Emmanuel Nii-Boye Quarshie

Prior to coming to the School of Psychology, my previous university education (for bachelor's and master's degrees) brought me into contact with some of the finest universities in some Nordic and African countries. Therefore, I had a good yardstick against which to measure the quality delivered at the University of Leeds. At the broader level, the University of Leeds has put in place many support systems and arrangements for international students. However, I was surprised to find that the School of Psychology has a unique international student support climate. The non-academic staff, including technicians, are very supportive; where they are unable to provide immediate help, they do not hesitate to suggest potential sources of help. My post-graduate research tutor shows real commitment to work and responds promptly to the needs of PhD students, individually and as a collective. The PhD students are generally supportive of one another. The PhD journey can be a lonely one at some points. To make these lonely moments tolerable, the PhD students (particularly with similar research interests) in the School of Psychology have virtually constituted themselves into peer support networks; they have periodic tea times and lunch breaks together, where they share their fears and success stories. Personally, I have found this peer support useful and helpful in dealing with my own lonely struggles.

It is also reassuring to know that each academic staff of the School of Psychology makes significant contributions to their fields of speciality. Besides holding executive and management positions in the professional bodies of their fields, many continue to serve in editorial positions for the key journals in their fields. Their extensive engagement in international collaborative research makes them appreciate the needs of international students and they show genuine interest in providing cutting edge supervision to their research students. My primary supervisor based in the School of Psychology shows keen interest not only in my academic growth and progress but also in my personal wellbeing. This holistic approach to academic supervision helps to mitigate homesickness and burnout. Thus far, my experiences of being a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology have provided me with a clear sense of my career path and increased my self-efficacy and hope for immediate employment shortly after graduation. Unreservedly, I strongly recommend the School of Psychology to any international student interested in obtaining cutting edge training within the psychological sciences. The School of Psychology is a home away from home.