International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Meet & Greet

By Usman Khan

Every year thousands of international students make their way to University of Sheffield, arriving at Manchester Airport. To facilitate a smooth journey for them from the airport to Sheffield, the university provides a Meet & Greet service, where student assistants are recruited to undertake shifts at the airport to receive international students and bring them home safely to Sheffield. The university also runs an Orientation Week, with a range of different activities ranging from campus tours to ice breakers and club nights to get students socializing with each other before onset of Intro Week, and university thereafter. 

As part of the facility, I was working as a Meet & Greet Assistant along with a team of various other assistants hailing from different nationalities. Each assistant was allocated shifts during the on course of the day which could start as early as 05.30 am to afternoon or evening time. Assistants travelled together to the airport in a coach which would then be filled up with students on the way back from the airport. 

The entire experience was a lot of fun as we met so many students working alongside us on the service, and also met students from so many different countries. Sharing my experience of university life and Sheffield made me feel like I was having a deja vu, reminiscing the day when I first arrived in Sheffield, lost and insecure. I tried my best to make them feel at ease, sharing my experience about how Sheffield has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and how two years have passed by in a blink of an eye and now I stand right before the start of my final year, getting jitters thinking about the fact that I'll be leaving university so soon! 

The students really interacted with the assistants, but also with each other in the process and got along well even before they had moved into Sheffield! There is no better way than mixing two people in the same boat, which we soon saw coming to light as students ended up making groups from the bus and going off to grab some meals. 

The entire service was not only fun for the students using it, but was also a really good time for the assistants working on it. We worked as a family and got along really well with each other. Personally speaking, I met more people from all around the world in the one week doing Meet & Greet than I have in my 2 years at Sheffield! 

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