Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Tiffany's Final Blog Part 2: My three years in University of Sheffield

Hi everyone! I am Tiffany, International Office Ambassador from Hong Kong!

This is going to be my ultimate final post as I am graduating from University of Sheffield this summer. I am going to tell you what I love most about University of Sheffield and what I have learnt here at a place I proudly called home for three years.

1. People are the reason why Sheffield is the BEST! 

I am so grateful to meet so many AMAZING people in Sheffield. People that I know from Sheffield is a big reason why I fall in love with this place. I have met many friends and people who have the best quality & character; friendly, smart, courageous etc. I can always learn from people around me because in University of Sheffield you will be constantly surrounded by role models. I have also met many people that bring out the good in me and taught me how to be more caring and attentive by their action.

2. How I changed the way I study 

Academically, I have develop a whole new study habit. I was never the type of person who would raise their hands to answer questions during any lessons. Three years later, it has became an usual thing for me to join in discussions in class. I also find myself always going to office hour. The open door office hour sessions is very valuable resources, it helped me to keep up with school work and motivated me to start doing all my coursework early.

Now I would even find readings or articles to learn from outside of my course! I am very glad that I am even more keen to learn and study with a very different but positive attitude.

3. What I have learnt and some personal tips 

Living and studying in a foreign country for three years, I have matured a lot. I have learnt how to live a life on my own on top of all my sports team training and seminar readings. I am proud to say I can do all the cooking and washing up after an exhausted training session as well as finish all readings before my seminar. With the advantage of a city based student city, you will be living with your friends and have the best memories while skilled with household knowledge!

Another important lesson I have learnt is that it is always important to be yourself. During my time in university I have been trying to improve myself (not only academically) but I always make sure I am still being myself. Bare in mind you don't have to try to change yourself to fit in! There is a different between wanting to learn and be better as a person and forcing yourself to be someone else. University of Sheffield is very international with recognition of its diversity, there is always a place here in uni for everyone. All of you is unique and fabulous in their own way so keep being yourself!

Also, trust me there is no such thing as a comfort zone. Go and try out everything you want to try and you will surprise yourself.
*Don't just say it but take actual action*

It is a privilege to be able to study in Sheffield, take up every opportunities that you have in your university years as those are the moments that you learn and try out what you like and who you really want to be!

4. Being an International Office Ambassador 

I am so lucky to be able to become one of the international office ambassador. I loved every moment of it; from talking to applicants at work to having a chance to write this blog. Writing this last post ever has make me feeling emotional, it has been my pleasure to be able to share my stories and experiences to every single one of you!

Looking back at my three years at University of Sheffield, I can't help but smile because there have been too many great memories. I hope that all of you will look forward to university life in Sheffield reading this, as very soon you are going to create your very own Sheffield story. Sheffield has prepared me and made me better, now I am ready to take on my next adventure. Thank you very much University of Sheffield, I am already missing you!

By Tiffany Hiu Lam Kwong
Hong Kong Ambassador

Tiffany's Final Blog Part 1: How to prepare for Sheffield

Hello everyone! I am Tiffany, International Office Ambassador from Hong Kong.

In this first post of my final blog series, I will take you through how to prepare coming to Sheffield from what to bring here to what I wish I knew. Let's get started!

1. Congratulations! You're coming to Sheffield and you will LOVE it! 

You just finished your exams and going on a new chapter, so chill out and spend this summer before university with your friends and family at home. You are about to live in another country for months, probably without seeing anyone from home. Do spend some (or as much as possible) quality time with them to share your joy and excitement of attending University of Sheffield!

2. What to pack in your suitcase? 
Do not pack last minute!!! Make a list of things that you need to prepare coming to Sheffield so you are not going to forget anything. Also, it is very important to check with your airline of your luggage allowance.

Pack up water proof coat and layers of warmth clothes (alternatively you can buy it in Sheffield, but it is always good to be prepared)! The Sheffield weather is quite windy and it will rain, but don't worry you will get used to it very soon after you arrive. Do bring enough but NOT every pieces of clothing you own!
(P.S. I think Arts Tower might be one of the most windy place in the entire Sheffield)

Also, pack up study essentials (like your exam pen if you have one) or anything that you NEED like any medical prescription. You can get almost everything from Sheffield, but if you have something that you're used to/ using every single day, do bring it with you!

As a foodie I would also say pack one or two of your favourite snack cause you are going to miss it, do make sure you can take them to the UK though.

3. Preparing for your study 
Personally, I think you don't have to rush into buying every single books before arriving university. In my first year I bought many books, which I barely used because they are all available online by university. I would recommend make sure you NEED the textbooks before buying every single one of them.

If there is anything that you are in doubt, feel free to ask sending some emails!

Good luck! Before coming to Sheffield, I never expect it would be the best three years of my life. I am proud to say I have learnt a lot from all the ups and downs. You might not notice it but even before arriving Sheffield, you will already be learning life lesson like how to pack! One best thing I learn from my university life is to always stay positive and open minded. Enjoy university as much as possible but don't stress yourself to have it perfect everyday. It is normal to have those homesick/ breaking down moment, what make a difference is you will learn to get through it with support from friends and university. You guys are SO LUCKY to be coming to Sheffield so soon. I hope you will be able to find out who you want to be during your time in university and I am sure every single one of you are going to be so bright! I loved my time at Sheffield and I hope you will too!

By Tiffany Hiu Lam Kwong
Hong Kong Ambassador

Friday, 15 July 2016

Cooking for yourself

Self-catering and cooking for yourself: yay or nay?

When I came to university with the top skills of knowing how to cook noodles, eggs, toast and a PBJ sandwich, self-catering seemed synonymous to impending starvation or food poisoning! But here I am 2 years later, accepting requests to cook my (infamous :O) chicken curry for friends. How did this happen? Simple – self-catering accommodation.

After a month or so, I had gotten utterly sick of ready-to-eat meals especially pizza, pasta and sandwiches, I bit the bullet and decided to cook my meals from scratch. It would take me about 2 hours to cook simple things that took my mother like 30 minutes (how?!) but it was definitely worth it. I started off with simple stuff like vegetable stir-fries, marinade and grilled chicken/fish and baked potatoes which required minimal skills. The more I cooked meals, the time taken to prepare gradually decreased eventually making it quite feasible to do this on a daily basis.

The internet has many hidden treasures filled with simple yet delicious recipes for students! However, being slightly more traditional, I bought myself a cook book around ’30-minute recipes’ which taught me many new cuisines and flavours. These are some pictures of the meals I’d make by the end of first year (chilli con carne and chicken curry):

So my thoughts about self-catering? GO FOR IT! Not only will you discover the hidden chef inside you but soon you might just enter the magical lands of baking..ah baking.. but that’s a whole other blog altogether J (but still, here’s a picture of something I had baked in first year)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

The Diamond!

 The Diamond is the University of Sheffield biggest ever investment of £81m. It is a newly opened engineering building which includes 19 various laboratories, lecture theatres, library, cafĂ©, silent study spaces, work and computer rooms. Although building is mainly aimed for engineering use, it is open to all the university students.

Newly opened laboratories which include aerospace simulation lab and a virtual reality suite are purposed to enhance practical learning opportunities for all the engineering disciplines. In my second year of study almost all the laboratory works were held in the Diamond and I could see a significant increase in quality of equipment and overall lab experience from the previous year.

Project space which is mainly used by engineering students for design projects now has laser cutters and 3D printers that allow manufacturing of all sorts of different shapes to very low tolerances. That gives an opportunity to think creatively and makes design modules and projects much more fun and interesting.

Diamond features several computer rooms and study spaces with latest generation computers able to run complex engineering simulations. Bookable workrooms allow to meet other students and work together at any time as the Diamond in a similar way to Information Commons is open 24/7.

Most of the lectures for undergraduate engineering students are now held in the Diamond or nearby St George Church lecture theatre which is definitely helpful as students no longer have to walk long distances from one lecture theatre to another!

Eldar International Office Ambassador - Azerbaijan