Brodie - University of Sheffield

B Business Management/ B Arts
Semester 1, 2015

Academic Experiences

I studied politics courses, 'Never Mind the Ballots: British Politics', 'US Foreign Policy' and 'Modern Political Thought'. I had a great deal of trouble attempting to get into politics subjects as an exchange student at Sheffield, there selection is limited and their spaces minimal. The study abroad team the UoS were very helpful however and made sure that I could study subjects that would be counted towards my degree.

Personal Experiences

Sheffield is the gateway to England, it is the perfect place for exchange. It is cheap compared to other places in England, pretty and authentic English.
It is a twenty minute bus ride from the sublime peak district and not at all touristy. It has an incredible student nightlife and is only a 40 minute train ride from Manchester airport. Smack bang in the centre of the UK, you can get to London in two hours and Newcastle in two hours.

I lived at Endcliffe Village and stayed in a block with nothing but exchange students, we called ourselves the 'Foreign Legion' and became incredibly close. I took full advantage of my closeness to continental Europe and with the three week easter break (yes, three weeks!) I travelled to Denmark, Scotland, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary.

I also found time to spend St Patricks day in Dublin, visit Turkey, Italy and France before flying home.  Different languages, cultures and new experiences like having 20 euro for two days while my debit cards seized meant my problem solving abilities, independence and bargaining capabilities increased haha.

Accommodation 

I lived on-campus, at Endcliffe Village. It was incredible; highly recommend it if you want an incredibly social experience, perhaps not so much if you want to live with the native English. My housemates were 3 Aussies, 1 New Zealander and 3 Americans.

Budget

England is expensive, especially with the weak Australian dollar at the moment. Sheffield is much more reasonable than the astronomical prices in places like London. Food is expensive, but you can ride the buses in Sheffield for 1 pound (about $2 AUD) with your student card. 

I recommend Megabus for bus trips around the UK (I got a trip to London for 7 pound) and I recommend you search Ryanair for trips within Europe (My flights from Manchester to Dublin return over St Patricks day weekend were 20 pound!!).

I would recommend to budget at least $10,000 AUD, more if you plan to travel in Europe.

Academic Development and Employability 

Multiculturalism is the name of the game on exchange, getting to know people of different backgrounds and cultures both at university and while travelling gives you a better perception of the world as well as creating contacts for you all over the world! Culture shock is also a real thing, even in a country as similar to Australia as England. Your ability to overcome being so far from home, do well at university and find your way around a new city and new university independently is a great confidence boost.

I also got hired for a job the day after I got home on the spot handing in my CV. I explained I had just returned from six months travelling and studying in Europe and they told me I was hired, they were looking for someone with life experience who could handle themselves.

Highlight 

Absolutely impossible to pick, the whole experience was incredible.

Top Tips

It is the best decision you will ever make. Great for your degree, great for your future and the best time you will ever have.

Love what you do and do what you love! Enjoy your exchange!