Sheffield University Campus life: For Deeptha Sreedhar, who pursued MA Broadcast Journalism from the University of Sheffield, the most challenging part of studying in UK was food, given the fact that she was a vegetarian. However, she was soon introduced to the multicultural environment of UK which satisfied her demand for not just vegetarian food but for cuisines from across the globe.
In this interview, Deeptha talks about how her university helped her become independent and ready to explore new people and cultures.
Read the excerpts below:
Q. How and why did you choose the University of Sheffield?
A. I applied to 5-6 universities, where my field of study offered a varied range of subjects, research opportunities and had good tie-ups with the industry. Sheffield was the top choice among all of them owing to the fact that it’s a Russell group university. Also, the Department of Journalism was ranked number 1 in the UK during the year I studied. (2014-2015)
Q. Was there any specific reason why you chose to study in UK?
A. Yes, because UK offered one year Masters.
Q: Tell us about your choice of career.
A. I currently work with Reuters News, one of the largest news agencies of the world. I pursued Broadcast Journalism and hoped to become a news producer. I’ve joined the online team here, with the same hope.
Q: How did you go about the process of applying at the university?
A. I submitted a statement of purpose along with two letters of recommendation. I applied through UCAS. I also took the help of an educational agency, Edwise.
Q. Tell us about the campus life at your university.
A. I pursued my bachelor’s from my home city, so I did not experience staying at university accommodation of living by self. So, Sheffield taught me many new things and helped me become independent. Also, the Sheffield pattern of studying was more practical and sometimes analytical -- essay oriented rather than wrote memory.
Q. How is the competition level? How would you describe your experience of studying in a foreign university?
A. It is highly competitive. At the same time, it is not very difficult to survive. Once we get an idea of what’s expected of us, a planned and sincere effort always helps. The professors are very friendly and give hands-on feedback. 24 x 7 libraries make life so easy.
Q. Do you look beyond the Indian community while making friends?
A. Yes I did. Some of the really good friends I made at Sheffield were from Thailand, China, Nigeria and UK. It was a mixed bunch. Diversity adds so many colours to our life whilst abroad. I learnt many new cultures and learnt to co-exist among such differences.
Q. Are you a member of any club? How does it help to orient yourself with the university?
A. Unfortunately, I did not associate myself with a particular club. But I actively attended events of the Indian society, Media club and campus tour society. It helped me discover new places and enjoy experiences in groups. It helped me overcome my loneliness that I felt during the initial days.
Q. What is one of the most interesting things about your university campus?
A. The Student’s Union, 24 x 7 libraries and lab facility. My university had a one stop solution for all needs from a simple thing like train and coach ticketing to serious things like sickness help in terms of hospital. My university was one of the handful institutions in the UK that had its own teaching hospital! There was always something or the other to do, and almost always, at free of cost or at a very minimum cost.
Q. How is life in a foreign country? What do you do to adjust in a new environment?
A. It is a little daunting at the beginning. New people, new language and new culture. But people up north in the UK are quite friendly and the university organised many ice-breaker sessions to help me overcome the ‘new’ phobia.
Q: What about food? How do you manage?
A. Food was the most challenging part as I was a vegetarian. So I had very few options when I ate out. Luckily, there were loads of Indian restaurants that helped me during busy times. Also, I learnt to cook my favourites, with time.
Q. Did you hold any part-time job? How does it help in your education?
A. Yes, I did quite a few part-time jobs. The best one was being an International Office Ambassador for fellow students applying from my home country. I spoke to them and gave first hand info about the campus and life at UK. This helped me in improving my communication power and gave the feeling of having helped someone make the right, informed decision.
Q. How do you balance fun and studies?
A. The university gives holidays and weekends off for a reason. If we plan our work well during the weekdays, the holidays automatically would be free and enjoyable. I booked tickets to new cities and discovered them with my friends. I participated in many students’ union activities and made many friends and enjoyed thus.
Q. How did your institute guide you in terms of exploring career opportunities?
A. Sheffield has an active careers search site that one can access for up to three years after graduation. They also have a careers service that helps you with CV editing, making tailor-made resumes and applications.
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