Graduate Profiles

Tom Rowley

BA English and Russian

Tom RowleyWhat attracted you to the Russian and Slavonic Studies department?

The department is very friendly, and has a range of modules which offer the opportunity to develop your interests in Russia and Eastern Europe. In addition, it provides excellent language teaching in Russian, Polish and Czech, and it is possible to take up a second language fairly late on in your undergraduate career. My choice of Russian alongside English Literature was actually something of a last minute decision, but far from a regretful one.

Where did you go on your year abroad?

The year abroad is undoubtedly the highlight of my degree, and I spent it in the Republic of Karelia, near Finland. The opportunity to develop your language skills, as well as to really get to know Russians and their culture, is fantastic and should not be overlooked. Although it is two years since I used to live there, it still draws me back.

What have you done since you graduated?

During my time at Sheffield, I also became interested in contemporary Ukrainian culture, which now forms a significant part of my postgraduate course at Oxford. I have since travelled extensively throughout Ukraine, having visited at least half of the country since, including the Crimean peninsula. I am currently writing a thesis on the role of ideology in Ukrainian labour camp memoirs.

What skills did you learn on your degree?

Sheffield gave me great language skills, and an ability to think critically, but most of all a passion for learning which is now impossible to shake.