Pooja Balaji: International student from India studying BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

Leeds is one of those universities that seemed to find the right balance between excellent academics and social activities.

Why did you chose to come to Leeds and what do you enjoy about your course?

It was really important to me that I was provided practical experience alongside the theoretical knowledge that I gained in my time at University. At Leeds, not only was the Ecology course the best of all the ones I had looked at, but it was all the opportunities that I would get that really cinched Leeds as the university for me.

I love that I’m given so many chances to broaden my horizons and learn about all possible branches of biology, instead of being restricted to any particular one. I also love that I’m gaining so much practical knowledge, both in the lab and the field.

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

I am hoping to pursue a career in Marine Biology and/or Palaeontology. it seems like a strange combination, but if I have learned anything from my time at university so far, it’s that scientists are capable of many weird and wonderful things.

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

Everyone is so friendly in Leeds, and it's so great to be a part of the international community here.

What key aspects of your experience of Leeds would you highlight to students thinking about coming to study?

The field courses that Ecologists get to participate are excellent. Scarborough, the Mediterranean course in Spain, and of course South Africa, the knowledge and experience gained on these trips is so unique and special, and it truly does make you a better scientist.