Vladimir BotchkarevStudent Profile

Vladimir Botchkarev: BSc Medical Sciences

International student from USA

Why Leeds?

"When my parents first decided that they were moving back to Europe from America, I thought it would be a fun idea to join them and reach back to my European roots. I was attracted to Leeds due to its excellent reputation in the UK and brilliant research facilities. When I came for the Open Day, I knew instantaneously that Leeds was the right place for me. I loved its large central campus, making it seem almost like a little village, and it is right next to the bustling city centre that’s always packed with exciting things to do.


I was granted a Faculty International Student Scholarship of £1000. Receiving the scholarship before I began my studies made me realise how supportive and appreciative the Faculty of Biological Sciences is towards its students. It made my excitement for Leeds grow even more, and the constant support I have received whilst studying here has proved that my instincts were right and made my time here even more special.

Research-led teaching

From Year 1, we were being taught about current research that is being done in Leeds. We were encouraged to read original research papers to supplement our text books, and we even had the opportunity to learn about anatomy by conducting tests in the dissection room! Also, because we are taught by researchers who are experts in their fields, we learn cutting-edge research and techniques they use in their labs, plus we have the chance contribute to their work. Besides the content of the material, one major highlight for me has been the attitude of the lecturers towards their students. It seems like they really care about us and want us to succeed.

Social life

I thoroughly enjoy the social life on the course. Everyone seems to be part of a small community of future medical scientists. You always run into friendly faces in the Health Sciences Library, around the campus or out in town. The student community here is very friendly and I felt like a part of it from the very beginning.

Work experience opportunities

Because Leeds has two major hospitals as well as a plethora of smaller clinics, there are lots of opportunities for work experience in medicine. I applied to volunteer at the Leeds General Infirmary in town to work with the patients. After only one phone call, they immediately found a position for me, and I have been working there ever since.

Vladimir’s advice

Definitely come to Leeds to study BSc Medical Sciences. The experience and support is one of a kind and believe me you will have the time of your life. Be prepared to work hard for your degree though! If you live by the “work hard, play hard” motto, then Leeds is definitely the place for you."