A celebration of our international community

A Part of Sheffield exhibition and event

We recently held a special event to celebrate our international community and hear from our non-UK EU staff and students about what it means to be a part of Sheffield.

On Monday 10 June 2019, our President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts and Students’ Union International Students’ Officer Rex Béchu, jointly hosted the special lunchtime event to celebrate the vital contributions of our international staff and students and to bring together our whole university community to share their stories. The event also celebrated the relaunch of A Part of Sheffield – an exhibition of photography telling the stories of our non-UK EU staff and students who have made a life and home in Sheffield.

The event was a further opportunity for staff and students to view the portraits, photographed by Jeremy Abrahams, of 12 colleagues representing a range of occupations and departments across the University, and a range of EU countries, as well as three new student portraits.

View the latest portraits

Moving speeches were given by Professor Koen Lamberts and Rex Béchu, who shared their own experiences of coming to Sheffield. Professor Koen Lamberts spoke of the sense of uncertainty and change felt by many following the vote to leave the EU: “A lot may have changed in the political landscape over the past three years but fundamentally nothing has changed here in Sheffield. Sheffield continues to be a welcoming home for staff and students from all over the world. Whatever happens with Brexit, our University’s international outlook will not change.”

Professor Koen Lamberts

Rex Bechu

Staff and students from across our University were invited to come together to network over afternoon tea and share their experiences of living, working and studying in Sheffield. Attendees were also encouraged to share how they are part of Sheffield, as well as their favourite memories of Europe, via post-it notes which were displayed on world maps.

A Part of Sheffield

"I came, I saw, I stayed 27 years ago! Sheffield is my home just as much as Spain is."

"I love Sheffield and this university – it’s culture, vibrancy and the international atmosphere. Proud to be part of it."

"Coming to Sheffield has been an amazing experience. The environment is so warm and friendly. Every day has been an interesting experience. The multicultural environment makes you feel at home. I don’t feel so lonely and far away from home. I have a home here."

Favourite memories of Europe

"Taking part in a French exchange when I was 18 and can still remember being part of the family and experiencing the culture and the language."

"I recently enjoyed a food tour in Berlin and it was a great way to learn about the city’s history whilst enjoying the local food."

"Growing up as a kid we visited Holland every summer. My grandmother is Dutch. She is one of 15 children. We have so much family there. Now with my own children we visited Holland for the first time to show them some of their heritage."

Colleague placing a note on world map Post-it notes on world map

The event brought together staff and students from across our University to share their stories and experiences. We caught up with colleagues to hear their reasons for attending as well as their favourite thing about Sheffield.

Dr Adriana Anton, from the Medical School, said: “I decided to come along today as I am keen to meet other international people and hear their experiences about why they came to the UK. I think events like this are important for international staff and students to help them realise they are welcome and that the University is proud of them. I love Sheffield because it’s a very green city, there are many very nice parks, especially for little ones! Sheffield is a good university and I enjoy working with British and international people here, colleagues in my MRI domain (Academic Radiology) as well as clinicians and students from various departments and institutes that I'm collaborating with, in the context of NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre and beyond.”

Hon Lau, from the University Library said: “I think it’s important that we celebrate our international community with events like this as it helps attract talented people from all over the world, from Europe and other places, to enhance the work of our University. I think Sheffield is a well-balanced city with a lot going on. There is a wealth of talented people working locally as well as for the University. I enjoy the benefit of the countryside.”

Support for non-UK EU staff

We are offering a range of support services and advice to our non-UK EU staff who have questions or concerns about Brexit.

If you are looking for advice about immigration, your status or your family’s status, the University offers a range of services to support you. These include:

  • A legal helpline hosted by immigration specialists Eversheds. Please email eu@sheffield.ac.uk to book an appointment.

  • One-to-one sessions with a University HR adviser to discuss personal circumstances, which can also be booked by sending an email to eu@sheffield.ac.uk

  • Information sessions led by immigration experts. Information about previous and upcoming sessions is available on the international staff web pages.

  • You can also send an email to eu@sheffield.ac.uk for any other Brexit-related queries you may have.

Read our Brexit FAQs