Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Diane tells us about the Peddler Night Market

Hey all :)
It's Diane; International Office Ambassador for South Korea. Find out more about me and my time in Sheffield on my web page.

There are several festivals going on in sheffield like food, film, music etc. We can’t miss them at all, can we ?

Although my exams were coming in two weeks and  I was cramming revisions and essays. Well,you know everyone needs break. I couldn't help but explore one of festival, Peddler Night Market with Rebecca, one of International Office Ambassador.
Peddler night market is running on the first weekend of every month. This market is held in a reformed industrial warehouese in Kelham Island (92 Burton Rd Sheffield S3 8DA) where many locals adore to hang out. It has a range of things to taste, see and listen.
This time, Peddler Night Market brought a load of street food vendors so that people could try them from the exotic Thai food, Hongkong style dimsum to very Americanised grilled cheesy sandwiches, barbeque and italian fire pot pizza, surrounded by wonderful live music.
You also can expect to experience lovely locally sourced food ingredients like chutney and the perfectly right place to hangout with your friends and family-friendly too.

(The Thai food was the most popluar in Peddler - such a long queue)

(Dimsum su, the man said they are hongkong style dumplings and taste all good )

FYI, the sun seriously doesn’t go down early in the spring time, it does around nine or ten in the evening which is what I quite like, my photos don’t look like Night market at all :P !! So I attached more of them when I took in last October.

This area is further than city centre from the Student Union, yet there are lots of hip places beloved by young locals like river side pubs, bakery, museum and gallery etc. It means you can even spend a day wandering the area in a sunny day. It’s definitely worth visiting.

Thanks for reading my blog !

By Diane (Da Eun) Lee
International Office Ambassador for South Korea

Monday, 30 May 2016

How to Prepare before coming to Sheffield

During my recent calls, I have been asked by some students what should they bring to the University of Sheffield. University life is one of best life experiences, so before you step foot into your amazing journey - don't get carried away and forget your preparation!

It's completely understandable as you will be travelling far away from home and there is obvious worry that you will forget something essential - which may not have been essential at home!

Coming from Malaysia, where there is no such thing as four seasons; so living in a cold and wet country like the UK may be quite an experience. Sheffield is known as the "North", yep, like the Game of Thrones. This is due to colder and damper weather, as compared to London.

I will break it down in categories what you ought to bring.


1. Winter Clothes

You can buy better winter jackets over here in Sheffield. I recommend getting a water proof winter jacket, as it rains quite often - usually from November until March. So you do not have to get one in your home country. Just bring a warm winter coat with you to Sheffield.

I think what's more important is to bring your long johns or thermal innerwear, as these will definitely keep you warm, especially if you are not used to the cold.

As for shoes, again, you have plentiful of choices of boots over here. All you should pack some flats and sports shoes with you from home.

2. Spring/Summer Clothes

If you are planning to stay in Sheffield over the summer, then you obviously can't wear your winter coat! So pack a few of your favourite shorts and tank tops. But if you think you have no space in your luggage for those clothes, fret not!

Many shops in the UK, including famous online retailers such as ASOS sell many affordable and pretty summer clothes. As a university student, you even get the perks of 10% student discount. Just remember to sign up for UniDays to obtain your student discount code.

3. Bag

A good bag is essential for a university life. Get a bag that is suitable to pack your laptop and some books. You will need it during exam season.

Furthermore, you would realise that it is so much easier to travel. When I make day trips or a short trips around the UK, I just pack whatever I need into my bag and ta-da! No need to worry about locking my luggage or dragging it around.


1. Contact Lenses? Glasses? 

Important advise: Bring a second pair of glasses if you are wearing one. The price of making glasses in the UK is expensive if you do not have insurance. This includes contact lenses and contact lenses solutions. I packed a year's supply of contact lenses, so I can save money and all the hassle of getting them here.

However, anything can happen and in the UK, you need an eye prescription for them to issue you contact lenses. The UK's regulation is pretty strict on that (and I'm not sure why). Thus, before you leave home, drop by your eye specialist and ask for a prescription. You never know when you need want.

2. Medicines

The same applies if you are on medication or if you are allergic to certain drugs. Get an up to date medical record before you arrive and it will save you lots of hassle.

Something to remind of home

Last but not least, pack some photos of your family and friends, or anything that reminds you of home. It can help combat homesickness.

I decorated my wall with photos of my family and friends and it brings a sense of coziness into a room that will be your home for the next one year.

Also, being a Malaysian, I packed all my Maggi, sambal paste and curry paste with me, so I can cook some homemade Malaysian food!


I hope this post has helped you, or at least gave you an insight of what you should packing before coming to Sheffield. Most importantly, do not overpack! Trust me, you will be buying some essentials over here like your pots and cutlery, so there's no point in packing those things.

Until the next post on What to Expect when you arrive at Sheffield!

International Office Ambassador for Malaysia
Qamarina Almas

Sunday, 29 May 2016

My 3 favourite things about the Students Union :)

Our Students Union

I know I know you’ve probably heard the words ‘best Students’ Union in the UK by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for seven years running’ about our Student Union a few times now (if not, then well you’ve heard it now :p). 
But our SU totally earnt it! 
Here are 3  of my favourite things about it:

1)      Grill and Go (I swear my tummy just rumbled as I wrote those words)

PLEASE have a wrap/burrito/salad from here at least once and I promise you will not regret it. It was an absolute shame that I didn't discover it all the way until second year L 

**a moment of silence for the wraps that were never ingested in first year**

2)      Nifty by day and glitzy by night

The SU hosts some of the most popular student night outs. My favourite is Pop Tarts every Saturday night. Saturday to me is perfectly timed in the week to party and classic pop music just makes it all the better. Others must agree because the tickets get sold out by like Tuesday or Wednesday every week!

3)      It’s just so pweeetty!

The SU was renovated extensively with a completely new block around 2012. It resulted in a modern building you feel truly proud of as a student…especially whilst you show it off to your friends from elsewhere!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Something we all need - holidays!

Holidays are very important! It doesn't matter if you are doing your A-Levels, working as a professional or studying at the Uni - everyone needs to have rest sometimes!

At the University of Sheffield you have 3 main holiday periods - Christmas (4 weeks), Easter (3 weeks) and of course Summer holidays (3-4 months). Since all of those holidays are quite long every student at the University gets a chance to go home - no matter how far they live. However you don't have to go home if you don't want to - your university accommodation rent lasts the whole year which means you can just travel around UK during the holidays and not worry about having a place to stay. And many students do that! Many of my Chinese friends choose to travel around UK during the holidays since this way you can learn a little bit more about the country you are living at and you can also discover how diverse it is!

The famous Big Ben 
This year I've actually had great Christmas and Easter holidays and I want to tell you a bit more about them.

Throughout those holidays I was able to visit a few cities in UK - like London and Oxford and a few courtiers as well! For example during my Christmas Holidays I was able to visit Switzerland, Italy, Phuket and Singapore as well!

And do you want to know what is one of the best things about studying at the international university like Sheffield Uni? It's that you meet people from all over the world and you get to visit them too :) And since travelling is one of my passions in life, for me it's one of the great advantages.

Beautiful Switzerland
But in this blog I wanted to talk more about my summer plans, because I think that since those are the longest Holidays, you can really fit a lot into them! So first of all, the exam period finishes on 10th of June this year and unfortunately I have exams going all the way to the end... But then again it gives me a longer time to prepare, so perhaps it's not so unfortunate :)

Something to look forward to this summer :)

But after I will be done with exams my plan is to stay in UK for a few weeks to travel around the country. Surprisingly, even after living in UK for almost 5 years now I haven't visited many cities, so my plan is to travel around Northern England and see cities like Leeds and York. From there my plan is to move South, to London, to be precise. And I love London, especially during the summer, so my plan is to spend a weekend there and meet some of my college friends. And of course I am planning to spend a lot of time at home during this summer, because while in Sheffield I really miss my family :) After a months with my family my plan is to have a Eurotrip with my friends, where we're planning to drive through Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium and perhaps a few more European countries finishing in UK, where in September I will be starting my year placement!

Amazing summer sunsets in Belgium
So yeah, there you have my plans for the summer and trust me, during this exam period it's something that I'm really looking forward to!

What do you have planned for the summer? Let me know in the comments below :)

Take care,
International Office Student Ambassador - Polina

Julie's 10 Favorite Things About Sheffield

Top 10 Things About Sheffield:

1. The people! They weren't joking when they said the English in the North are super pleasant and friendly. As an international student, the university staff and those who own businesses in and around Sheffield are always extremely patient and kind.

The #1 Student Union in the UK
2. The Student Union - Having literally everything you need in one location is AMAZING! Whether I need to grab some lunch at Our Shop, get help at the SSiD (Student Services International Desk), or go to a club night with my friends, it is obvious to see why it's been rated the #1 Student Union in the UK for so many years!!

3. My accommodation - Living in postgraduate housing in Endcliffe Village has been fantastic for me! Even though Sheffield Accommodation is #1 overall in the UK, I'm very satisfied I was placed in Endcliffe because of its facilities and student atmosphere. The student services are constantly coming up with great activities so it has been great being involved in those.

4. The food - I have already done another blog post about food selections in Sheffield (Broomhill specifically) but anywhere in the city you will find awesome restaurants and stops! If there is a speciality food craving you're having, chances are you will not only find one place but probably FIVE that fulfil your food needs.

5. Green spaces - Peak District, Peace Gardens, Endcliffe Park, and The Botanical Gardens are only a few of the many and beautiful green spaces that are all located in and around Sheffield. So if you ever need a breather from the city or campus, there are endless places you can travel, and via walking or public transportation.

Endcliffe Park
6. My seminars/my course mates - Last week was my last seminar EVER at the University of Sheffield. While I am excited to begin my dissertation, I know that I will miss my class discussions and community that were provided by my weekly seminars. However, another reason why I love my course mates so much is that we actively meet up outside of the class at different lectures or casually for a meal. 

7. Live Venues - Sheffield is known for it's music scene, and it has not disappointed! I've been to shows at The Leadmill, Corporation, the Student Union, The Harley and many more. Each time it's been an amazing experience and a great mix of students and locals as well. I also just bought my tickets for the Tramlines music festival in July! Can't wait to see the whole city come together for that!

8. The Libraries - I don't know what I would have done without the Information Commons, Diamond, and other student facilities this past year. The staff are always extremely helpful and the resources are also amazing. Like the Find a PC web page is great for looking at places to study.

The Diamond

9. Other student services - Like the Women's Bus is great after late night study sessions or a night out at the Student Union. This is one of many services that the University is providing in order to ensure the safety of its students.

10. My friends - It's funny to say, but unfortunately because of these people it is going to be so much harder for me to leave Sheffield than I would have imagined. At the University of Sheffield there is a great sense of community within the students, and I have felt it immensely. 

So for any student arriving in Sheffield this September, make sure to appreciate all these facilities, activities, and resources as much as you can. Time flies when you're studying and having fun!

Friday, 27 May 2016

iGEM 2016: Team Sheffield

Saylee is a second year Bioengineering student at the University of Sheffield. Over this summer, she will work on a project funded by the University to take part in iGEM, an international synthetic biology competition, and represent Sheffield in a team of students at the iGEM Jamboree in Boston this October. Approximately 400 other institutions will compete! 

IGEM stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine and is an international synthetic biology competition where Universities from across the globe participate. This is a competition for engineers and biologists alike, as the challenge of the competition is to engineer a device that fits into one of the categories of the competition. 

Sheffield's 2014 Team came up with an 'under-sink' device that secreted enzymes to digest fats, oils, greases and hair that often clog up restaurant sink pipes and the home as well. Using lab space at the University of Sheffield and guidance from professors and PhD students, a team of biologists and engineers came together to build a device called 'FatBerglers'. 

This year, a team of 10 undergraduate students and 10 PhD advisers will work on engineering a solution to a problem in health and medicine and will have 10 weeks over the summer to do so. All teams from across the world will be invited to an iGEM Jamboree in Boston, USA. Team Sheffield will also participate in this as well as the European iGEM meet-up in Paris this July! It's going to be an exciting couple of months! 

Find out more about IGEM Sheffield on its facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/igemsheffield2016/?fref=ts

You can read more about Sheffield's Team from 2014 here: http://2014.igem.org/Team:Sheffield

If you have any questions, drop me an email at india@sheffield.ac.uk!

- Saylee 

Weekend in Sheffield

Since I've spent a year in Sheffield already I think I am qualified enough to give you a plan for a weekend in Sheffield.. Or even 2 plans!

Option 1 - Nice Weather

 If you were lucky enough to catch glimpse of nice weather in Sheffield head to the Peak Districts! Being very close to the Uni, it allows you to reconnect with nature, enjoy clean air and beautiful landscapes. Have a bike? Even better! You can ride it around the peak District and stop somewhere nice for a picnic lunch. Trust me , after the day with the nature you will fall asleep like a baby and wake up fresh and ready for a new day!
And if you don't like to just walk around for the whole day, you could visit an Alpaca Farm (I mean, who wouldn't want to go and look at the furry alpacas???). For more info visit their website.

If on the Day 2 you were lucky again and observed sun and nice breeze why not take a walk through the city centre and visit Winter Gardens? You will have a lovely time and get a chance to take some
nice pictures.
Peak District
Alpaca Farm

Winter Gardens

City Center

Option 2 - Bad Weather

  If the weather let you down, don't worry, I won't! So if its raining and you still want to have some fun then lets go shopping! Meadowhall is a huge shopping mall in Sheffield and it will take you 10 minutes to get there by tram. You can easily spend a day there! To find out what shops do they have, follow the link.
Meadowhall Food Court

Meadowhall Center

 Not a shopping fan? Not a problem! Another option you have is to visit a Valley Centertainment! This is an ultimate weekend place with an IMAX cinema, bowling, laser quest, mini golf and a lot of nice restaurants! It's a really great place to go to with your friends. Find their website here. And what makes it even better, there is an ice ring 5 minutes away. They have great deals for students on Saturdays so take an advantage of that and go ice skating! More info here. All of those attractions could keep you busy for the entire weekend!

Valley Centertainment - Cineworld Cinema


 So there you go! I hope those tips will help you to plan a nice weekend.

Take care,
Polina International Office Ambassador Russia

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Julie's Top Study Tips

It's that time of the year again, final revisions and examinations! Hopefully these study tips can be used for those of you who are abroad and then later on when you arrive in Sheffield!

Western Bank, just one of many available options
(photo credit Univ. of Sheffield)
1. Breathe, relax. It is natural to have some anxieties while studying for exams or writing final papers. Yet, it is important to take a few minutes every so often to take a break and refocus. One website I love using to meditate is http://www.stopbreathethink.org/.

2. Find a suitable study space. For many people the library is the best option since it has the most readily available resources and quiet study spaces. If you need a computer to use as well, Find a PC is great for doing just that! And if you do better in cafe environments then Sheffield has a variety to choose from like Tamper Coffee locations or even your local pub. Or, sometimes it is just best to take a break from the outside world and stay at home!

3. Caffeinate wisely. As a caffeine fiend myself, relying on a cup of coffee works sometimes to get the brain juices flowing. It has even been cited to help students with concentration and memory. Yet it is important to always remember to consume caffeine responsibly since there are other risks when consuming too much, especially in such a short period of time like revision periods.

Good luck to everyone with exams and papers! You're almost there!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Traveling while studying abroad: My experience and tips.

Hi! My name is Jennifer and I'm a Panamanian student here at Sheffield working as an International Office Ambassador.
One of the reasons why I decided to study in England is because of its great location.  I’m a great believer in the power of travel, so one of my priorities after moving here was to travel whenever my schedule [and budget] allowed me to. Luckily, this semester I was able to visit Austria, Hungary, Ireland and Germany. Its mind blowing how each and every single country has something special to offer. Definitely, traveling opens your mind in a way that very few things in this world do and it’s by far the best way to learn about history.
I never thought that Budapest’s architecture would be so magnificent; that the Opera in Vienna was still a very hip thing to do on Fridays; that Dubliners are so friendly and proud of their Guinness and that German bread rolls or “brotchen” were so delicious. To be honest, with every trip I make, I crave to travel even further and to more unconventional locations.
St Matthew’s Gothic Cathedral in Budapest
Some of the questions you need to ask yourself before picking your next destination are: would I prefer to travel alone or with someone? Would I rather go to a city or a smaller village? What’s my budget? What’s my schedule?
I genuinely hope that some of the tips below might help you to travel more often:
  • Whenever looking for airplane tickets, check pages like EasyJet, RyanAir, Skyscanner or FlyBe.  A good tip is to try to fly during the week, either Wednesday or Thursday as tickers are cheaper than on Friday, for example.
  • When traveling on a lower budget, consider the possibility of staying in hostels or AirBnBs. One of my favorite websites is hostelworld.com as it includes plenty of reviews by travelers and pictures of the hostels.

Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

Our cool Argentinian roommate in Vienna's Hostel!

  • Before traveling to the city, do some research of the main touristic sights. Check if there’s a company offering free walking tours and if there is, do not miss it. It’s a great way to get to know most of the city in the most efficient way and most of the times, hostels will be able to help you schedule a walking tour. Also, most of the times tour guides can help you plan the next following days. 
    Mandatory Selfie in Berlin!
    Trinity College’s Library in Dublin     

    • At least once while you’re traveling, splurge a bit and go to a nice, local restaurant. Try to go somewhere where there are no tourists and where you’ll get a more real experience of the food. After all, you know what they say: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".

    Cafe Tirolerhof, a traditional Viennese Cafe where people spend hours drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

    •  Last but not least: just do it. We’re young, living in one of the most historically and culturally rich continents in the world, and technology is making traveling more affordable day by day. Most of the times we regret the most the things we did not do, not the things we do. So get crazy, surf the web and pack your bags for your next adventure… Bon voyage!

      PS: If you go to Budapest, eat as many Langos as you possibly can.  Thank me later.

      Jennifer International Office Ambassador Panama