Biological Sciences international student at University of Leeds

Hann Shen Ng

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

My university (Taylor's University) in Malaysia was affiliated with University of Leeds and this allowed me to enter directly into Year 2 of my course after finishing my 1st year in Malaysia. Apart from that, based on my own research, the University of Leeds also had a pretty high student satisfaction rate as well as ranking amongst the UK universities. After a year here, I can see why. I’d say I’m very satisfied with my course as well as the life here in Leeds.   

Why did you choose to study your course?

I felt that the course content was the most in line with what I wanted to learn from this degree. There were modules such as Human Diseases and Chemotherapy that I was very keen on taking.

What do you enjoy about your course?

It’s difficult to point out one single thing about my course that I enjoy the most because there are many aspects of my course that I am very happy with. For one, it definitely challenges you to think ahead. In my first semester here, I studied a module called Power of Bacterial Genomics. I felt this module was particularly helpful because it really challenges you to understand what we current know and the techniques we are currently using. With this understanding, students are asked to think about what the future of bacterial genomics could be and how this knowledge can be applied to how we study human diseases etc.

Another thing I enjoy about my course is the course content. The course promises everything that the name suggests. You get to learn about the molecular basis of different diseases and disorders from lecturers who are very knowledgeable in their field of studies.

What has been the best aspect of studying at the Leeds?

Studying at the University of Leeds has provided me with the opportunity to meet so many amazing people from all over the world. This is not just because University of Leeds is a very diverse community, with student coming from various parts of the world. For instance, this year, I had the opportunity to do a summer exchange in Aarhus University, Denmark. This has allowed me to meet so many different people from all over the world as well as experience life in Denmark.

How have you found life in Leeds?

I love life here in Leeds. It’s a great city which has quite a lot to offer. Whether you’re looking for a good night life, good food or great company. While getting used to the weather can be a bit of a challenge due to the stark difference between Malaysia and Leeds, it’s not something that you can’t get used to.

Are there any significant differences between studying at Leeds and Malaysia?

I feel that studying in Leeds, the university definitely challenges the students to think more critically. There is much less spoon-feeding of information but lecturers are always there to help should you need any.

In addition, you have the opportunity to be more independent as well as to meet people from different parts of the world. This, I feel, really changes the way you see things as you are exposed to so many more different perspectives than what you may be used to.

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

The staff have been very helpful in making sure that my transition from Malaysia to the UK was smooth. My personal tutor, Dr. Aysha Divan made sure to always check that I was settling in alright during the meetings we’d have at the start of each semester.

In addition to that, the Faculty of Biological Sciences International Community organised socials throughout the semester for international students to have the chance to socialise with other international students. This definitely helped make settling into Leeds easier.

How do you feel the International Community has helped you settle in to Leeds?

The International Community has really me settle in quite well I feel. One of my favourite memories with the International Community was the Christmas dinner that was organised last December. We got to try a traditional English Christmas dinner and some activities that people here do during Christmas. This was a really pleasant experience for me.

What are your ambitions for the future? Do you have any specific career plans?

For now, I have decided to extend my course by another year so that I can graduate with an Integrated Masters in Biological Sciences. While I do not have any specific career plans, I know that I want to work in the field of Biological Sciences. In particular, I’m quite interested in the field of Cancer research or possibly research in Amyloid diseases such as Alzheimer’s.