Our international students: Meet Peggy Lim
Peggy Lim Pei Qi is from Kulaijaya in Johor, Malaysia, and came to study law at the University of Sheffield in 2012. Our current International Students’ Officer for the academic year 2015-16, she’ll attend the launch of the University’s Kuala Lumpur office on Saturday 9 April, representing current students and helping celebrate the contribution of our international students and scholars.
Peggy is known across the University for her energy, positivity and dedication to supporting our thriving community of international students.
Here, she shares her inspiring story of embarking on a new life in Sheffield, meeting the challenges of homesickness head-on, and becoming a true example to all our international students, wherever they’re from.
Making the move
“I chose the University of Sheffield as it has a very good reputation and high ranking worldwide, particularly for its law course. The University also sees internationalisation as a top priority in which international students are valued and welcomed.
And since Sheffield Students' Union is the number one Students' Union in the UK, the idea of getting my bachelor's degree whilst living an exciting and dynamic student life was really appealing.
English is not my first language so when I first arrived in Sheffield, I really struggled with communication, with locals due to the regional accents as well as with home students. I also found it really hard to get used to the weather in the UK which is cold and wet compared to Malaysia. Culture shock was another big challenge as it was my first time being exposed to Western cultures.
I struggled for the first few weeks when I arrived in Sheffield but I received a lot of support from both the University and the Students' Union.
During the first three weeks, the University's student ambassadors helped me with directions when I lost my way around campus. The International Student Adviser from the Student Advice Centre made me aware of the academic support available for international students, for example the English Language Support and mentor support. I also managed to join the Malaysian and Singaporean Society at the Activities Fair organised by the Students' Union during Intro Week where I met fellow Malaysians. I was provided with some tips on how to settle in Sheffield.
After being in Sheffield for two months, I was more familiar with the city. By this time, I was involved in a working committee at Endcliffe Student Village (the Community Development Committee, or CDC). I met a lot of home students who have become my best friends since then. Their friendliness made me feel so welcome and much less homesick. Meeting other Malaysians also made me start feeling that Sheffield was then my second home.
Peggy’s motto: If you can dream it, you can do it!
Peggy’s interests: Travelling and photography
What Peggy’s working on: Amongst her objectives during her time as International Students’ Officer, Peggy wants to promote the integration of international students into the local community via activities and sports, and encourage language and cultural exchange as to create a global community.
Big dreams and lifelong skills
Every day at the University of Sheffield was full of highlights.
I would say throughout my entire university life, I have three absolute highlights. First is when I was awarded third place International Student of the Year in 2014 at the Warwick Integration Summit NUS/UKCISA Internationalisation Award Ceremony.
Being able to study in Sheffield has completely broadened my horizons. I learn new things every day.
Second is when I won the position of International Students' Officer at the University of Sheffield Students' Union in March 2015 which allowed me to work full-time at the SU for another year after I graduated.
Last but not least is when I successfully graduated from the School of Law and acquired my bachelor's degree from the hand of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Being able to study in Sheffield has completely broadened my horizons. I learn new things every day. My active involvement in societies and sports clubs has helped me gain a lot of transferrable skills and build lifelong friendships with people across the globe. With these skills and experiences, I have been offered summer jobs throughout my university and being successfully elected to the role of International Students' Officer. The University of Sheffield has afforded me both personal and academic development opportunities.
Some advice for those in the same position as I was five years ago? I would certainly say, be brave and don't hesitate to step out of your own comfort zone. After you make the first big step, you will find it easier to learn new things, gain valuable experiences and make new friends. Don't worry about not being able to communicate fluently in English if English is not your first language because Sheffield is full of lovely and friendly people who are globally aware citizens; just look at #weareinternational!. You should always ask somebody when you don't understand something and seek help or support when you think you need it.”
Peggy's photo album