Hiu Lam (Tiffany) Kwong
I went to Cheung Chuk Shan College, which is a co-educational EMI school and sat the HKDSE exams before studying at the University of Sheffield. I was a science student in high school so people are always surprised when they find out that I am studying Politics now.
I chose the University of Sheffield to study politics because I was really interested in the modules provided by the Department of Politics. The University of Sheffield provides a lot of module choices, which cover very diverse topics. Last but not least, it is one of the best politics departments in the country, having high rankings, good teaching and learning quality and high levels of student satisfaction.
The most enjoyable thing about studying politics at the University of Sheffield is that you know you are always being supported. The library and online learning environments provide very sufficient information for students to access whenever they want to do independent learning. Staff members are also very supportive. If you are confused or unsure, you know you can always ask and there will be someone there to help you. This supportive environment enables me to learn more and enjoy learning as you are leaning with back-up from the university.
The most valuable aspect of my course is the wide range of topics covered. Basically you will learn some of everything - much more than you will ever expect in a really short time! This takes some time to get used to it, as you have to motivate yourself to read as much as you can to keep up, wide reading provides you with more perspectives to think about. There are so many readings available online for easy access and you can always get additional readings and information from your teachers.
I love the teaching and study methods at the University of Sheffield. Our department really encourages self-learning. It provides opportunities for students to develop critical-thinking skills, which is very different from Hong Kong. I had always been told the answer to everything and just simply had to remember the correct answer. Now I can express my own views. To be honest, sometimes this can be challenging, but if you are unsure the tutors will help by providing references to guide you and enable you to develop your own views. It is very valuable that you are no longer being told of everything but always have many platforms for example lectures, seminars, feedback from your work or discussions with tutors to develop critical thinking, very often you can think beyond what you thought you are only capable of.
I see the endless possibilities as the benefit of receiving education from University of Sheffield. When you are still a student, you can get involved in many things even like discussing the teaching and learning with staff to make it a better study environment. When you have graduated, you will be benefited by the reputation of the university no matter you are trying to get a job or seek further study. You will definitely be proud of being a student from the University of Sheffield.
The best thing about life at the University of Sheffield is there are always many opportunities. No matter what you like, you can always get involved! There are sports, music and all kind of activities even if you just want to have some chat. The inclusive nature of the university give everyone a chance to be part of the university no matter you are beginners or a pro. You can get involved in the beginning or anytime as you want!
I still haven’t decide on my career goal yet but after I graduate I hope I can always apply what I have learnt in the university in life for example to keep thinking outside the box and keep being enthusiastic.
I would advice prospective students to get involved to everything you like! Study abroad is a unique chance. It may sounds cliché but live your life fully and try something you can’t try easily back in Hong Kong. Also, always ask if you are confused as people would love to help you. Enjoy your life in Sheffield!
Read more about me and my fellow international students on the International@SheffieldUni blog. You can find out more about me and other East Asian students' experiences in 2015 in Sheffield on the East Asia blog.