My lecturers are extremely passionate

Student Sophie posing in the Diamond
Sophie Zinn
MA International Relations
Winner of a Postgraduate Merit Scholarship
“If you’re interested in coming to Sheffield, please know that this is a community of students that will leave you with new perspectives, friends, and a greater understanding of the world.”

How did you feel when you heard that you were successful in being awarded the scholarship?

It was such an exciting moment. I felt validated in my investment in the University, and truly believed that the University wanted to invest in me. Just knowing that the University of Sheffield wanted me to attend as much as I wanted to be a student here gave me a sense of responsibility and dedication to the institution. I knew that with this scholarship supporting my postgraduate education, I should give back and show my appreciation and not just in my research and educational interests. I acknowledged that this investment would allow me to dive into the culture and society of the University.

What made you choose to study at Sheffield and your course?

I chose Sheffield’s MA in International Relations programme because of the University’s internationally driven community, I knew that the location and the University’s initiatives would expose me to other international students, British culture, and a multicultural population. This course would educate me on theoretical perspectives and current debates in global politics and allow me to investigate my own interests regarding the role of Brexit in current international policies. I am also very interested in the Political Science department’s Global Leadership Initiative, which would enable me to attend major international summits and meet critical international policy makers. 

Sheffield was again ranked the happiest city in the UK in 2017, and it seems as if this is largely because of active community building initiatives to unify the city. All of these opportunities are examples of the ways in which Sheffield’s programme embodies multicultural understanding, and I knew that this type of environment would allow me to both contribute to the community and learn from an international campus that is dedicated to social change and furthering my understanding of the world.

How did you research the University to find out about studying in Sheffield? 

I knew that I wanted to attend a university in the UK for multiple reasons: I wanted to study international relations in an international environment, both the US and UK were facing new political realities after 2016 and the UK has had (and continues to have) a significant impact on the world, much like the US. By looking through the Research Excellence Framework (REF), I saw that the University of Sheffield was in the top three rankings for research in international relations. I then looked at the specific research projects of the Department of Politics and International Relations faculty and emailed a professor who had similar research interests. I also read about the city of Sheffield and university life.

What was your initial impression of Sheffield and the University when you first arrived?

I felt as though Sheffield and the University were both extremely welcoming. Within my first week, I made two British friends who invited me over for dinner and showed me their favourite pubs. My lecturers are extremely passionate, which I saw from the first day in class. I love how multicultural the city is. People genuinely seem proud of this community and interested in why I chose to be a part of it. Whilst settling in to a new country can be difficult, everyone I’ve interacted with is so supportive and friendly that I know I can make this city and this University my home.

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