I first heard about POLIS while browsing the British Council website in December 2007. Reading about the Open Society Institute – Foreign Commonwealth Office Chevening – University of Leeds scholarship for the M.A. in Development Studies, I was curious enough to visit the university and POLIS department websites. A completed application form, a panel interview and six months later, I received the good news that I will be on my way to Leeds as a Masters student and scholarship recipient.
I chose to study at POLIS and at Leeds as a friend attended the University of Leeds for her Masters in 2007-2008 and I applied based on her positive feedback regarding the academic structures and facilities in addition to the great student life in England and Leeds in particular.
I've always been a tireless perfectionist trying to make things better in my surroundings – whether at home, at work or in my country Lebanon. Ever since completing my B.A. in Political Studies, I have developed an interest in development issues particularly pertaining to political and social development. An M.A. in Development Studies seemed to be a natural academic progression for me to complete and this is why I applied for the relevant Masters programme at the University of Leeds.
Meeting and interacting with a wide range of fellow international students on the course was truly special; I would have never imagined making friends from Nigeria, Honduras, Hong Kong, Greece... The learning experience alongside inspiring lecturers such as Dr. Caroline Dyer and Dr. Jelke Boesten was also priceless and added value to my academic degree.
I was impressed with the library facilities - whenever I visited Brotherton Library in search for political and development-related books, I would spend hours skimming through communication, religion and business books as well! The wealth of knowledge available for students is simply remarkable.
To anyone thinking of applying to my course I would say go ahead! Earning a Masters degree from the University of Leeds is a great addition to your CV – plus you would be having the time of your life meeting new people while discovering England and Europe along the way!
Living in Leeds it was my first time living with roommates in a shared flat but it ended up being a fun experience – especially that I was fortunate to have a fellow Lebanese as a neighbour! Having the university dorms close to university and the city centre being ten minutes away from both locations also made life quite pleasant while in Leeds.
During my studies at the University of Leeds, "self-learning" was taken to an entire new level! The amount of reading and writing done was far greater that what students usually do in Lebanon; yet students in Lebanon seem to be better versed in regional and international issues in comparison to British and international students that I have met.
In my spare time I enjoy reading and watching television – I never get tired from football, comedy series and National Geographic specials!
I'm currently working with my pre-Masters employer in advertising as an Account Manager. With now more than a year in advertising under my belt, I'm hoping to gain additional experience in communication before attempting to break into the field of development as a communication specialist with an international organisation or NGO.