Melissa WebbMelissa Webb
BA East Asian Studies

What made you want to learn about East Asia?
I’ve had an interest in East Asian history for as long as I can remember. It began with an interest in ancient China, but as I grew older this expanded to Japan and Korea. This interest was fuelled by a trip to Japan and a passion for Korean cinema.

What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?
I had researched the best universities for studying the East Asia region, and after learning about the great reputation of Sheffield, I attended an open day. The staff were so friendly and I was so impressed that I knew then I wanted to come to Sheffield.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

I love the diversity of the modules offered: politics, culture, languages, history, business- there are some brilliant options to choose from. The flexibility of East Asian Studies is part of what makes it such a good course.

What skills have you gained from your course so far?
Through my course I’ve improved my critical thinking, my writing ability, and researching skills. On a more personal level, my course has improved my confidence and time management.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your studies? (hobbies, interests, societies)
Since coming to Sheffield, I’ve joined the Japanese Society, Korean Society, and East Asian Society. These have been great for meeting people and socialising outside of the classroom. I’ve also developed a keen interest in photography since starting university, and the city has a lot of beautiful places to visit and photograph.

What is Sheffield like to live in? Do you like the city?
Sheffield is a great place to live- it’s a perfect mixture of metropolitan city and beautiful countryside. There are wonderful cafes and independent shops, as well as parks and museums. There’s also a plethora of nightlife spots, from clubs to more quiet bars.

What are your ambitions for the future?
Since coming to Sheffield and discovering a passion for international relations and history, I’m looking to go into a career in diplomacy. I would love to work for an international organisation or NGO in the future.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying East Asia at Sheffield?
I would advise prospective students to challenge themselves- to try out a module which they wouldn’t necessarily pick at first glance- it may lead to a new passion. Other than that, I’d say to immerse themselves in the university experience and enjoy their time at Sheffield!