Kazakhstan - Khalida

Kazakhstan - Khalida

Khalida travelled from Kazakhstan to the UK and is studying for a Law PhD at Leicester.

How did you discover the University of Leicester?

I learned about the University of Leicester from my best friend, who did her Master’s degree in Law there. I was attracted by the fact that the University offers PhD in Law by distance learning. At that time, I was employed by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Central Asia. Two years later I decided to transfer to a full-time study mode and arrived in Leicester.

How easy was the application process?

I found the application process easy and time-efficient. I had only minor questions, and all of them were quickly answered by the PhD Administrator. I received the offer within two months of submitting my application. This helped me a lot to make my final decision.  I have never regretted choosing Leicester. I have a great research supervision team who closely guide me in my studies and encourage me to write a successful PhD.

Did you find it easy to adjust to your new life?

I fell in love with Leicester immediately upon arrival! I find the city very easy to navigate and comfortable to live, especially for families with little children. I adjusted to the new life rather easily. Of course, the first two weeks were hectic because I had to find a flat for my family, open a bank account, and register with the NHS and utility services. But once I had settled, I could fully dedicate myself to studies.

The majority of my PhD classmates are from outside the UK. Early in my first school year, all new students were invited to attend a legal research training week organised by the School of Law. The School of Law also organised a welcome dinner for us in a nice restaurant in the city centre and also gave us vouchers for Starbucks coffee. That was a great treat! I remember feeling very welcome.

I formed good friendships with my classmates and we have been supporting each other in our studies and arrange regular social events to keep in touch with each other. My classmates’ support makes my PhD a much enjoyable experience.   

What are the best things about living and studying at Leicester?

I live in Leicester with my family and a little daughter. I find Leicester as the best place to study for students who have little children. The best thing is that the University is located close to the city centre and the gorgeous Victoria Park that has great recreation facilities for people of all ages. Sports facilities, restaurants, and shopping centres are all just a short walking distance from the University.

I also enjoy the great variety of museums in Leicester; all of them have interactive exhibitions and play areas for children. We enjoy going to the New Walk Museum, the Newarke Houses Museum, and the Space Centre with its mind-blowing observatory experience.

I also like that Leicester is only about 1 hour away from London and 1 hour away from Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK. It is easy to commute there by train. So I can visit London any time without needing to book a hotel.    

I am also quite satisfied with the quality of teaching, research supervision and learning facilities at the University of Leicester. As a PhD student, I have a separate working desk in a room for post-graduate students at the School of Law and two personal lockers to keep my research documents. I also like that the library is open 24 hours a day during term time and that most of the books are available in electronic format, so I can work from home as well. The learning environment at the University of Leicester is quite friendly and makes me want to study.   

After you have graduated from Leicester, what are your plans for the future?  

After I graduate, I am planning to return to Kazakhstan and implement the results of my research on refugee protection in Central Asia. Already, I have several job offers from leading universities and research centres in Central Asia. I also hope to contribute to the development of academic and research partnerships between Central Asian universities and the University of Leicester.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying at Leicester?

I have visited many cities and universities throughout the UK, and completed a Master’s degree in Law at the University of Oxford. But after two years of living in Leicester, I can say that this is the place where my family and I have enjoyed ourselves the most.

The University has all the essential facilities to help students excel in their studies: an outstanding library, supportive staff, and lots of training opportunities offered throughout the school year. All my lecturers and supervisors have been quite knowledgeable and experienced, and at the same time approachable and always willing to help with guidance. 

The city residents are nice people as well. I have met a lot of wonderful people in Leicester, forged friendships and established professional connections with fellow academics for future collaboration. Leicester has become my second home and I will definitely miss it after I finish my studies.


More information for students from Kazakhstan can be found on our Kazakhstan page.

Alternatively, explore our other international student profiles.

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