I absolutely adored my Year Abroad, it has been the best decision and most unforgettable experience I have had

Photo of Elle Sneath, history student
Elle Sneath
Final year undergraduate student
BA History and Hispanic Studies (now BA History and Modern Languages and Cultures)
In her final year of a history and language degree, Elle reflects on why she chose Sheffield, studying abroad and what she's going to do next.
Photo of Elle Sneath, history student

I have developed such a broad scope of skills at Sheffield from analytical and critical skills, communication, creativity, teamwork and time management - the list goes on!

Elle Sneath

BA History and Hispanic Studies


Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

Although I came to study at Sheffield through clearing, I could not have made a better choice and have felt so comfortable and welcomed from my first open day.

I chose to study here because of the balance between a campus feel from the hub around the Student Union area to the city and how inter-connected it is with the university.

As well as the city, the course offered a range of modules that would allow me to study topics that both already appealed to me due to background knowledge on them and news ones that I had not had the chance to learn about at A-Level. 

Has your experience so far been what you expected?

Although I was daunted at the thought of being in a big city and studying at degree level, early on I started to feel settled in Sheffield and the change from A-Level to degree was a challenge but very enjoyable.

The course has furthered my interest into topics I had not imagined and I have made better friends than I expected before coming to Sheffield who I will keep in touch with way in the future so despite feeling unsure, it has undoubtedly exceeded my expectations. 

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree?

I have enjoyed the broad scope and depth of the course most. My degree has definitely encouraged me to expand my historical interests by furthering my historical knowledge into periods and topics I had never studied or thought of before.

During second year, I decided to study ‘The Welfare State in Britain 1900-2015’ for example, that gave me the chance to enhance my knowledge on British history and study such a modern period. 

What modules are you studying this year? Are there any modules that you've particularly enjoyed so far?

During my final year, I have decided to do a long dissertation focused on my ‘Humanitarianism, Internationalism and the British Empire 1900-2000’ special subject and take two Hispanic Studies modules: ‘Advanced Spanish Language’ and ‘Gender and Sexuality in the Hispanic World’.

My dissertation and special subject are my favourite topics that I have studied to date, I have been able to delve into 20th century history - following on from my second year Welfare State module - through a global, humanitarian lens which is such a niche module.

What do you enjoy about doing a dual degree?

As a dual honours History and Hispanic Studies student, both my courses complement the other perfectly.

During second year for example, I took ‘European Fascism’ as a history module, which I already had background information on due to my knowledge on the dictatorship of Francisco Franco from the cultural modules of my languages degree. The ‘European Fascism’ module then enhanced my knowledge and understanding on my Hispanic Studies ‘Gender and Sexuality’ module as I already understood the context on lots of the content that the course was based on.

If you have done a year abroad, what do you think this has added to your degree?

I absolutely adored my Year Abroad, to date it has been the best decision and most unforgettable experience I have had.

I spent the first semester teaching and second semester at Seville University. Both have been so beneficial for my final year (for history too) and broadened my horizons in completely different but complementary ways.

How would you sum up your overall experience of studying at Sheffield?

I have had such a great experience at Sheffield, I have enhanced my historical knowledge, it has helped me to identify my key interests and furthered so many transferable skills that have enabled me to succeed at university and will so do beyond.

What skills have you learnt that you'll be able to take away from your degree?

The amount of transferable skills gained through studying history is such an important and invaluable aspect of the degree.

I have developed such a broad scope of skills at Sheffield from analytical and critical skills, communication, creativity, teamwork and time management - the list goes on! 

Do you have any plans for after graduation?

I plan to apply to postgraduate jobs and schemes, after going back to Spain next summer to continue to consolidate my language and ideally do some travelling.

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

I adore Sheffield University because of the city, the students and the student union.

As a city, Sheffield has both exciting hustle-bustle and a strong sense of familiarity. The students both come from around the globe and up and down the UK, everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming, so there is lots of opportunity to meet like-minded people, settle in and thrive.

What truly sets Sheffield apart is the Student Union and I somewhat underestimated this during my first year at Sheffield. Whether it is used to socialise or study, it is a hub for the societies and a safe venue, with everything students could need to grow and immerse themselves in an unique university community and culture.

Anything else you want to say?

Although core modules may not sound the most appealing, make the most of them as you gain so much and so many skills, they become so valuable!

Would you recommend studying at Sheffield to a friend?

Absolutely!

 

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