Natalie Figueredo, BSc Neuroscience

Natalie Figueredo

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

Being an international student, the university webpages became the most important resource to decide to what university I wanted to go to. I was searching for a Russel group university which offered a course in neuroscience focused on the aspect that most interest me. I chose the University of Leeds due to the fact it had what I was looking for in terms of the modules, the ranks used as a reference,  and I also liked the idea of being in the city.

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

The highlights of my time here has definitely been the people I met. I was extremely lucky to find my people really early on, every experience I had with them is extremely valuable. I can confidently say that they are my support network and regardless of how challenging or demanding the courses can get I know ill always have someone to be there for me. I think this is a product of how welcoming some students are to the international community, at least in my case.

What discovery modules have you taken and how have they help your studies?

I’ve taken a philosophy module (the mind), it has helped me in the sense that it gave me a break from all the science related modules. In uni you realize that different skills are challenged based on the degree you choose. I really enjoy philosophy and I wanted to continue learning about it in an academic context. Being able to take a module that was about philosophy and also tested my ability to compose a critical essay was great for me.

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

I’ve been part of the mentoring scheme, and I found my mentors advice really useful. Im also a committee member of the neural network society. As a journal society, we aim to organize events informing our members about ground breaking discoveries in the field of neuroscience. Being part of this has been great for me.

Have you joined any student societies/sports clubs at the university? If so how has this enhanced your time at the University?

Yes, I am a member of the yoga society, the Buddhist meditation society, the wine society and the neural networks society. I really enjoy the events they offer, it is an opportunity to meet people and enjoy your hobbies. I must say however that I haven’t met my closest friends through societies. Even though they are amazing to get to know others who share your interests,  it is not the only way to make friends. I feel people should be aware of this and not put too much pressure on the idea that societies are the only place meet people.

What are your ambitions for the future? Do you have specific career plans? Has the Faculty (careers centre/lecturers etc.) helped you with these goals in any way?

I am still unsure of what I want to do exactly, I still have some things to figure out but I’m okay with the idea of not being absolutely certain about my future plans. I would like to do a masters so hopefully that’s something I will be doing after my degree. Yes, I think if you look for it you will always find support in the careers centre, lecturers and tutors.

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

Yes, I think being a Russel group university defines many of the methods applied to teach. In my home country courses are more theoretical than practical, Leeds offers a variety of teaching methods stimulating theirs students. In the case of my degree for example, apart from lectures I also have practical classes to apply knowledge.

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

There are many events that you can go to as an international student, for example: Global Café. There is a tutoring system in my faculty that provides support for all students. Tutors support their tutees and can recommend events or activities to meet other international/UK students.