João Areal Neto on why he chose Sheffield
João is an international student who recently completed a BA in Politics and Philosophy. We asked him a few questions about Sheffield and his time here.
Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?
"I had the opportunity to visit the city on an Open Day and really liked the overall vibe around the city and on campus. I also knew that the University ranked very highly for both my courses, the staff were very nice to me on e-mails and during the Open Day."
What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?
"I liked how I was made to feel I wasn’t just a number - everyone was incredibly helpful throughout the application procedures and I felt they genuinely wanted me to come study at Sheffield."
What do you particularly enjoy about Philosophy?
"The on-going process of challenging my beliefs and discovering new ways of looking at the world. By studying philosophy you quickly realise how you ought to think twice (or more!) before coming to any conclusions or opinions."
You get amazing views when walking around Sheffield because it's hilly. It's also really easy to get to the massive Peak District, which is definitely a plus of living here.
Joao Areal Neto, BA Politics and philosophy
How did the Department of Philosophy help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?
"I could not make the official Philosophy Open Day, but attended the Politics one as I’m a dual-student. The Philosophy department arranged a personal campus tour for me that day and had a lecturer talk to me individually. This was significant in swaying my decision as it showed how the department cared about its students."
What are your top tips for any EU/international students thinking about studying Philosophy in Sheffield?
"Try to visit the University if you can - I know it may be hard if you’re coming from afar, but it really is worth it. There’s nothing like forming your own personal opinions of the place you might spend the next 3 years of your life. Otherwise, try and contact lecturers and members of staff - I’m sure they’ll be able to help with any doubts you may have. I’d also suggest you thoroughly check the modules available and ways to get involved."
Tell us about being a student in the department.
"I think the actual cosiness of the departmental building translates into the general student experience. It’s not a huge department so you feel like you’re part of a community where you’re able to develop a good working relationship with lecturers and tutors."
What is your highlight of studying and/or living in Sheffield so far?
"Being able to get involved in different societies and events. I especially liked my time with Philosophy in the City. I was able to run philosophy sessions in various schools in Sheffield, which was a great learning experience."
What do you know now about Sheffield that you didn’t know before you came here?
"I didn’t know how hilly the city was and the amazing views you get by just randomly walking around. I also did not how easy it was to get to the massive Peak District, which is definitely a plus of living in Sheffield."
What are your plans for after your study?
"I’m doing a masters in European Politics next year. I want to follow that up with a PhD and then become a university professor later on."
What do you like about Sheffield?
"I like how cheap, friendly and laid back the place is. It’s a nice middle ground between a big and a small city, so it’s both interesting and quiet, diverse and safe."