I like the balance of city and country life, with how close the peaks are its very easy to get outside into nature

History undergraduate student Elizabeth Gerken
Elizabeth Gerken
Second year undergraduate student
BA History
Elizabeth chose Sheffield because the course felt interesting and diverse, expanding beyond modern history.
History undergraduate student Elizabeth Gerken

Being a mentee last year made me want to help a student this year to help reassure them about any worries whether academic or more general worries.

Elizabeth Gerken

BA History

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

I choose to study at Sheffield for two reasons. Firstly because the course content looked so interesting and diverse, with a range of modules on offer instead of just mainly modern modules. Secondly, the open day made me want to study at Sheffield because of how helpful everyone was at the university, and also because the feel of the city.

Has your experience so far been what you expected?

My experience so far has been a bit different because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but all the professors and staff have been really helpful and the course is very interesting so it has still been good. This year I have been able to do more with my friends as I am more settled and confident.

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree programme?

I particularly enjoy the range of options that we are given in the degree programme, how even in our core options we are still given a range of choices. For example, last year in Paths from Antiquity to Modernity we were allowed to choose which podcast we wanted to write an essay on, giving us the choice to write about what we are interested in. Then this year, the optional modules are even more diverse allowing us to learn about periods that we might not have had the option to do otherwise.

What modules are you studying this year? Are there any modules that you have particularly enjoyed during your degree so far and why?

This year I am studying Historians and History, The Medieval Inquisition, Warriors, Saints and Heroes in Early Medieval Britain, The Uses of History, Culture in Early Modern Europe and Imperial Germany. I enjoyed The Disenchantment of Early Modern Europe, Empire from the Ancient World to the Middle Ages, and Paths from Antiquity to Modernity last year. As I enjoyed the social aspect of the Disenchantment module learning about how education, religion, literature and beliefs in science change. I liked learning about the different empires when we looked at the older societies and how they were organised and I enjoyed the Paths module as it allowed me to get an overview of earlier history that I didn't at school. This year I am enjoying The Medieval Inquisition and the Warriors, Saints and Heroes in Early Medieval Britain as we learn about what is just myths and what is the truth which can reveal a lot about the society.

If you’ve undertaken any extra-curricular activities, what do you feel these have added to your time here?

This year I am a mentor to a student from first year and I feel this has helped to improve my knowledge and social skills in being able to help another student. Being a mentee last year made me want to help a student this year to help reassure them about any worries whether academic or more general worries.

What do you like about the University/living in Sheffield?

I like the balance of city and country life, with how close the peaks are its very easy to get outside into nature to get away from work and just take a break and get some exercise. I also like how close everything is with the university and shops and how easy it is to basically walk everywhere, whilst there are also bars and restaurants for a range of dietary requirements to spend time at with friends.

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