Pakistani community in Leeds also organised various events during Ramadan at Leeds Grand Mosque.
Whilst at Leeds I learned various soft and academic skills, which combined, helped me achieve my career goals.
Being a part of societies and clubs, gave me chance to enhance my managerial and organisational skills as well as my ability to work in a team.
Making international friends was the coolest way to understand new cultures, which ameliorated my cognitive abilities and gave me a chance to see things from a new perspective. It is because of this, I am able to handle multicultural classes at work and can create/adapt better lessons as an English lecturer at University of Management and Technology, Lahore.
Recommendations and Top Tips
I would recommend University of Leeds because you will find academic excellence as well as professional support. The Leeds international office makes sure that you are on the right track; guiding you along each step of your application process. They also organise different events in different countries around the world for prospective students, giving you a chance to interact directly with the alumni. I believe such an interaction is very crucial for prospective students who have many queries.
Make sure to book appointments with your tutors timely and do not hesitate to discuss your academic issues with your tutors as well as teachers. Explore the opportunities provided to you and get out of your comfort zone by attending events organised by the university. Global café and student union are the two places where you would find a lot of people and things going on- try to become an active member of clubs and societies and interact with different people from different cultures.