I receive unwavering support from my supervisors and I cannot possibly sing their praises loud enough

Andrea Antoniou
Andrea Antoniou
PhD Student
An Ethnography of Life in the Larissa Refugee Camp in Northern Greece
Andrea is a PhD student researching 'An Ethnography of Life in the Larissa Refugee Camp in Northern Greece'.
Andrea Antoniou

Why did you stay at Sheffield?

Sheffield is a place that keeps summoning me back to it... Even after I leave to go on other adventures, I somehow find my way back to Sheffield. Now I call it home. I love Sheffield! It has such a distinct feeling of welcome and warmth, particularly palpable in everyday interactions with the rooted local community. And yet it is also a bustling and vibrant international hub!

What’s the focus of your research?

My research is about intercultural communication, 'home' and 'belonging' in the context of a refugee camp in Greece. I am doing a 4-month in depth research visit as a Greek language teacher volunteer with an NGO and concurrently conducting my research. I am particularly focusing on the intercultural interactions in which the entire refugee camp community (refugees, NGO volunteers, local population) engages in and how this may create a sense of 'home' and 'belonging', within the transient space of the refugee camp. To this end, I will be exploring questions of identity, language, group-making and space.

What’s it like being a postgraduate in the School of Languages & Cultures?

Being a postgraduate student in the School of Languages and Cultures is wonderful! I particularly love the fact that it is a very friendly environment and always fun to bounce ideas around with other students. I also love walking into the SLC building as it is always a hub of international languages and this transports me to other places.

How did you find the first few months in particular?

The first few months of being a doctoral student carried mixed feelings for me. At first I felt like the task of doing a PhD was extremely daunting and I always felt like I had never read enough. Nevertheless, it helped that I already had a great relationship with my supervisors and I knew that I was beginning this enormous project with the right support so I was also very excited to see what the future would hold.

What’s your highlight of studying in Sheffield?

I think the best part of studying in Sheffield is the sheer amount of opportunities there are to be a part of communities other than your academic studies community. For example, the Students' Union has over 300 societies that you can join to try something new while you are a student, or the fact that Sheffield University is committed to having strong engagement with the local community means that there are many ways to be locally active.

What support do you receive?

I receive unwavering support from my supervisors and I cannot possibly sing their praises loud enough! I have complete faith in their judgement to help me along my journey and I know that they always have my best interests at heart. Open communication, care and intellectual curiosity are cornerstones of our relationship and this is vital for me to feel confident that I will complete my PhD. I also receive immense support from the staff team in the SLC office, who are always swift to respond to my emails and help me tackle any administrative hurdles I face.

Can you describe the School in 3 words?

International, vibrant, welcoming.

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