Sheffield is well-ranked and excels at research

Evelyn Sofia Correa Diaz
Evelyn Sofia Correa Diaz
Bioengineering BEng
NCUK student
Evelyn Sofia Correa Diaz studied at the NCUK Centre in Colombia and is now in Sheffield in her first year of studying BEng Bioengineering with a year in industry.

Why did you decide to study at Sheffield over another University?
There were several reasons, first, the University of Sheffield is a Russell Group university, which means that they excel at research over the United Kingdom. Second, this university is very well ranked in biological and chemistry engineering, which is highly related to the course that I am currently doing. Third, I liked the focus and the modules that the course contains, there was a good focus in the medical area of Bioengineering and that is what mainly interest me. Finally, the University of Sheffield is known by having one of the best
student unions in the country, which have allowed me to be involved in a variety of societies and activities that I enjoy.

What do you like best about studying in Sheffield?
My hometown is a city that you need any transport mean to go to any place, that is why I love that in Sheffield all places are in a walkable time and path. Additionally, the city is very safe since most people are students, and has a lot of activity at night-time, so I do not feel lonely or unsafe when I am walking alone in the night. In terms of people, I have found people to be very friendly, specially if it is the university campus.

What was your initial impression of the University when you first arrived?
The university campus is absolutely dazzling and big. It was specially surprising for me seeing that there is a lot of buildings and that each of them was for different courses. It seemed that the campus is a whole new city, in which everything is close to everything. Also, university staff was incredibly helpful and comprehensive, they are very happy to answer all your doubts.

What would you say to a student considering studying at The University of Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield is one of the best in the United Kingdom in terms of university rankings. Therefore, the studying process might be hard at the beginning, but it is totally worth it because you will be able to learn plenty of things in a few time. Also, they are very international students friendly. They will answer you all your questions and help you to any request. The university of Sheffield is an excellent opportunity to study and have a fun university life

How do you find being an international student in Sheffield (as a university/city)?
As every drastic change, it was difficult at the beginning since I struggled with homesickness and catching the pace of study. However, students from the university were very open and willing to meet new people, which help me a lot to start seeing the good side of being here. I have received a lot of support from the university. They understand is a big change, so they offer services like mental health assessments, international students events, mentors, etc… which I personally found very useful

How did studying at NCUK prepare you for studying in Sheffield?
NCUK gave me all the knowledge bases I need to know before starting the course. Specially, when studying engineering there are a lot of physics and math topics, I learned in NCUK that most of the university professors expect you to already know, so this was a big advantage for my understanding, and I cannot imagine coming here without knowing about those topics to understand my course.

What was an advantage/ your favourite part of studying with NCUK?
The biggest advantage of NCUK is the demanding level in a relatively short time. You learn plenty of specific topics you need for your course in less than a year. This saves you time and also a lot of frustration since some of the topics that you see at university, you already have practice them. Also, NCUK offer you the opportunity to do your foundation year in your own home, which means no extra money in university accommodation, and their classes are in English which makes you slowly get used to classes in a different language.

What are the highlights of your course so far?
As an international student who came from another completely different country, I have wanted to try new things. The university’s student union offers you to join societies. I have tried activities such as dancing which in the past I was not encouraged to try, and it came up that I totally enjoy it by try it and learn in the society’s practices.

Are there any particular modules you are enjoying?
In my first semester I had a module called “Introduction to Bioengineering” in which most of the classes an expert bioengineer working in research talk about their speciality or project. At the end everyone could ask anything about the project, and they were happy to answer it. I found this module very interesting and inspiring. It reminded me of how complex and fascinating Bioengineering is.

Have your expectations of studying here been met so far?
Absolutely, the university life is being better than I was expecting. Specially because I miss face to face lectures. I have found classes to be helpful, amusing, and well-delivered. Also, I have found very useful the plenty of services that the university offer for student support like subject tutorials, personalised help and workshops, so you improve your understanding.

What opportunities are available to do/ have you taken part in to get practical experience within your degree?
Recently, I got involved in this charitable activity for engineers called “Children’s Hospital OI Project” in which a group of engineering students will design and build toys for children that have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) in the Children’s hospital in Sheffield. The need for doing this is the fact that this disease affects children’s bones and make them brittle and weak, therefore, they require special toys that might not cause them any damage.

Do you find Sheffield expensive?
As far as I know, due to the fact that Sheffield is a city in which most people are students, prices are also adapted to a student budget. Sheffield is cheap when you compare it to other big cities such as London or Manchester

What is Sheffield like compared to your home city?
My home city is the capital, which means that places are very far from each other and means of transport are expensive. While, in here, I like that you can walk everywhere in Sheffield, and it does not take very long. However, if I need transport, Sheffield has a lot of them in an affordable price with student discounts

What is your favourite thing about the city?
I like that there is a lot of green spaces. This is an advantage for whenever you want to do something cheap but fun with friends, many people go for a walk in one of the many parks Sheffield has. Therefore, if you find hiking as fun as I do, next to Sheffield there is Peak District National Park, one of the biggest parks in all United Kingdom

What are you hoping to do after graduation?
I am looking forward work some years in the United Kingdom after graduation, and recently I have been thinking about doing a master’s degree in tissue engineering, which is the topic I am most interests in now. I would love to do research in that field and work next to doctor focusing in the medical area and topics.

How has your degree prepared you for your future career or further study plans?
The course that I am doing is giving me all the basic knowledge I need for working in industry and it is even helping me to choose a specific path in my career.

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