Friday, 10 June 2016

The beauty of Iceland

During the Easter Holidays, I have travelled to Iceland, which is one of the most fantastic experience I have. Iceland is an island country located between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean.
I was attracted by its fascinating natural landscape and mysterious Norse myth, and of course, the Aurora. Before my departure, I was worrying whether I could capture and see the Aurora since it is one of the highlight and selling points of Iceland. Fortunately, I was able to see the Aurora on the 5th day of my trip. The charming light was flowing in the sky and there is a myth saying that the Aurora was a group of elf dancing in the sky. Apart from "chasing" the Aurora, I have been to the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle. Overall, I was  satisfied with the trip and the expenditure was not that costly. I would highly recommend Iceland to all international students.  

Monday, 21 September 2015

Tiffany's Fresher Pro Tips

Hello everyone hope you’re having a great time in Sheffield and settling down well. My name is Tiffany and I'm anInternational Office Ambassador for Hong Kong.
It’s the back to school season again and I thought I would share with you some Fresher’s tips that are useful. (And this is not only for Freshers but also everyone; everyone is new and fresh in a new year!)

Pro Tip 1:
Talk more! Literally grab the chance and talk to everyone. Don’t be shy. Everyone is new and on the same boat as you are so just be bold and talk. A simple ‘Hi, how are you?’ would be a good enough conversation starter with whoever you bump into in your course or accommodation. Be social and outgoing!

Pro Tip 2:
For those like me whose first language is not English, don’t be scared because you don’t speak as well cause it’s totally normal. It’s already impressive to speak two or more languages and no one would laugh at you. Practice makes perfect. It’s a valuable chance to be able to study in England so embrace your accent and just speak up!

Pro Tip 3:
Join societies and sports. Sheffield’s student union is ranked number one for a reason. If you’re not sure what you like to do, I strongly recommend all of you to go for GIVE IT A GO. It’s a program with so many different one off events that you can try before you commit. What’s better than that? Even if you decide that’s not your thing you might know some friends from GIAG like I did.

Pro Tip 4:
Travel around and explore Sheffield and Europe. You can go for day trips organized by the student union or go some weekend road trip with your friends. The world is so big and there is so much to explore. Go to peak district if you feel like hiking or go to nearby city to visit. While you’re still in Sheffield treasure you chance as everywhere is so nearby. Don’t just stay in your room!

Pro Tip 5:
Relax and just be yourself. University is so different from high school and being in a new country with different culture is never easy. However don’t stress out! If things don’t work well at the beginning, it will be better later. If you’re seriously not feeling it, you know you can always seek help from the student advice center. Transition might be hard but once you get through it, you will fall in love with Sheffield and don’t ever want to leave university. You be You!

Have fun and enjoy Sheffield and university everyone!

By Tiffany (Hiu Lam) Kwong
International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong

Tiffany steps out of her comfort zone in Summer 2015

Hi guys, hope you all have had a lovely summer! This is Tiffany, International Student Ambassador from Hong Kong .

I believe that most international students will go home for their summer but it’s actually a good idea to travel around. Especially for those of you having a three months summer holiday! This summer I went to United States and it has been a blast. I tried so many new things and I think all of you should also step out of your comfort zone more often! The outcome will definitely surprise you.

I was never an outdoor person. But in California everyone seems to love the nature. I actually really enjoy eating outside on the lawn and even want to go hiking! I also went to the aquarium and different museums in my free time and I loved it. These aren’t the things that I’ll usually do but it has become my new interest.  
One fun thing was I was super terrified of ants until one of my housemate decided to keep some giant ants as pets (yes she kept it as pets I am serious).

You’d be surprise how different people talk in America. My friends always find my British words funny. Guess I’ve learnt a bit during the two years in Sheffield! 
Going to different countries and meeting different people is always fun. It also makes me realize how lucky I am that I can meet all these people from different countries in Sheffield. I bet you also love the diversity like I do.

For the last month of my summer, I went back home. Seeing all my friends and having all those good food make it just perfect. Now it’s time to go back to Sheffield! And I actually missed university so much even though summer was fun.

Hope to see you all soon in Sheffield!
By Tiffany (Hiu Lam) Kwong
International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Reina tells us about her early Sheffield experiences!

Hi! My name is Reina Fujimoto and I am writing a guest post as a Japanese student here at the University of Sheffield. I am going to tell you a bit about my early experiences here at Sheffield.

Last September I arrived to Sheffield with a large suitcase. I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and I remember being surprised about how cold it was. The weather was just the first of many surprises I would find in Sheffield. 

Last year it snowed quite a lot, which I was not prepared for.

Immediately after arriving I met many people. Throughout Orientation Week and Freshers’ Week, as more people moved into the student accommodation, I made even more friends. While I was always confident in my ability to make friends, I did not expect to meet so many unique people from all over the globe.

Social Life is a large part of university culture, especially for freshers. Naturally, it became a huge part of my university life as well. There are hundreds of student societies and clubs you can join and the City is great for a night out with friends. However, the highlight of my social life was the journalism ball!  We all dressed up and went to the Hilton hotel for a nice meal - it was great to do something different.

Before I came to Sheffield I did the International Baccalaureate in high school, so I thought I was prepared for my course. However, from newswriting to learning about British politics, everything was new to me. There were some moments when the workload felt overwhelming and I doubted if journalism was really what I wanted to pursue. But I came through and was so pleased when all my hard work paid off and I passed my first year.

The most memorable moment happened out in the field when I was looking for stories. A classmate and I went to a pub called Crosspool Tavern that was honouring a local hero at their reopening ceremony. The local hero was Ian Hague, the chairman of the Crosspool Form committee. We had attended one of the committee meetings before and Mr Hague recognised us; he invited us to have dinner with him and his friends. He told us many stories about how Sheffield used to be when he was younger. This evening reminded me of why I chose to study journalism - because I love discovering stories. I must admit, the free dinner also helped motivate me.

Mr Ian Hague at Crosspool Tavern

On our last day as a fresher, my friends and I all got together for one last party. Next semester, some of us will be going abroad for a semester. I am looking forward for more adventures in this amazing city that is Sheffield.

By Reina Fujimoto
Japanese student at the University of Sheffield

Erika's Happy Family Day Out - Heading for The Heights of Abraham

It’s Erika here, the Japanese ambassador for the University of Sheffield's International Office.
You can find out more about me on my web page. 

Hiking @ The heights of Abraham

Last weekend, my flatmates and I went to a day trip to The Heights of Abraham. We were looking forward to going there.
 On the way to the place, we did a game that we added one sentence each and made a fake story. We laughed and laughed all the time.
 After we got to the station, there was a small path. We took a cable car to go up to the mountain and saw the beautiful scnery. Unfortunately, it was raining a bit. But we do not mind so much. It was really fun!
 We also visited two caves in the mountain. I was a bit scared because we walked into really dark and cold places. There were some children and they said "I'm afraid..'  The guides counted how many people we had twice, which scared me more. Hope we did not lose anyone.
I wish it could be sunny on the day when we took pictures.

This trip reminded me that there are full of green in South Yorkshire. Fom Sheffield to The Heights of Abraham, it took only one hour and half by train. It is amazing we can access these beautiful places easily.

Also I really appreciated that one of my flatmate arranged everything for us. My flatmates are all postgrad and we are from diffrent departments. Since last September, we have called ourselves "Happy Family" and talked various things. We are from five different countries and share interesting stories. Sometimes, we discussed really serious things but most of the time, we had much fun. We celebrated everyone's birthday and shared meals. Once I was really upset for everything, they knocked my door and gave me pretty flowers and sweets. Especially their smiles made me happy. I am glad to have this special family in the U.K.

By Erika Uchiyama
 International Office Ambassador for Japan

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Erika reflects on her year at the University of Sheffield

It’s Erika here, the Japanese ambassador for the University of Sheffield's International Office.
You can find out more about me on my web page. 

Last week, I was looking back to this time last year and realising how much thigs have changed. 
When I arrived at Sheffield on June 29th 2014, I did not have anyone who had known me except the previous IOA who gave me a call before I came here.  

Weston Park in June, 2015
 I was a little bit wondering what I should do if there was no places to stay or no buses to go to the University because I was just holding a small map and my suitcase. 
I still remember that a gentleman talked to me and told me the bus stop for 120. I got off the bus in front of the Student Union by mistake. Someone talked to me and let the bus driver know I would like to get off around endcliffe.
I thought I was glad that I could come here.

 I met seven new flatmates and we spent a whole summer for studying in the Bartolome. We passed Weston Park every morning and enjoyed the British summer. Many people often say it is rainy and cloudy all the time in the UK, but I was really lucky that I had rain only twice last summer. 

Almost every day, I met new people and gradually knew many people living in Sheffield. I had lots of experiences and small culture shock during summer. At first, I could not understand why my teacher said "Go to pubs to try British Breakfast" because  it did not make sense for me to have breakfast where we drink alcohol. My friend and me tried typical British Breakfast at 4 pm where people were drinking beer next to us in Endcliffe. I learned a bit interesting time orientation in the U.K. Now I can understand what it is and how people think about British Breakfast, fish & chips and a cup of milk tea. 

After the presessional, I had an exam to enter my course. I could not sleep at night on the day before the exam and I was too nervous to look at the result of the exam and presentation. When my friend took a look at my score instead of me and said "Congrats" to me, I wanted to cry. I really like English as a language, but I knew my English was not good enough to study at the academic level. So it took 7 years to decide to come here by myself and study Intercultural Communication with other people from different countries. I know some friends living in London so it might be easier to live there, but I would like to start everything by myself here in the U.K to meet new people. I really appreciate that the University gave me a ticket to travel postgraduate life in Sheffield for me.  
I visited a place near River Slea for my research
 Now I have still struggle with English and often thought "I knew what they meant, but I did not come up with any appropriate words. Hope it would not be rude." 

 I am not sure how long I would stay in the U.K. but I would like to do something for Sheffield before I leave. Maybe it might be a small thing, but Sheffield gave me things much more than I expected.  

By Erika Uchiyama
 International Office Ambassador for Japan

Tiffany tells all about the Student Union Varsity - This city is ours!!

Hi everyone! This is Tiffany, International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong.

Sports is a really big part of my university life and here comes the biggest sports event of the year: VARSITY!!! This is a big sports competition between the two Universities in Sheffield - The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. And I am so proud to tell you all, the University of Sheffield won varsity and it's three years in a roll!!!! This city is OURS!

I played in basketball again this year although we didn't win the match but we smashed Hallam in the first half of the match and I am so proud of my team. I always love to play in varsity as everyone is so united and the environment is so good with so many supporters. I am so proud to be one of the team members who can play for the University of Sheffield. We love you Sheff Uni, we do!!

I also supported at the varsity sports park day. Although it was really cold but it was so worth it so support everyone in the University family. It's no surprise that taking part in Varsity is the biggest motivation for me to finish my essays way early before deadline. It is important to do your schoolwork, although I still feel like deadlines shouldn't be allowed during Varsity. Hahaha I was just kidding!! 
If you've missed varsity this year, remember to get involved next year! It is definitely the best time of the year and there's no other Varsity like Sheffield Varsity. Friendship always comes first than competition but I am still really happy that we smashed the poly (what some people still call Sheffield Hallam, which was formerly a polytechnic institute). Sports Sheffield is more than sports but it also gives me a lot of good friends and team mates. 
I am already really excited for Varsity next year and I am looking forward to the University of Sheffield winning the Varsity championship four years in a roll! Always black and gold!<3

By Tiffany (Hiu Lam Kwong)
International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong

For email enquiries, please contact during the Summer period as our Hong Kong ambassadors will not be in the office.