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

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Christmas Break School Visit

Written By Ioan Alexandru Herdea

Holidays are the time of the year when most students go back home. Some of them to spend time with their families or just to go back to meet up with old friends. What is guaranteed, is our aim to maximise our opportunities in those short time slots.

The last break in this academic year was at Christmas, some of us IEAs headed back home. As we love the University of Sheffield so much, it is inevitable that we want to tell others about our life here and about the Faculty of Engineering. I had already mentally prepared my talk about Sheffield in readiness to answer questions received from my family about my time here.

I hoped to share my experience about the first semester with students at my old high school and others schools if possible. I have to admit that I did not simply go straight into classes and start talking to the students! Before leaving Sheffield, members of the IEA organised a training session on carrying out presentations in schools. This excellent and informative session, was run by Marta Grzybek and Abhinav Kongari. Plus, I got a polo shirt with the UoS and the IEA Logo on it, which is amazing!!! Just imagine the feeling of walking among old high school mates and teachers with that emblazoned on your chest.

In preparation for my visit I created my own PowerPoint presentation. It was pretty straightforward and didn’t take long, as I only had about 45 minutes speaking time. My talk was not for promotional or marketing purposes but to inform students about my personal experiences, including what Sheffield is like as a city, student life, my course, being an IEA, the process of enrolment, and of course, talking about our much loved Diamond building.

Now…I think it is time to tell you about how the presentations actually went. Well, I was very surprised to find out that at least 30 students were interested in what I was going to talk about. This happened at each presentation and was carried out in three different places. I have to mention that, from my own point of view, opening yourself up in front of a such a large group of people may be a bit scary and you may be nervous. However, for me it was the complete opposite. The experience gave me so much confidence, to know that my words were so interesting to others. The fact that I was studying abroad at such a high ranking institution, the University of Sheffield, provoked a lot of interest. I began my presentation by going through slides with a lot of enthusiasm. As I had rehearsed what I was going to say, I was able to keep an eye on my audience and noticed that they were all avidly listening. When it came to the Q and A session, there were many raised hands. I was asked all types of questions from fees to how much I spend on parties!

Finally, I shall not forget about the last visit I made. The audience was made up of rugby players and as I am quite a slender person, and could be described as a ‘stick’, when I was surrounded by them, it reminded me of a Laurel and Hardy film, but the feeling was good. This is because I am also a professional player, I know that participating in team sports, helps to build a good character, so I was sure they would be quiet and they would pay attention.
Now that a few months have passed by, I realize what an amazing experience it was. I feel so proud to represent my University everywhere I go and I would strongly recommend everyone to do this. This experience can give you so much confidence and provide a lot of fulfilment during your academic years.

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