Students' and Parents' Experiences

Coming from Hong Kong

I can still remember vividly the application, preparation and everything relating to my being a visiting student here in Sheffield. It began in late January 2005, when I handed in my application form and relevant documents to my home faculty. Life just went on normally, until one day in late March, I received an email from the University of Sheffield, notifying me that my application had been accepted! I felt so excited as I had always wanted an opportunity to study and live abroad. My dream had come true. After filling in forms, choosing modules and contacting the staff in my own university as well as in Sheffield, the day of leaving soon approached.

The days before leaving Hong Kong were all dedicated to my friends. I was so busy meeting up with friends and asking friends who had been exchange students in other universities before about their experiences. I still remember one friend saying that the opportunity of being an exchange student is one of the best aspects of university life, while another one said she would be happy for me to leave for Sheffield, as that would mean that everything had been settled and I would be ready to start a new page of my life.

So the journey began. After a 13 hour flight from Hong Kong to London, 3 hours of waiting in the airport, and 4.5 hours of coach journey, here I am in Sheffield, ready to start my adventure. I knew that everything would be great, though I missed home at first. Everything was new and, unlike previous trips to the UK, I had to take care of a lot myself. Luckily, things turned out to be fine. One of my lecturers was kind enough to put me up for two weeks before I found my own accommodation, and I got to know something of the local life here. Intro Week gave me more idea of what to expect and I realized that the support from the University was great. I felt welcomed and safe.

Time flies. I have been here 3 months already, and I have experienced a lot. The academic life here is similar to my home university, and I do not find it hard to adapt. The social life is great as I have met many UK and international students as well as students from my home city. I have learnt to be more independent and strong. Travelling in Europe has also been a fabulous part of my life here. I have travelled to different UK cities and Germany, and I am planning to go on more trips with my friends including a longer one to Western Europe during the Christmas break. We plan, travel and have fun together. This is something that cannot be experienced easily at home.

One year is not long, and I should grasp this opportunity to enjoy and experience as much as I can. I believe that in the months to come, I will experience even more as everything is just marvellous here

Rita Li
Visiting Student