De Montfort University (DMU) is a public institution located in Leicester, England in the United Kingdom. The university is divided into four colleges of Art, Design, and Humanities; Business and Law; Health and Life Sciences; and Computing, Engineering, and Media. With a diverse student body and boasting awards for teaching excellence, DMU provides an invigorating, multicultural academic experience to overseas students.


Location: Leicester, England (UK)

Student Name: Yasmine Alyassin

Age: 27

From: Syria

PhD Graduation: 2021

Six words to describe De Montfort University: vibrant, multicultural, tolerant, supportive, pioneering, and innovative

Favorite school event: My favorite event is the Faculty Championship which is a series of competitions between school faculty that include a talent show, games, and other challenges.

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Yasmine Alyassin and I am 27 years old. I am originally from the lovely country of Syria. I am a qualified Pharmacist who graduated from the Arab International University (AIU) in Syria in 2014. After getting my degree, I went on to work at AIU as a Supervisor for Pharmaceutical Technologies where I learned many skills, such as teaching, time-management, communication, and leadership. This was a transitional period for me to help me identify my professional interests and goals. During this time, I made the decision to pursue my postgraduate studies.

What degree are you pursuing and why?

I came to the UK in 2016 to complete a master’s degree at De Montfort University (DMU) in Pharmaceutical Quality by Design - this program is only available in a few universities across the country. I found the unique content and its potential in the future of the pharmaceutical industry around the world very interesting and exciting.

I graduated with my MSc in 2018 after which, I decided to continue at DMU and am currently in the second year of my Ph.D. studies in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery and Nanotechnology.

A PhD in my field comprises three years of lab-based experiments followed by a 6-month writing period, which means I might be able to graduate in 2021. It was always my dream to be part of academia and to make my mark as an overseas researcher - and now, here I am, pursuing that dream! What intrigues me most about conducting research is the fact that lots of diseases are emerging around the world right now without proper treatments. So, my plan is to contribute to the health sector by being productive and achieving my dream.

Did you have any issues adjusting to life in the UK or at university?

At the beginning of my time in the UK, I felt upset about living so far away from home and family and I had some difficulties in building friendships. That is until I surprisingly found a British family who hosted me and really made me feel like I was with family. I had a great time living with them! With their support and encouragement, they not only showed me how to enjoy life in the UK while studying for my master’s degree, but they also helped me improve my English skills. I started to think positively about settling down in the UK, gaining more professional experience, and building up my confidence.

What has your academic and social experience been like as an international student at DMU?

DMU is located in the heart of a lovely city called Leicester - it’s a multicultural place where you will not feel like a stranger. DMU is also a global university, the atmosphere is very diverse and it feels like home. The staff is really kind and they are always very supportive and welcoming of international students.

DMU provides all kinds of sports opportunities and there are many different clubs around the university. I have joined the Sports Centre; it is one of the biggest clubs in Leicester and it offers a great student discount on its membership. DMU is also always active in organizing social events for the students so they can meet up or even travel together.

I personally loved the De Montfort University campus the first time I laid eyes on it. The landscape is beautiful and it showcases wonderful architecture and historic buildings. One day when I had first arrived, I could not find my way to the lecture room, but the university signs and labels eventually helped me find my way. Once I made it to the lecture, I met some amazing people and made some great friends from all around the world. They helped me find the right places shop and told me about the best places to hang out on campus. I was extremely happy to meet so many people from different cultures and to learn about their traditions.

Academically, DMU is providing me with so much valuable knowledge and experience. I have both, online and face-to-face classes on topics such as improving my research skills, how to create a CV, software skills, teaching, and how to hunt for jobs after graduating.

Do you have a job while studying?

Yes, I initially found it difficult to find a job outside my field of study, but eventually, I got one with Unitemps. Unitemps is a governor association helping students around the UK to get jobs. I am now an Applicant Relationship Manager at the international office, doing work in the Middle East area, and assisting students who come from there to study at DMU. I help students with their applications, with any questions they might have about course details, accommodations, etc. I am really enjoying this work as I have already had a good experience at DMU and now I feel like I am providing that for other students. My office team is excellent and we do amazing work every year. We are led by amazing supervisors and managers who are kind and helpful.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I am not sure exactly what I will be doing in the future, but I would definitely like to get more in-depth knowledge about my field and find a great job that helps me learn more skills and earn more experience so that I can eventually benefit my hometown with the amazing education and experiences I have had in the UK.

How does DMU help prepare you for life after university?

DMU Work is a special team that supports every student in finding work and they give suggestions on where to start, how to write your CV, and how to prepare for interviews. DMU is ranked by the government to be one of the best universities in the country for teaching, learning environment and employability (97.3%).

What would you say to international students who are considering studying at DMU?

DMU is a diverse campus with amazing faculty who come from different industry backgrounds and have great knowledge about their subjects of study. The university also has a DMU Global Department that offers students opportunities to travel outside the country as a collaboration with other universities abroad. DMU was awarded a TEF Gold distinction (Teaching Excellence Framework) by the Department of Education due to its amazing teaching team. DMU even provides separate tutoring classes and English lessons for free in the library. Also, every student has a student advisor who helps with any academic and personal issues. I would tell any student in the world to attend DMU, not only for its academics but because it quickly starts to feel like home.

Interested in finding out more? Click on De Montfort University’s SchoolApply profile page for more information.