I made friends with people from all over the world

Joseph on a summer school
Joseph Cardoza
Summer school at Aarhus University in Denmark
MEng Architectural Engineering with a year in Industry
Joseph attended a summer school in Aarhus between his first and second year of university.
Joseph on a summer school

Why did you decide to take part in a summer school?

I knew that a summer school would be a fantastic and productive way to spend some of my summer holiday, continuing to learn about a subject that I’m fascinated by whilst still enjoying the fun and cultural extracurricular events that the universities have to offer. It also provides me with more specified content that isn’t on my syllabus (which I’m very interested in) and allows me to make friends with people who otherwise I could never have met, potentially giving me lifelong connections and extra help and guidance if I ever need it during my course. Not to mention it looks great on my CV.

What were your top 3 highlights whilst studying abroad?

For my course, I was working with companies to advise them on how to become more sustainable. One of these companies was a local theme park and in return for our help we were given free tickets, so one night a large group of students from the course went there and it was one of the best nights of my life. It was extremely, as the Danish say, ‘hygge’. On my course there were 47 students and I was the only one from Britain. At first, this was quite alarming but I soon realised how amazing it was. I now have friends from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Turkey, Canada and so many other wonderful countries and that amazes me. Learning in a completely different place gave me a far better perspective of global career possibilities, but also gave me an insight into the global competition I will face in the future when I start looking for jobs. Being aware of this competition early on will help me to be prepared for it in the future. Also, having a greater perspective will now allow me to make realistic career goals and help me to know the steps I must take to reach them.

What is the one thing you wish you'd known before you left?

Try to get a grasp of the currency conversions before you go so that you have a good understanding of how much money you’re actually spending. With a currency like the Euro, it’s not too difficult to do in your head, but something like Canadian dollars, Indian rupees or Danish kroner can be more challenging. Some things are so much easier to organise once you’re there. E.g. transport options and knowing how far places are from each other. My course was worth 10 ECTs which is equivalent to a 20-credit module in Sheffield. However, because the summer course wasn’t directly part of my course in Sheffield, I wasn’t able to count those credits towards my undergraduate degree. On the bright side, it does appear on your HEAR.

Read Joseph's blog post: Your first choice isn't always the best choice