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

Thursday, 7 January 2016

1st Semester at Sheffield

By Muhammad Shuja

This blog is about my personal experience of the first semester at Sheffield, and what you can learn from it.

Intro Week (also known as Freshers’ Week):
Ready to Step in the pitch!
The week starts off with a welcome event at the Octagon where all freshers are invited and welcomed by various staff of the University, and are introduced to the SU Officers. Soon after that, you’ll have a lecture hosted by your department where you will get a brief idea about different aspects of your course, like where you’ll have your lectures (for Engineering Students, this will probably be the Mappin Building or the Diamond) and information about placements if you’re on Industrial Placement courses. This is also where you get to know if you have any optional modules to choose. The next day is the official Registration and Module Enrolment (no, just paying your fees is not enough), the day when you get your UCard. Most Engineering departments end Intro Week with a cool activity. My department hosted a football competition … with ROBOTS!  For the record, Intro Week is not just about filling forms and getting your UCards, the Students’ Union and Residence Life host awesome events and nights out for everyone to enjoy. Log on to the Students’ Union website for more details. (Link below)

1st Week of Lectures:
Soon after Intro Week you’ve got lectures (BOO!). However, you’ll notice your lecturers realize it’s probably the first time you’re sitting with almost 200 students listening to one person talk. Therefore, you won’t start learning concepts on day one. Instead, you’ll mostly be given introduction about individual modules, the number of contact hours out of which how many will be lectures, practical sessions or tutorials and also how each module will be assessed; either through quizzes, assignments or a combination of both. You can also expect a department meeting in the first week of lectures where you get to meet your personal tutor. They’re just awesome people who will be your first point of contact if you have any issues regarding your studies, or your course in general. Oh, and you get free pizza and drinks as well! Apart from lectures, the Students’ Union hosts a number of fairs throughout the week, like the Activities Fair where you get a chance to explore all the societies there are (Faith, Nationalities, your course or a hobby, we’ve got it all!), the Sports Fair if you’re really into sport, Freshers’ Fair which is everyone’s favourite because of all the freebies you get (another chance to grab a free Domino’s pizza!), and the Jobs and Volunteering fair where you could choose between earning some extra pounds or a chance to serve the community (there are tons of options and sometimes, you can do both!)

Settling into student life:
Never lived on a budget? Had a hard time living with total strangers? Been horrible at making friends? Never knew your way around or experiencing a culture shock being an international student? Your first semester is your chance to deal with all these problems since you’ll get really busy with studies to worry about these things later in your course. The first thing you should do is join as many societies if you can or if you have a hard time choosing between them, opt for the Give-it-a-Go scheme where you can try out new stuff which might turn out to be your favourite hobby. Go to the
Exploring the city with bunch of friends!
Student Advice Centre to get advice on various issues like homesickness, budgeting or settling in. Use your free time to explore the
beautiful city, try different routes to get from your accommodation to campus. Don’t worry if you get lost. Ask the people around or you could always use Google Maps. Who knows you might stumble upon your next favourite restaurant?! Get used to the fact that you’ll be called “love” and “darling” a lot more than you used to be back home. Speaking of you getting called that, I’d avoid using that when you go back during semester break (females back home won’t appreciate it that much). Make sure you set up a bank account as soon as possible but be thorough with your choice. Explore all your options before applying but make sure you do that before you run out of the cash you brought with you! If you’re on a budget, explore options like cooking your own food or using less public transport. How about a part-time job? The JobShop will help you out in that aspect. The point is, you’ll always find someone to talk with no matter what your worry is. The fact can’t be stressed that the University does everything to support students.

Have a great time in Sheffield! 

The Student’s Union website:

1 comment:

  1. really most adorable and outstanding University Of Sheffield International Engineering Ambassadors. my dream to take admission in their phenomenal UK university thanks for bring this post.

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