Emerging with a more international perspective

graduate Ifrah Ismail
Ifrah Ismail
Graduate
BA International Relations and Politics
2018
"Being given the chance to study abroad was one of the best experiences to be offered when first arriving and remains a top experience that I recommend other students to pursue".

Ifrah spoke to us about her time at University and all of the extra curricular activities she took part in that made studying at Sheffield so worthwhile.

Why did you choose to study politics?

I’ve always been a vocal person who loved to debate about world issues and hoped to pursue a more humanitarian career someday. As a result, I decided that Politics reflected my personality the most and decided to take on the degree.

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

The seminars were the most enjoyable because I got the chance to understand unique perspectives and views that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought of myself; joining in during passionate debates was definitely a fun part too!

What has been the main highlight from your time studying here?

Being given the chance to study abroad was one of the best experiences to be offered when first arriving and remains a top experience that I recommend other students to pursue. I studied abroad at Uppsala University, Sweden, for a year and the experience was life changing.

I got to network with different international students, take Swedish classes for a semester, travel to Stockholm 45 minutes away and most importantly take a syllabus that may not be covered at my home university.


Being given the chance to study abroad was one of the best experiences to be offered when first arriving and remains a top experience that I recommend other students to pursue.

Ifrah Ismail

BA International Relations and Politics graduate


I got to do a breadth of different modules like Gender Studies, the politics of Latin America and Africa and Eastern European Studies. Overall I emerged with a more broadened world view as well as a more international perspective.

How has the course prepared you for your future career?

It’s made me more confident and improved my communication skills, particularly speaking in-front of large crowds. That is a skill I’ll need if I wish to pursue my chosen career working for an NGO as I’ll have to do a lot of campaigning and public speaking.

What have you enjoyed most about studying in Sheffield?

The opportunities that were available to me. After arriving in Sheffield it didn’t take long for me to pursue different activities that blossomed into new projects.

In my first year I joined the UN Society, decided go abroad to Sweden on my second and was offered the role of Politics Ambassador on my third. I always had something to do which I will always appreciate about Sheffield. 

What was your experience like with the Politics society?

The Politics society is wonderful as it provides support for all students regardless if they do Politics or not. I got to meet new people and become comfortable with networking and attend the events organised such as talks by local MP’s, quiz nights and even a trip to Amsterdam. You’ll definitely emerge more confident with greater social skills.

How did the department support you during your studies?

Whenever I struggled with a module I would always drop by a seminar tutor or lecturer’s office during their office hours to have a talk about my work, even if they weren’t teaching my current course.


From day one the opportunities are plentiful and I would encourage every incoming student to explore them.

Ifrah Ismail

BA International Relations and Politics graduate


I would encourage people not to be shy to find an academic who you understand the most to assist you, I also looked for my Personal Tutor that students are assigned to from the first year who is always there to help.

What advice would you give to anyone about to go to University?

It’s important to make your university experience a great one as it is a stepping stone to your future career. Search for opportunities to gather experience and look interesting to employers from the get-go.

Whether it’s applying to join a society, take part in events or apply to go abroad, looking at a summer internship or doing work experience with a company, make sure that once your degree is over you have plenty to talk about on your CV.

From day one the opportunities are plentiful and I would encourage every incoming student to explore them.

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