Thursday, 26 March 2015

Life in Sheffield - from a Taiwanese Student's view

Hello the world, This is Cynthia.

This is my third year here, and my second year of my university.
You can know more about me in the following link:
(you can also email to contact me)

So, whenever I chat with people, especially people from Taiwan. They usually have a very blurry image of Sheffield. I can totally understand. This is similar to when I talk to the locals here, most of them only know Taipei.

Today, I would like to tell you what Sheffield looks like from a Taiwanese student's perspective. I hope after reading this, you will get a more clear picture about Sheffield (the university and the city itself).

Image a city like Tainan, but without as many restaurants. 

Yes, I know that Tainan is famous of its local food. You may think, what? without food, what does Tainan have. What does Tainan have? It has a slower life style than a capital city, people are friendly (though their Chinese is sometimes with different accent), the whole city is safe, and it is green.

And this is how Sheffield looks like. A place is not located in the centre of UK, but yet it is not too far. People here walk slower, and from my point of view, their English is slightly different than people from London (Yorkshire accent)

A City-Campus make you feel safe. 

Sheffield is a place that will make international students feel safe.
Try to think of the National Cheng Gong University in a larger size, and if it were a city campus.
This means that, whenever you walk on the street, you kind of know people around you are also students. And more over, Sheffield has two universities!

UK is large, but Sheffield is close to EVERYWHERE. 

Since Taiwan is an small island, it would not take a long time for Taiwanese people to reach another city. Say we drive from Taipei to Tainan, it would take only 4 hours. But the UK is different, it is larger geographically. But Sheffield does have the advantage of its location. You will only need 4 hours to reach Scotland, and 2 hours to London. If you take the air plane to Manchester, it takes only 1 hour to Sheffield. Living in Sheffield makes my holiday really wonderful! I can go to anywhere in hours!

I am from Taipei, a capital city, but I can say that, staying in Sheffield does not make me feel that I am staying in some countryside. It is just awesome :)

Please feel free to make any comment below, I would love to see it!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Must do list in March

Hi this is Cynthia!

So March is the time that the second semester is started for a while, and it is also bring another exciting thing  - Easter Holiday!

Easter Holiday is like something called Spring Break in Taiwan. And as this holiday is too short to fly back to Taiwan, most of the international students would just stay in Europe. This makes "planning a holiday" become one of my must-do lists. (And it always ranks as number 1)

So today, I am going to share my experience about how to plan your Easter holiday, and provide you some tips.

First of all, living in Sheffield  makes our holidays very easy, because there is an international airport (Manchester) just nearby, if you take a train, it would only take 50 minutes. To plan for your Easter trip, I would suggest the following steps.

Step 1. Choose a country.

In late March or early April you would start your holiday. Remember this is a perfect time to travel to somewhere with lots of sunshine! This means place located in the South of Europe would be a nice choice.

Then you can start viewing pages from all of the airline companies!

Tip: I often go to RyanAir or EasyJet to see if I have any chances to buy a under 50 pounds return tickets. Or you can just visit a website call sky scanner, it will show the cheapest ticket to reach your destination. Also, forget about any VISA issues, there is nothing you need to worry about, with a Taiwan Passport, you can travel to any EU countries without VISAs!

Step 2: Book an Accommodation

Staying in a good place will brighten your trip!
I always book my accommodation online (either or Airbnb), I will recommend you to read reviews written by the pervious customers. From their reviews, you can get a general picture about the accommodation. Don't forget to use google map to locate the accommodation as well. By doing this, you will know if the location is right.

Tips: To get more information, you can also google some key words like : the Accommodation's name + review.

If the steps above are complete, you are half way done. I understanding this will take a lot of time, but you will gain a sense of achievement after coming back from your holiday. Because you planned well!

Lastly, make a good use of your Easter, you should definitely travel around, but you should spend times on studying as well. After all, that is the main reason why we are in Sheffield.

Feel free to leave any comment, or you can contact me via :D

Erika had new experiences about Japanese culture here in Sheffield!

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

I would like to share some Japanese culture today.

When I got to the Octagon Centre in the afternoon last Saturday, there were already many people enjoying traditional toys such as kendama and origami and showing their calligraphy each other. Some girls wore Yukata, which is a casual summer kimono and took some photos. I saw my classmates, friends and I found that they know Japanese culture more than I do. I followed them and visited a Maid café (kind of pop Japanese culture) for the first time in my life.

 This event also had performances of Japanese swords, chorus, and Aikido at the main stage. People usually cannot see what Japanese martial art is if they do not take trainings courses. I had never seen Aikido before. The final performance was playing the Japanese drums. I was surprised many people gathered toward the main stage sat on the floor. The awe-inspiring sound of drums blew away the audience.

 The most impressive thing for me was a small performance of Okinawan songs at the corner of the entrance. They sang Shimauta, which is for Okinawan survivors during World War II. It sounds calm but sorrowful if we know its lines. My friend asked me if I can understand the meaning of lines and I nodded but did not explain it. The song reminded some people of something important and made others happy and calm. I realized that I should cherish this moment when people from different countries were able to listen to one song together peacefully in this small place.

By Erika Uchiyama

 International Office Ambassador for Japan

Friday, 20 March 2015

Yoon's favourite place near the University of Sheffield: Western Park

Hiya! My name is Yoon Young Cho, one of the ambassadors in International Office representing South Korea and you can find more about me here

I would like to introduce one of my favourite places in campus. As you might realise from the title of my blog, it is WESTERN PARK!!

The Western Park is the small size park in campus; it is located on the way to Politics Department which is also known as Elmfield building. I almost walk pass the park everyday when I have seminars, lectures or meeting with my tutors in Elmfield building.

I personally love the park because the scenery is just amazing!! Especially, when the weather is really nice, it is the perfect place to chill out. Also, there is also small museum inside the park, where you also can enjoy some special exhibitions.

To give you a tip! There is also a café inside the museum where you can enjoy really good quality of food and drinks. There is ‘Happy Hour Time’ it is normally before 11am and after 2.30pm you can enjoy hot filtered coffee only for 1 pound.

By Yoon Young Cho
International Office Ambassador for South Korea
You can email me at:

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Getting advice on work from the University of Sheffield and Lacuo

Hi, its Lacuo (Bingma Lacuo) and I am an International Office  Ambassador for China. You  can find our more about me here on the University web pages.

I attended an interview today in Newmarket for an one-year abroad internship program. It initially seemed like a short 15-minute individual interview, which, however required a lot of me to prepare myself.

I got help and advice, and here are some tips and services offered by the  University that used to help me.

As a postgraduate student, I have very limited time to arrange my career preparation during this one year period. At the beginning of October, I signed up in the CAREER MENTOR SCHEME, a program aiming to connect current students  with 
the graduates. My mentor is Andrew, who is currently working in London and he is very kind to answer me so many questions about the career plan even during his business trip abroad, and those conversations are extremely beneficial to me.

After having an overall concept of career plan, I started to apply for vacancies and set up a framework of CVs and covering letters, during which period, I found that the STUDENT JOB SHOP is continuously posting the updated job (intern/part-time) information to your preset preference through the on line job market, MY VACANCIES. Also, some links with foreign recruitment websites are  specially tailed for international students. Furthermore, I keep pace with the latest career information through WHATS ON DIARY ,a website maintained by the career service office, mainly in charge of posting their activity like recruitment fair, workshops to help you  write CV and covering letter and even interview training.

There are some other activities held by the university ,aiming to offer you a work experience like the TASTE OF WORK, which is run by the university and provide you with an            one-off  work experience to add in CV. Here's a picture of a Chinese postgraduate attending this program jointly held by the New Leaf in the Student Union.


By Lacuo Bingma
International Office Ambassador for China
You can email me at

Monday, 16 March 2015

Lacuo’s visit to the alpacas in Sheffield!

Hi, it’s Lacuo (Bingma Lacuo) and I am an International Office Ambassador for China. You  can find our more about me here on the University web pages.

If you want to take a day off and leave for somewhere relaxing and interesting, I strongly recommend Mayfield! Situated to the North of Ringinglow Village, on the outskirts of Sheffield, Mayfield Alpacas is this is a center of excellence for the UK Alpaca industry.  
A lot of people in China are so fascinated about this animal but have never met them in reality, and here is your chance!  

However, unfortunately, there’s no direct public transportation from the city center to the  farm other than taking a taxi. There are a number of good taxi firms in Sheffield, and you can get information from a variety of sources on good taxi firms. 

For example, I got the contact details of a reliable taxi firm on my key chain of my University accommodation. So here is a tip--do not neglect whatever the university or  the  student union offers to you, they’ll always be helpful.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Sheffield can provide you not only the lectures  and degrees, there are a lot of activities that you’d better do with your friends during your  stay here, so go and check it out! 

By Lacuo Bingma
International Office Ambassador for China

Friday, 13 March 2015

Tiffany’s February Favorite

It’s me, Tiffany again, the Hong Kong ambassador for Sheffield. Learn more about me and my time at Sheffield on my web page.

As February is coming to an end, I noticed that there were so much going on for me! So I thought why not talk about all of my favourite things in February!?

The weather is still cold in Sheffield and classes start again. As a politics major, I have a lot of  10am classes this term and life is going back to normal. However there’s still something special about February.
First of all, there is the weather. The weather talk might seem clichéd, but I felt the need of it in Sheffield. Even though we're now in February, there was still snow. Layering up on snowy days to go to class is routine. To be fair, it’s actually not that bad when you compare to the States! But still, I think it’s just a tad too cold for me just yet and I’m so ready for spring.

You might think that new year is long gone but in fact, Chinese New Year is on the 19th February this year. As I am in Sheffield, visiting relatives and getting red pocket money is not an option, so I chose to spoil myself with all kind of sweets and chocolate!Friends from home just wont stop sending me photos of their New Year food, to make me jealous, but I guess this is another kind of friendship love?!

Another superb thing in February to me is definitely the Fashion Week. With only 5 hours of time different with New York, I managed to watch my favorite Marc Jacobs fashion show  LIVE! That was definitely a highlight of the month for me. Finishing my readings for my class, just simply tuck into bed and watching fashion shows on live TV with ice cream is the best thing ever.

One of the great things about going to university is probably you get to manage your time and do what you want! And this includes having ice cream in such a cold weather and at an unreasonable time!

That’s all from me now, or else it’ll be me expressing all my love to Marc Jacobs. Hope y’all also had a very lovely February!

By Tiffany Hiu Lam Kwong
International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Hanyan introduces part-time job opportunities on the University of Sheffield campus

Hello everyone, this is Hanyan, the International Office Ambassador for China. You can find out more about me and my time in Sheffield on my profile.

Today, I going to introduce some campus jobs that you may find in the University of Sheffield, which can add to your CV and stand out from hundreds of job seekers.

Students’ Union Officer

Every year during March you will find there are posters, slogans, even videos everywhere in the University to tell you which candidate can bring “brighter future” for students; there are also a bunch of candidate dressed conspicuously and make some impassioned speed to deliver for their votes before your lectures. These are students running to  be elected to work in the Students' Union (SU). You might think its a bit annoying during the campaign week, but you must admit being in a member of SU officers will enrich your CV a lot!

Each student will take up one of eight positions and represent students’ interests in the SU, University and the wider world. Officers represent the views of Sheffield students locally and nationally. They make sure student views are listened to and acted upon by working with the relevant people who can bring about change. They represent student views on SU Council, University bodies and various Students’ Union Committees as well as campaigning for students’ rights.

International students will often apply for International Officer position on the SU council. This position will representing the Students’ Union on all matters international and advocating for international students in the SU, University and wider community for better life and study in the UK. Being part of the SU as an officer can let you ‘make a difference’, also it’s a great opportunity to prove your problem solving skills and your responsibility to your future employer.

Student Ambassador 

There are various types of Student Ambassador and most of these are paid part-time positions working within the University.

Brand Ambassador 

This position is an opportunity to act as liaisons between businesses and your university. These ambassadors normally plan and host fun events on campus, act as a campus contact for your teams, and help businesses better understand each university’s culture. This could be the first step to enter your ideal business.

Students’ Union Ambassador 

Being a friendly and knowledgeable ambassador for the Students’ Union across a range of activities and events such as Graduation, Intro Week, Open Days and Freshers Fair, as well as for specific marketing campaigns. Main duties Includes: 

  • Delivering information such as leaflets and posters
  • Running activities and events;
  • Directing people and assisting with their enquiries. 
Being a SU Brand Ambassador will show your communication skills and team-working skills to your employer, which could also add on to your CV.

International Office Ambassador 

Yes, this is my current position. As an International Office Ambassador (IOA), you will work as part of a team responsible for student recruitment and marketing activities in a specific country or geographical region. As such, IOAs are required to represent the University and the International Office in a professional and enthusiastic manner and to contribute to delivery of International Office goals and targets for each year recruitment. 

We will participating in a telephone calling campaign to talk to international students offer holders, writing a regular blog about experiences as an international student at Sheffield (which I’m doing right now), also have to deliver campus tours to international visitors to Sheffield and participating in online chats with perspective international students.

Being an IOA will show your ability of communication and understanding of the University of Sheffield, this will also demonstrate your good customer service skills and communications skills to your future employer.

Orientation (Induction) Week Assistant

I was an orientation week assistant once during my second year (2013), which was a great experience I would never forget. Orientation takes place before the start of each academic semester. Orientation Week happens the week before Intro Week in September. Orientation includes lots of events and activities to help you find your way around Sheffield, meet other new students and adjust to life at university. This experience is particularly useful for new international students because we know that moving to a new country always involves some additional challenges.

As an Orientation Assistant you will be responsible for running events, facilitating social activities, providing information to participating students, and generally providing a supportive and friendly welcome to the University. 

This will be a great experience to meet people from diverse culture and making new friends, therefore I strongly recommend to new students to participate and you can be an orientation assistant to support new students when you are in second year or even third year.

Being an orientation assistant will definitely demonstrate your international awareness and team-working skills to your future employers.


There are so many campus jobs you can find in the University. You can either go online (MyVacancies) or Jobshop for part-time job opportunities and On Campus Placements. If you don’t have any working experience before, you can try out Taste of Work provide by Career Service. 

Good luck!

By Hanyan Shi
International Office Ambassador for China

Monday, 9 March 2015

This Girl Can! Tiffany and her experiences of Sport Sheffield

Hello y’all, it’s Tiffany again! Find out more about me on my Hong Kong Ambassador web page.

As you might or might not notice, I am a very sportive girl and I love to get involve in so many sports, although to be honest, I am not good at any! You won't be surprised if you see me in my sports kit! Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a jock although I might dress like one! So this time I am introducing you all to an amazing UK-wide campaign called "thisgirlcan" to get girls and women more involved in sport, and to the social sports on offer at the University of Sheffield.

This year, Sports Sheffield (and I quote) ‘is proud to support the This Girl Can campaign. We have hundreds of strong, talented and fearless young women taking part in sport across the University of Sheffield. However many women still come across barriers in participation in today's society which we think is unacceptable.
This Girl Can is here to inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.’ The thisgirlcan basketball session was so much fun. If you're in Sheffield didn’t come last time, no worries; our session is on every week!

Moving to social sports, these are basically some one-off session for everyone to have a go at different sports. Many people will go to one of these social sports sessions on a regular basis as they find it really fun. Everyone is welcome even if you’ve never played before. And there is just so many choices! Ranging from basketball to lacrosse etc. All you have to do is pay then come along!

I’ve gained so much from doing sports in Sheffield, not only fitness and friends but also a lot of fun! What are you waiting for?!

If you are thinking of coming to the University of Sheffield this year then do go and try out a social sports session. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And just in case you’re wondering then yes, I am heading to my training now!

By Tiffany Hiu Lam Kwong
International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong

Friday, 6 March 2015

Erika learns something new and makes career connections in Sheffield

Hi everyone, it's Erika, the International Office Ambassador for Japan. You can find out more about me and my time at Sheffield on my profile.

How are you? It is still cold in Sheffield but the daytime is gettng longer and lighter than before. I cannot wait for spring!
Today, I would like to talk about my course a bit. I am taking the MA Intercultural Communication course to study cultural awareness, language acquisition and the process of accepting cultural differences to understand cultural diversity.

This Tuesday, we had a Professional Bridging Day in our department. This is where some workers from companies came to our University and gave presentations about their work.

It was a great opportunity to think about our career plan concretely, because some workers actually graduated from our course some years ago and explained how our study can applied to their jobs. It was really interesting and they seem to pave the way for us to use  our courses in the future. Especially, I was pleased and proud to find  that one of the people who graduated from our course as an international student now works here in Sheffield.

On the day, I met one of the workers in the educational sector and talked about my work experiences and my interests. They suggested that I contact them at work and visit one day. I was really happy to be invited!

This afternoon, I visited their office and talked about educational materials together for hours. He let me join him in their work as a research volunteer. I am so glad that I can do something related to international education in terms of culture and globalization. I hope I will be able to learn something new here in Sheffield that I could not experience in Japan.

By Erika Uchiyama
International Office Ambassador for Japan

Monday, 2 March 2015

Erika and recharging my energies for the next Semester at the University of Sheffield

Hi everyone, this is Erika, the International Office Ambassador for Japan. You can find out more about me on my profile.

Today, I went to Leeds to see my friend, which is about an hour away on the train. We have had one week break since the exams before the spring semester. Recently, a new shopping mall was open and lots of people came over and shop. There is a traditional place called the “Leeds Corn Exchange” which was originally built in 1862. It was really beautiful and I liked the place a lot. It was too cold to go to any parks today, but I want to visit and see their green spaces next time.  

After going back to Sheffield, I took a walk around the Weston Park. My favourite place is the pond besides the Western Bank Library. There are tiny bird-houses floating in the pond. I like to stay there and see some birds and people feeding them. This place is always calm. It reminds me of “Ukimidou Pavilion” in my hometown in Japan.    

The new semester is going to start from the day after tomorrow. From next week, I will be busier, but I am looking forward to the exciting spring term. 

By Erika Uchiyama
International Office Ambassador for Japan