Students' and Parents' Experiences

Last April, when my daughter told me that she would be going to the University of Sheffield for a one-year exchange programme, I was not surprised because, to my family, the UK is just like another home. For the past ten years, we have been in the UK five times during the summer holidays, visiting spectacular scenery: the seashores of Scarborough and Blackpool, the lakes at the Lake District, the lochs and castles in Scotland. These have all stayed in our minds, giving us good memories.

Studying and living in a different culture is an invaluable experience. It is also a real challenge to adapt to the new culture, including the religion, the language, how people live, how people socialize and food and drink. It represents the strong willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which may be different from one´s own.

During the one year stay in Sheffield, my daughter will grasp the opportunity to experience university life in the UK, to learn about foreign culture and try to understand more about the political and economic situation in UK

There was a warm and touching event when my daughter arrived in the UK. She, together with her fellow classmate in Hong Kong, who has also joined the exchange programme, had successfully applied for a double room at a nearby hostel in Sheffield. When they arrived, the new hostel was still under renovation. They were then welcomed by a lecturer, who hosted them in her own home until they could move into the hostel. She drove them to buy the daily necessities as well as the furniture for their room and later helped them move into the new place of residence. It was most helpful of her to offer temporary accommodation and to act as a mentor for them. Her kind reception for the two new students really deserved our deep appreciation and commendation. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to her.

It has been almost three months since my daughter settled down in Sheffield. Besides adapting to the culture, she is going to have to adapt to the weather of the coming winter. To her, snow is a funny experience as well as a new challenge. It may be enjoyable to build a snowman, but waiting for the bus to go to the main campus during heavy snowing conditions may not be so funny. I hope she can adapt to the cold snowy winter conditions.

I wish her every success in her university life at Sheffield.

Vincent Li

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