Yu-Bin Chang

PhD in Politics

yubin170After completing a BA in political science at National Chung Cheng University and my military service in Kaohsiung, I moved to the UK for postgraduate studies. I obtained a master’s degree in legal and political theory with Merit from University College London before moving to my present position. Currently I am in the second year of my PhD research at Sheffield University’s Politics Department.

Sheffield’s Politics Department is one of the most excellent departments of politics in the UK. According to the latest Research Excellence Framework published in 2014, it is ranked as the top-three politics department in the country. Another reason that brought me to Sheffield was that there are suitable supervisors for my research topic.

Being one of the leading politics departments around the UK, there are many prominent academics in my department. I am proud to be a part of this first-rate institution and am also very happy to work with some of the most outstanding scholars in my field.

PhD research tends to be very specific and difficult; supervisors thus become very important. My topic, for instance, focuses on political realism, which is one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary political thought. Both of my supervisors work in this area and have published papers that to some degree lead the development of that debate. Therefore I consider it my greatest privilege to study under them and, more importantly, they are both very supportive of me.

Group discussion and independent thinking are highly valued at Sheffield University. Instructors always encourage and invite students to share their own ideas and opinions with others. Your individual thoughts and hard work are also appreciated. Academic staff is happy to discuss questions with students as well as giving constructive feedbacks for further improvement.

The University of Sheffield, in my opinion, provides an environment in which students can find the kind of attitude and relevant skills that they will need for leading their own lives. The international atmosphere on campus creates a sense of openness that provides with students plenty of opportunity to broaden their cultural experience and horizon. The university is also committed to foster students’ critical thinking skills which along with open-mindedness results from cultural experience equip students with the essential skills for dealing with new challenges.

The lively academic culture at Sheffield allows me to participate in the developments of some of the most interesting topics in political studies. There are always thought provoking ideas in lectures and seminars. Outside my research, I also involve in activities organized by various bodies in the university. The Student’s Union and the International Office, for instance, run all kinds of fun events, and students are always very welcomed to join in.

I wish I will become a person with an open and reflective mind, being capable of appreciating different kinds of outlook without being blind. After finishing my PhD, I wish to work as an academic, doing teaching and research on politics.

Studying abroad is always exciting but at the same time it could be highly challenging, in particular for those who come from another culture. While anxiety is to be expected as you are about to experience something brand new, there is no need to be panic. Step forward and be confident, your hard work will be rewarded!