Kyle Foster, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology

Kyle Foster

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

The ecology course at the University of Leeds, when compared with courses at other universities in the UK seemed to be the best choice as it offered more field trips and practical work and I believe hands-on experience is an important part of the learning process. Also judging from various reviews from students on the attitudes of the professors I learned that they’re enthusiastic about what they’re teaching and from past experience that makes lessons so much more enjoyable. Leeds to me is also the perfect mix of urban areas and greenery, which was what I was looking for. It isn’t overly built-up and it has the right amount of nature that doesn’t make it feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere.

What have been the highlights of your time at the University of Leeds?

The people that I’ve met here are definitely one of the highlights for me, I've made lots of friends from all over the world through my course and around the university. They’re all from diverse backgrounds and are equally-brilliant minded, I feel part of the Leeds global community and I like meeting new people and finding out about different cultures. I cherish a lot of the people I’ve met here and from speaking and spending time with them I can say that people here have the potential to make a real difference in the fields they’re studying in.

What extra opportunities have you been a part of while you’ve been at Leeds, and what did you do?

The career fairs always have something good to offer the students, it's a good way to get an idea early on about what you might want to do after graduation. There are so many different careers and opportunities for students and some that you might never have thought of so going to a careers fair is a great way to get an idea about what is out there. I’ve been able to sign up for paid, part-time work with an ecological organization for the upcoming spring months, so I’m already finding opportunities that will be beneficial to my future from year one.

Have you joined any student societies/sports clubs at the university? 

Leeds University Union has hundreds of different clubs and societies to be a part of, and there is something for everyone - whether its a sports team, a hobby or an academic society. I am a part of the Tennis Society and the Conservation Society which is a great way to integrate yourself socially into university life. One thing I can say about them is that societies can help you to meet people from different degrees and years, I've made so many friends from outside of my course through joining societies. I would recommend students to get involved in the university social life as you can make connections with people that may be helpful to you in the future and make long-lasting friends.

What are your ambitions for the future? 

Ideally, I would love to conduct background research for wildlife documentaries, much in the likeness of shows like Planet Earth. Ecological consulting is another avenue I’m looking at taking and in terms of learning experience I’ve begun to gain the skills and knowledge on how I would go about conducting surveys and analysing the data I’ve found. 

Are there any significant differences between studying at Leeds and your home country?

Back home in Barbados, though there are some field work opportunities offered on the ecology course they are few and quite limited in the types of environments available to work in as it’s such a small island. Here we’re offered field trips in diverse areas across the years such as the coast of Scotland, Spain and even South Africa. It’s definitely good to get a feeling of all the world has to offer.

As an international student tell us about how staff support has helped you throughout your time at university?

There are regular events put on by the Faculty of Biological Sciences for international students. They are doing a great job of making us feel welcome here - I felt a lot more at ease being here after the first meeting. The staff are great as there is always someone to talk to do if you need to and they can help you in lots of different ways. Sometimes you might need help with certain academic areas or culture shock, or sometimes you might be unsure what to do in the city and the staff are also happy to help and provide support.