Vanessa Tsz Wing Kam
BSc Biomedical Science
Winner of an International Baccalaureate Undergraduate Merit Scholarship
I chose Sheffield because of its strong Biomedical Science course. Within my first two semesters here, I’ve learnt the foundations of a broad range of disciplines within biomedicine, covering developmental biology, pharmacology, neuroscience and more. This feeds into a degree of flexibility further along the degree, with the choice to specialise in third year and—what’s particularly enticing for me—the opportunity for a year in industry.
The BMS department is renowned for research, as demonstrated in the REF 2014, and I applied here thinking that this would translate into my course content. And indeed, it has. This semester, I used my 10 unrestricted credits to take a new optional module offered by the department, ‘Research Topics in Biomedicine’. This involved researchers within BMS delivering mini-seminars on their research area, giving me a wider appreciation of the real-world applications of zebrafish and fruit flies in studying ear function, for example. I promptly realised I was wrong to have moaned about learning animal models in developmental biology in the first semester.
Finally, the University’s extracurricular activities were a big pull factor. I was enticed by the range of societies, sports, Residence Life activities, and the endless chances to Give It a Go throughout the semester.
How did you find out about the scholarships on offer?
It was exceptionally easy to find a list of scholarships on the University website. Yet the University went an extra mile and sent applicants an email about the scholarships they are eligible for. In my case, I was notified that I could apply for the scholarships, along with links, deadlines, and announcement days. And so I thought, why not?
How did your scholarship impact your Sheffield experience?
I think I speak for most international students when saying that studying in the UK costs considerably more than staying in your home country. Getting a scholarship has enabled me to study here with less financial burden, but regardless, I believe the whole Sheffield experience is worth its weight.
What is more striking is the statement about the University’s multitude of international scholarships sends. Few universities in Britain offer as much financial support to international students as Sheffield, and this funnels into the larger multicultural, inclusive ethos of the University —#weareinternational, — a message which resonated at the Scholarship Celebration Evening and pervades throughout campus.
Finally, the importance of my scholarship towards my academic motivation and integration into Sheffield has prompted me to join the Science and Engineering Champion team, part of the University’s outreach branch. Although the role has yet to commence, I look forward to inspiring younger generations with the wonders of science and promote wider participation.
What would you say to others unsure of whether to study at Sheffield?
Not once have I regretted coming to Sheffield. I can guarantee that here, you will find all the support and opportunities you need, as well as plenty more you didn’t realise you needed.