International Experiences

Some of our students have written about their year abroad, and we document these below. However, you can also follow the progress of some of our students who are already overseas by reading the Management School's Exchange Students Blog.

Viktor Vienna 2“‘Culture shock’ is not a myth! But is not something to be frightened of either, just the opposite in fact. Studying abroad will open up your mind like nothing else will during your time at the University, so when that opportunity comes – don’t even hesitate! Of course, you will have to work hard, but support provided by the University, plentiful with information covering pre-, on and post-exchange will help you get there, and once you do, you get to reap endless rewards... the likes of travelling the world with newly acquired friends, doing something exciting every day, and transforming your academic subject into a passion. For me, my Erasmus experience at Vienna, University of Business and Economics, enhanced my outlook on life, and re-ignited that fire to conquer anything life may challenge me to do next.”

– Viktor Tolstovs, Vienna, University of Business and Economics

Lucy Sydney“Sydney is currently ranked 6th in the World's most liveable cities and it’s not hard to see why with iconic features such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Getting the opportunity to study at the University of Sydney has been amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge but also the added bonus of the beach and the city just a short bus ride away. BBQs, learning to surf and spending days on the beach playing Frisbee are essential to the Aussie lifestyle! The biggest bonus of my year abroad has definitely been my Christmas holiday from the end of November to the beginning of March. There is so much to explore here – from the rainforests up in Port Douglas, the white sandy beaches of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef to Ayres Rock, the beauty of Tasmania and the Lord of the Rings scenery of New Zealand.

“Being on the other side of the world has been a challenge at times but I’m currently six months in and I love it here. Skype and Facebook make it easy to stay in touch with friends and family. The university is absolutely beautiful with colleges and a mix of big grand buildings like at Oxbridge and new modern designs like at Sheffield. I’ve found the teaching a little different here but all the staff are more than willing to help you and I think it is made me more adaptable academically for the future.”

– Lucy Denis (University of Sydney, Australia, 2011/12)

James Turku“As a Business Management student I spent a year at the University of Turku in Finland on an Erasmus exchange. The experience has been incredible; trips to Russia, Sweden and Estonia have been real highlights. The Erasmus group organizes brilliant socials and events every week which hundreds of international students attend, making it so easy to meet people from around the world. In terms of studying, the facilities in my department are fantastic and the range and content of the courses taught in English is exceptional.

“The methods of study are also impressively wide-ranging; I have given a presentation in a conference room on a ship, heard talks from real-life managers in Finnish companies and played the role of the CEO in an international business simulation course. There are many possibilities to improve language skills and cultural sensitivity through university-run courses. The Erasmus experience is one I would recommend to anyone wanting to experience different cultures, meet new people every day and improve the range and relevance of their studies. I would especially urge people to study abroad for the whole year; I know so many students who only stayed for one semester and really wished they had chosen the longer period. My Erasmus experience has been fantastic and I am so pleased I chose to come to Finland.”

– Jamie Barrington (University of Turku, Finland, 2011/12)

Daniel Virginia"I feel the Study Abroad programme is an amazing opportunity to experience so many things which are unimaginable from Sheffield. Since arriving in Virginia I have created a network of friends from not only the USA but from all over the world; India, China and Brazil to name a few.

“Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, listen to different ideas and it gives you a different perspective on why people do what they do. Understanding different cultures has definitely helped to change the way I view the world. I feel one of the most important things I have learnt from participating in a foreign learning environment, is to question why we learn different subjects how the different subjects are taught and learnt. My experiences have given me a much more analytical and inquisitive approach to study.

“Although America is viewed to be very similar to the UK, I have noticed a huge difference in their approach to personal relationships and to life; just one more thing which helps open your eyes to what is going on around us. Finally, perhaps the more exciting things about studying abroad are the opportunities to see some amazing places. I spent a long weekends in Washington and have trips planned across the USA, including California."

– Daniel Campbell (Virginia Polytechnic and State University, 2010/11)

Hannah Copenhagen"I studied at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) for one semester, and my only regret is that I didn’t go for the whole year. It was the best experience I’ve had throughout my time at university and would recommend it to anyone and everyone – I was living with 60 other international students, who all went out with the same mindset; to have fun! I went to CBS not knowing exactly what to expect but my experience exceeded all of my expectations and although it sounds a cliché, I met some amazing friends from all over the world which now means I have somewhere to stay wherever in the world I may be.

“I could write a lot about my great experience at CBS but the best advice I could give is, if you are at all interested then go for it because every international student I met at CBS said it was the best six months of their life."

– Hannah Wardle (Copenhagen Business School 2009/10)

Kate Vienna"Without a doubt, my Erasmus experience in Vienna is one which I will never forget. When applying for my host University I remember being asked by housemates whether I felt like I would be missing out on the second-year experience of moving house with friends, and I remember thinking how they would be missing out on so much more through not taking this opportunity! In many European countries there is huge competition to get into the Erasmus program and, sadly, many British students aren’t even aware of the Erasmus program. I decided to spend the full year in Vienna, and absolutely have no regrets!

"I have made new friends from many different cultures and backgrounds, who I know I will stay in touch with. On moving to Vienna I knew practically no German, but all my courses were in English and thanks to the free language courses offered throughout the semesters and through having a Tandem language partner, all organised by my host University, I would say that I really have learnt a lot of the language. On top of this I have been able to study at a top European business school, achieve good grades whilst maintaining a great social life, and visit many different countries and cities with friends, to name a few: Prague, Berlin, Budapest and Salzburg. To top things off, because I chose to stay the full year I didn’t have to pay tuition fees for the year, and received two Erasmus grants, meaning that I managed to have a fantastic year whilst also being financially better off!"

– Kate Wright (Wirtschaftsuniversität, Vienna, Austria, 2009/10)

Zoe Virginia“Applying to go over to Virginia Tech for a year was one of the best decisions of my life. During my time there I was able to gain a variety of experiences. I had freedom to choose classes, which I found both challenging and interesting. I was recognized as the Pamplin Business School’s student of the month. On the social side, I made friends with both international and full time students – this allowed me to participate in all-American activities such as watching football games, going tailgating and attending the annual university Ring Dance. My favourite part of the year abroad was the amount of travelling I was able to fit in. I took a road trip all the way up the east coast, visited some old friends in North Carolina, regularly went to the Washington DC area, and flew down to Florida for spring break! Overall, my year abroad allowed me to become more confident and make a group of friends I know I will have for the rest of my life.

“When I graduate this summer I hope to return to America to visit friends I made during my second year. In September, I will be starting one of the graduate schemes I have applied for. I am hoping this job will allow me to travel and potentially return to America as I enjoyed my time over there so much."

– Zoë Nolan (Virginia Polytechnic and State University 2008/09)