English MA student Paz Rice Rivera on why she chose Sheffield
Paz is from Chile and is studying on the MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL to further her teaching career.
Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?
I chose to study in Sheffield because of the duality of the MA, which includes modules related to Applied Linguistics as well as English teaching. Since I am an English teacher in Chile, both areas are relevant for my professional growth. Other reasons why I decided to study here include the experience of the professors, the variety and possibility to choose modules which interest you, and the partnership that the university has with Becas Conicyt which finances my studies.
How did the School of English help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?
Applying to the university is quick and easy since it is done online through a postgraduate application website. Registry Services and The Admissions Team were very helpful during this process.
Since my arrival to Sheffield I have felt welcomed and supported by the School of English, whether I have had administrative or academic concerns. Every student is assigned a personal tutor, who you can talk to about any personal issues or difficulties too.
What are your top tips for any international students thinking about studying English in Sheffield?
I would encourage international students to communicate with the professors from the School of English if you want to know more about the different modules. Also, contacting the different services provided by the university can guide you through the application process, specially when you are an international student and you have to do everything from your home country. I would also make sure that you bring all the required documents in order to avoid problems during registration, and that you plan ahead, whether it is regarding accommodation or personal budget for example.
Tell us about being a postgraduate in the department.
Being a postgraduate student has been challenging, yet intellectually stimulating. You participate in weekly lectures and workshops, and you are expected to study independently in order to meet a certain level of understanding, which is key when you are writing your essays and assignments. The university provides good access to materials such as books and electronic journals, and you can even request books if they are not immediately available through the university website. Personally, I have also liked the fact that you can book study rooms if you want to study with classmates.
What is your highlight of studying in Sheffield so far?
Studying in Sheffield has allowed me to appreciate cultural diversity since you constantly interact with students from all over the world. Classes become a multicultural environment where there is rich and varied exchange of ideas, everyone bringing their own experiences and perspectives into the discussions. I have also enjoyed the lively and diverse vibe of the city and the different extracurricular activities offered by the university, which help you to keep a balanced lifestyle between studies and leisure.
What are your plans after your MA?
After the MA I would like to return to Chile and continue working as an English teacher in my hometown, Puerto Montt. However, thanks to the programme which has increased my confidence and interest towards research, I have not dismissed the possibility of studying a PhD in the future. I believe Chile can benefit enormously from having more people doing research.