Beatriz Perez Garcia on what it's like studying Philosophy at Sheffield
Beatriz is an EU student who has recently completed a BA in Philosophy.
Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?
Although I did look into other universities, I picked Sheffield because as an EU student it was very important to me to be in a friendly environment. I came to one of the Open Days and that was exactly what I found. Then I really liked the city and saw myself living here.
What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?
Something that I really liked was that there are no core modules. The Philosophy department is very flexible; it allows you to explore different interests and hence study what you like. In addition, and because of the educational system here, the course relies on you doing independent study, managing your time properly, and so on. I really appreciated that approach to the degree.
What do you particularly enjoy about Philosophy?
I love two things about Philosophy. First, that it raises more questions than it provides answers to. Although that is sometimes a bit frustrating (you can’t cover everything) it always leads to interesting ideas. Second, besides all the knowledge you gain about philosophers’ ideas and their arguments, Philosophy is a set of tools that you can use outside the discipline in everyday life.
How did the Department of Philosophy help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?
They were very nice and patient; I emailed the admin staff constantly about doubts and documents I had to send and their replies were always helpful and quick.
Being involved in both the annual Philosophy Undergraduate Conference and the Reading Weekend are without a doubt some of the highlights of my experience in Sheffield.
Beatriz Perez Garcia, BA philosophy
What are your top tips for any EU/international students thinking about studying Philosophy in Sheffield?
I think starting fairly early to organise what you need to do and having patience are key. I found the process of sending all the documents and having everything ready a bit overwhelming because I was worried about forgetting to send vital information. I would say just be patient and do reach out to the admin staff if you have any problems; as I said, they are extremely helpful!
What's it like being a student in the department?
Although you attend lectures and seminars, even as an undergraduate student there is some independent study, which I like. This increases each year; with long essays in third year, for example, independent study and research are required even more than in short essays and exams. That is not to say, however, that you are on your own; the department lecturers are always happy to see students in their office hours! As an undergraduate, there are also different events in which you can get involved, such as the annual Philosophy Undergraduate Conference or the Reading Weekend. I have been involved in both and they are without a doubt some of the highlights of my experience in Sheffield.
What is your highlight of studying and/or living in Sheffield so far?
There are many highlights, but one of them is all the people you meet from different places and backgrounds, and with different interests. Naturally, you meet people in your course, but it doesn’t stop there; joining societies or programmes, attending events and even going to the library are ways and places where you meet interesting people.
What do you know now about Sheffield that you didn’t know before you came here?
As surprising as this is, I didn’t know that Sheffield was as hilly as it is! Then someone said to me that it is built on seven hills, like Rome.
What are your plans after your study?
I have just finished my undergraduate degree. In September I’m doing an MA in Philosophy. I want to focus on feminist philosophy and philosophy of race. Whatever I do after the Masters depends on next year.
What do you like about Sheffield?
I like the people. They are nice, very friendly and always talk to you.