BMedSci Speech Sciences
Before studying at the University of Sheffield, I had never been to England and had spent my whole life in Hong Kong. I studied in West Island School, where I achieved my IGCSEs and International Baccalaureate. Whilst in Hong Kong, I volunteered for a number of special needs organisations, and worked in various different positions, ranging from assisting in an elderly home to working in a recruitment firm.
I chose the University of Sheffield because I have always wanted to go to England to study, and coincidentally, three of my favorite teachers at my secondary school had also attended the University of Sheffield! They all urged me to come here, and seeing that my course was ranked highly on league tables, I decided that Sheffield would be a good choice. Upon further reading the course description, I realized that because it is a BMedSci course, there would be heavy emphasis on the aspect of biology, which is one of my favourite subjects. This only made me more interested in Sheffield before coming here to study.
One of the most enjoyable things on the BMedSci Speech Sciences course is that I have the ability to go on placements and volunteer within the Department. This gives me the hands-on practical skills that I will need in the future, and also to see the information I learn in lectures being put into use. The placements can range from work with the elderly to working with children, allowing me to grasp all aspects of my future career.
The placement opportunities I have are definitely the most valuable and interesting part of my course. So far, I’ve had experience with elderly people who have suffered from strokes; children in nursery school; and also had the opportunity to shadow a speech therapist. Being able to apply everything I’ve learnt in lectures into real scenarios allows me to put things into perspective, and understand the importance of my lectures and tutorials.
My course is mainly lecture-based, with a few tutorials and workshops, which are really useful. Tutorials give us time to speak with our lecturers on a one-to-one basis to develop our phonetic skills, and workshops give us the opportunity to apply the previous lectures onto a real-life case study, and to hear feedback from our lecturers. The lectures themselves are also very good, since most of our lecturers are (or were formerly) speech therapists, so they will give us many case studies and examples from their own past experience.
I believe that the University of Sheffield has a very friendly environment, with a good balance of both academic study and social life. It is one of the best universities in the United Kingdom, ranking highly, and being one of the Russell Group universities. Not only is it academically-focused, it also prides itself on the social activities offered, since our Students’ Union has been voted the best in the UK for three years running now. There is a wide variety of top-quality course, sports and social societies offered, allowing every student to have the opportunity to develop their full potential.
I think my favourite thing about studying in Sheffield are the opportunities to meet so many different people, all in different years studying different courses. Living in Endcliffe last year gave me the chance to meet some of my best friends, and because everyone was new to the University, we all bonded over the mistakes and achievements we made in our first-year. Joining in with societies like AIESEC and the swim team this year gave me the chance to meet people from all over the world. Some are freshers and some are masters students ,so hearing about their experiences of Sheffield life gave me so much valuable information and insight that I could never gain from a website or book.
After I finish my course I would like to stay in England to practice as a speech therapist, perhaps in a larger city such as Manchester or London. I would also like to travel to different countries with my work in the future. However, I would like to end up back in Hong Kong since it is my home and know the city extremely well. I would like to volunteer for non-profit organisations and in some community centers for the underprivileged.
The advice I would give to prospective students coming to Sheffield is that it is important to come to university with an open mind, and to try everything at least once. It is easy to come to university and stay in your own friendship group or the first people you meet, but it’s important to try and meet as many people as you can, since the opportunities are endless! Try new things and meet new people; you’ll never know what you might find!
Read more about me and my fellow international students on the International@SheffieldUni blog.