Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Tiffany tells us about going home for the Easter holidays

Hey guys! It's Tiffany again. I spent my Easter break back in Hong Kong and it was just amazing, so I thought I'd share some part of it with you all.

Seeing my best friend again is absolutely one of the top thingd to do when I go back home. I am so glad nothing changed even if I haven't seen her in more than half a year. All those catch up and laughter were just unreal! Friends are one of the reasons why I can miss home so much at times. Studying in Sheffield makes me realise that some real friends are for life and distance would not be a problem.
Food is another reason why I love Hong Kong so much. Hong Kong is a food paradise and all those Easter foods make my days. Being a foodie, I was so happy that  I got to have all those amazing foods every day of my holiday. I was shocked to find that I actually missed British food, like my own home-cooked food in Sheffield. I  never saw that coming to be honest! But one good thing about visitng home is NO WASHING UP!!!!

Hope all of you had an amazing Easter too!!

By Tiffany Hiu Lam Kwong
International Office Ambassador for Hong Kong

Thursday, 7 May 2015

UPDATE from Shelley Tien, our former International Office Ambassador for Taiwan

Shelley graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2012 with a MA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

 After graduating from Sheffield, I officially entered the colourful world as a career lady. I taught Mandarin in Lancaster, Sheffield and Manchester and had a great time travelling around the Europe. After enjoying a wonderful journey, I returned to Taiwan to begin my job at CommonWealth Magazine Group.

My position requires huge amount of efforts working with educators and media, planning for marketing and fundraising campaigns, and talking to the public. I think I can do it confidently is benefitted from the experiences in the International Office. When I was part of the International Office Ambassador team, we planned and conducted the university career fairs and orientation activities together with the International Office alumni, and contacted with prospect students and guided them around the campus. From these experiences, I practiced how to link between the university and the students from so many places and give helpful suggestions, and I learned the skills to talk to people under different occasions. 

As more English universities and schools started to provide Mandarin classes for pupils, qualified Mandarin teachers are in a growing demand. Mostly, the entry standards for Mandarin instructors should have a related degree, PGCE/QTS certificates and preferably some teaching experiences in the UK. The MA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language is only provided by SOAS and Sheffield. Our programme enables me to meet all the professional requirements to teach here with lower expenses, and our teachers are keen to build the bridge between England schools and we prospect teachers. We also have Confucius Institute and Star Mandarin School where we could connect with local teachers and the children. Due to the abundant resources and practices, after I graduated, I was given the opportunities to teach in the universities, local primary schools and Chinese schools.

My department offered us many chances to communicate with foreign students and experienced teachers, so that we can learn from each other and keep good relationships even till now.

Our university brand, discovery, is always in my mind. This motto encourages us to learn with an open mind, to explore with knowledge and to discover without fear. One of my favourite quotes is "dream bigger dream". It was written on poster of a children wearing doctor's white coat with a confident smile. The image vividly appeared in my mind that we Sheffield graduates persuade our dreams with different gifts and talents, and corporate together as a global dream. I think the best thing to do in Sheffield is to make as many friends and join as many activities as possible because these people and experiences might change your life at certain points beyond imagination. Work hard, play hard.

 "We pursue, we comply; we fail, we realize; we leap, we fall; we laugh, we cry; we share; we bury; we embrace, we apart. In the end, we live, and we die, quoted from my friend Michelle who studied at Sheffield as well. In Sheffield, I worked together with classmates cooking food and discussing projects together until late at night. I met new roommates and become friends once in a life time. I learned to prioritize the time between travelling and studying. The University is a palace full of treasure such as helpful alumni, kind teachers, day trips and gradually, I grew up.

Sheffield colours my life by teaching me how to fish. Should you have inquiries about budget, scholarship application, time/money management, language barriers, making friends, accommodation, travel, part-time jobs and so on, I have been through them and I am willing to be your friend to help with your worries.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

For the new Sheffielder - [packing] How to pack your life to Sheffield

Hello the world, this is Cynthia.

I believe that May is a perfect time to think about 'what should I bring in my luggage' for people who are going to join us this Sep. Because you will need months to say goodbye to your friends and family... And trust me, you really need to start doing this (or at least start thinking) early.
How to bring your whole life in a luggage to another country, it is heavier then you think. But here, I'm going to provide you some tips that I found useful.

1. Prepare an empty luggage.
So, what I did is, I prepared a very large size luggage. Then whenever I saw something and felt "I will need this when Im away from Taiwan" I would put the stuff into that luggage.

2. [for girls] Bring your skin-care products.

I do not mean that UK does not have good skin-care products, but the products most girls use in Taiwan are imported from Japan, which is hard to find here.
So if you are used to using any Japanese brand products, I would suggest you to bring them here.

3. A rice cooker?

Many people have asked me if they need to bring a rice cooker here. In fact there are many places sell rice cookers, and you can buy one in lots of ways (online and retail).
If you are not looking for a Taiwanese brand rice cooker, you can always find one in Sheffield for a reasonable price.

4. Stationary? I would say YES

YES, I have brought a lot of pens, pencils here. Again, the pens sold in Taiwan are mostly from Japan, and so far I did not see any of them in the UK. So this probably will be the only thing I would put in my MUST bring List.

oh, and almost forget to mention -
----Try to buy a student air ticket----
A student ticket does not mean you will have any extra discounts, but you will have a heavier luggage allowance.

Lastly, I know exactly how it feels when you do the packing. But don't worry, Sheffield really has everything you need in your daily life.

If you would like to contact me (to ask any questions or have a chat), just email :D

Monday, 4 May 2015

Yunpeng talks about Sheffield and Research Conferences

Hello everyone, this is Yunpeng, an International Office Ambassador for China. Find out more about me on my web page.

This time of a year is probably the most beautiful time in England. Weathers are so adorable and flowers are blooming! I would suggest you visit us on a University open day, or register for a campus tour!

In my previous blogs I talked about undergraduate research in Sheffield University. As you may be aware, all our lectures and courses are research-based. This includes most of our lecturers in all departments are doing cutting-edge researches. Their research outcomes will be used for undergraduate/post graduate teaching. We, undergraduate students, although mostly attend lectures and pass exams, are also offered a flavour of research through the University!

I am pleased to tell you that my research project, which I introduced to you in my previous blog, was selected to present in a national-wide conference, called British Conference for Undergraduate Research. This year, there were undergraduates from over 30 countries including China, USA, Australia and UAE that flied across the globe to join this conference in Winchester, a beautiful city in South England. 

Winchester Cathedral near the conference centre

I am very proud that Sheffield University managed to send around 10 students to the conference. Our abstracts were selected by the panel and we did a presentation using slide presentations/posters. Our topics covered Engineering (like mine), Social Study, Science and Literature etc.

So if you come to Sheffield University, I would suggest you have a go on research about your field of study. A good start is always your departmental webpage which has an outline of your modules of study. So whilst you are having a relaxed pre-university summer holiday, you may also grab a few books to read, which will help you understand your courses more quickly, as well as develop your research skills and get you prepared for independent university study.

By Yunpeng Zhu
International Office Ambassador for China

Friday, 1 May 2015

Erika's Easter Break in Vienna

 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. 

 Today, I would like to share my experiences in the Easter break.

Opera House in Vienna
During the Easter break, many friends traveled around in Europe. I decided to go to Vienna to feel arts in the second week. It was a great trip actually.

 I spent a lot of time to see paintings and sculptures in museums.In the evening, I went and see Orchestra with my friend. I also could watch the ballet with opera there.

In the afternoon, I visited more than five museums. Especially, Esperanto museum was unique and I learned about this artificial language from Intercultural perspective. It was small, but people who are interested in linguistics could enjoy and learn a lot.

From Domkirche St. Stephan
 I felt people are really calm in Vienna.The city was quiet and clean. I really liked the atmosphere of the city even though I could not speak German except "Danke."

 There are many traditional buildings here and there. So, the scenery was awesome seen from the top of the cathedral. Also the roof mosaic was facinating. I took a lot of pictures there. I cannot imagine how to make such a great art.

  On our way to the top of the North tower, We found a huge bell in the cathedral. It was a bit green, I wanted to hear the sound. The sound of the Chime in the church is amazing. This lets us feel "We are here in Vienna."

 I have been played the Electronic Organ since I was four. When I was a child, my father said "If you have a chance to go to the church, listen to the sounds of the pipe organ. It was solemn and beautiful."  Indeed, this instrument can sound what the electronic machine cannot express. I was impressed such a wonderful atmosphere the church has.


From a bridge in Salzburg
The purpose of this travel is not only going to Vienna. I wanted to see the scenery of "the Sound of Music." My grand father really liked it and he sang "Do Re Mi" song many times for me.  Two years ago, I practiced playing "My Favorite Things" with my organ. If you go to Salzburg, you will remember a lot of scenes of this musical. I went to the abbey where Maria worked in the film. Also, there are some pretty cafes and the house Mozart was born. I saw a traditional piano he actually used.

  I had a precious time in Austria. I highly recommend this place to visit when you are a student at the University of Sheffield

By Erika Uchiyama
 International Office Ambassador for Japan