Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?
I really liked the look of the course and the modules on offer when I applied, particularly the flexibility that it offered. This factored into my decision quite heavily. In addition, having attended the open day, I knew that Sheffield had a nice atmosphere which made it easier for me to choose to apply here. Sheffield is a world class university with a top reputation, so really it was an easy choice.
Has your experience so far been what you expected?
No, it's been better. I've been able to experience a lot of extra-curricular opportunities through this university and I've enjoyed my course very much. You need to be able to manage a keen interest in your subject with other activities to keep you motivated, and I feel I've been able to do this this year.
What are you particularly enjoying about your degree?
On the German side, I've enjoyed having my lectures in German, and also gaining a broad spectrum of knowledge on German culture, literature philosophy, history and politics. I feel more worldly having completed that module, and I think it's really enhanced my knowledge of the country. For History, I have loved getting to grips with complex concepts and looking at how trends change over time. The increased synoptic nature of the work we do at uni has definitely appealed to me.
And what about being a dual honours student?
I enjoy being brought into contact with different types of people and always having different learning styles to freshen up my day. For example, if I get bored of reading articles, I can always do a German grammar exercise which is a completely different way to learn and vice versa. I also really like how the subjects dovetail into one another, and how I can use the specific knowledge that I receive in a German lecture to strengthen points that I make in a seminar, or the History essays that I write. As I'm doing a language degree, I'm also really looking forward to taking a year abroad and experiencing a different culture first hand, not just through my lectures.
At first I was apprehensive to do a dual degree, feeling that I wouldn't truly be a part of either department, or that I wouldn't have a 'full' degree. However, if you get equal enjoyment from both subjects, it's ridiculous not to follow your joy and do both subjects. Doing a dual degree gives you a different perspective on both subjects and contributes knowledge to either side. It gives you different ways of thinking about things, and brings you into contact with more types of people than you would meet doing single honours. For me, a dual degree is the best option as it genuinely broadens your horizons.
What modules have you studied this year?
For German I've just studied the compulsory ones: Grundsprachkurs/Aufbausprachkurs and German Studies - Basiskurs/German Studies - Aufbaukurs, of which I've really enjoyed the second one, as it gave me access to a whole range of knowledge about German culture as well as regularly delivering lectures in German.
For History I studied Paths from Antiquity to Modernity, History Workshop, The Making of the Twentieth Century and The Transformation of Britain, 1800 to the present. I particularly enjoyed the more global focus of The Making of the Twentieth Century, and the way in which we looked at more contemporary issues and examined concepts such as transitional justice that I'd never heard about. I also enjoyed the breadth of Paths from Antiquity to Modernity, as it gave me a much better chronology of European history, as well as plenty of general knowledge for pub quizzes!
What else have you enjoyed outside of your studies?
This year I've been an active member of Forge TV, part of the university's media team. It's certainly given me a chance to do things that I would never have imagined, for example: sitting in the press box at Hillsborough Stadium! However it's also given me more confidence, something which I've taken into my seminars so I can present my own ideas, and through live-tweeting the SU elections, it has developed my ability to assimilate and condense a large amount of information quickly.
How you are finding life in Sheffield?
I like the university's ethos. It's very welcoming and inclusive, and it really does feel like you're a part of a community. It's great when you see alumni and know that you've all got that shared bond of having been at this wonderful institution together.
As for living in Sheffield, I just really like the city. Sheffield's a friendly place, and it's big enough for there to be a lot going on all the time, but not so big that you feel like you don't know it.
Would you recommend studying at Sheffield to a friend?
I would. It's a friendly and supportive learning environment that's academically challenging whilst still giving you the time to pursue extra curricular interests.