Posted in Intern advice, Written by Jenny

Coming to Uni: The essential packing

 

Coming to University is a daunting time for all involved, you’re overrun with advice on what to pack but it’s rarely uni specific. Having been at the Uni for 4 years now I feel pretty well placed to advise on this matter so here is a definitive practical guide on coming to Sheffield from an old-timer!

Top tips:

  • Don’t fall for buying single bedding, chances are your second or third year house will have a double bed. If you invest in double bedding and just get a single bottom sheet you save both money and hassle! (Plus you’ll be thankful in the cold winter).
  • Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are the main stores in Sheffield so it’s worth getting their reward cards! I know co-op and Sainsbury’s do a student-parent card that can be topped up which can be a lifesaver!
  • Get the 16-25 railcard, the £30 upfront cost for the year is easily made up and ⅓ off travel makes going home and exploring the local area much easier!
  • If you can’t drive then get a provisional licence, you really don’t want to take your passport out as ID.
  • Ease back on bringing stationary. I was too keen before the course started and got myself lots of colorful ring binders, project books etc. Most were barely used. Bring a A4 notepad, stapler, pens and pencils then sort the rest later!
  • Don’t forget about hangers, tea towels and bin bags these boring things are easily forgotten!
  • When you’re budgeting don’t forget to include the ‘easily forgotten items’- detergent, bin bags, money for topping up your laundry cards, bus/taxi money for nights out.
  • On the topic of laundry, a boring subject I know! If you are in halls you’ll have to use the shared washing machines which annoyingly don’t have draws for detergent. So make sure you get liquitabs or a gel for a proper wash.
  • Don’t leave packing until a few days before the big move, get organised and save your family the stress!
  • On move in day everyone will be raiding the shops to get essentials. So I would advise bringing as much cupboard storage stuff/ consumables as you can. Including toilet paper, toiletries, bathroom/toilet cleaner, bin bags, alcohol and cupboard food.
  • Check what is actually in your room– is there a bathroom bin? Is there a toilet brush?

Packing:

  • I would advise bringing two sets of bedding so you always have one washed- go for something that will cheer you up and brighten your room if possible. Primark and Wilkinson’s are overlooked gems!
  • Bring distinctive but non-expensive cutlery and crockery. Trust me after the first year alone you will have broken some or lost some, and a distinctive color can save on arguments on washing up plus it’s harder to use. I managed to set fire to a colander and burn a hole in a saucepan so I wouldn’t advice flashing the cash on fancy stuff.
  • Bring some storage boxes– depending on what you own this might vary but I would suggest at least bringing one. They’re ideal for student halls as you can just put them under the bed when you lift it open (that will make sense once you move in).
  • Bring shoes for uni that can withstand some serious hills and rain. You will be walking a lot in Sheffield so invest wisely.
  • Bring a winter coat. Sheffield can get very cold in winter so make sure you wrap up warm in a big cosy coat.
  • Don’t forget to bring some summery clothes as Sheffield in September can be surprisingly warm.
  • Bring a clothes horse, easy to use and set up but will save you a small fortune.
  • Bring an extension lead as the plugs are not always in the most sensible places.
  • Bring a laundry bag that you can actually carry clothes in. Depending on where you are living it can be a bit of a trek to get to the launderette.
  • A bag big enough for all the things you need to go back home for the weekend and a sleeping bag for when mates come to stay/ you visit a friends.

Hopefully you’re excited for the big move, you’re going to have a great time!

Useful shops:

  • Primark
  • Wilko
  • Argos
  • Supermarkets – especially for cutlery/crockery and housewares
  • Ikea
  • Charity shops
Posted in Uncategorized

Making the most out of your final year at Sheffield University!

You might not be thinking about being back at uni yet, but the summer’s flying by and it’s somehow already mid August. Whilst you might be slightly dreading returning for the amount of work required in final year, this blog should hopefully reassure you that final year is not all doom and gloom!

Whilst its important to make sure you do work hard in final year, there’s also lots of fun things in store this year!

1. Join a Society

It’s never too late to join a society! I know loads of people who joined one in final year and have loved it. It’s a great way to relax and find time to do other things than studying. You’ll meet new friends and have chance to do loads of social stuff too. If you still need convincing check out our Blog ‘A-Z of Societies at Sheffield’ for some inspiration!

2. Attend your end of year ball

Everyone loves a good ball and there’s something extra special about your last year one, probably because you appreciate the break from studying much more!

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3. Lots of “last evers”

Alongside some of the not-so-fun ‘last evers’ such as last ever exam and last ever all-nighter-last-minute-deadline-panic, you’ll have a full year of fun last-evers such as the last time you’ll go on your favourite night out with your uni friends, the last time you visit Peddler Market or your favourite restaurant, and your last ever Corp if you can stomach it!! If you try to balance out your hard work with lots of treats throughout the year you’ll find final year is really not as bad as its reputation!

4. Make the most out of the services available at 301!

I personally had never used the services at 301 until final year, but I’m so glad I did! I alsmost felt like it was too late in final year but when I went to my first Academic Skills workshop I realised there was still much to learn! With such amazing services available on your (SU) doorstep, make sure you take full advantage whilst you can! Book on to a Workshop, or book a 1:1 session with a tutor.

5. ENJOY IT!

You can feel like there’s a lot of pressure in final year, but the most important thing is that you give yourself time to rest and relax and enjoy your time as a student, whether it be doing lots of sports with your favourite club, or breaking up study sessions with friends going out for lunch or coffee dates and drinks.

 

 

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Maddie

How to prepare as an international student coming to Sheffield

Studying abroad can be one of the most challenging, yet formative periods of your life. It is not an easy process, but it is one that takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in situations that allows you to develop both personally and professionally

If you were fortunate enough to have chosen Sheffield as the university where you will be studying, than you will be happy to find out that they are doing excellent work in supporting international students adapt to the university life.

The first and most important thing to know is that the Students’ Union is led by sabbatical officers, out of which the International Student Officer is there to support all international students and advocate for their rights. They are elected out of the student body and work full time so they are available for you to knock on their door and tell them you problems. You can find the whole officer’s team, including the International Student Officer in the Student Union Building, on the 4th floor.

You can also get involved in several initiatives across the university that support a better integration of international students. One of them is the International Student Committee which advocates for cultural understanding and diversity, organising events such as International Cultural Evening or World Food Festival. You can volunteer with them and even run for a position on the committee, while getting to know loads of amazing people and advocate for cultural understanding both at university and in the wider Sheffield community.

Finally, you can get involved in your national society and share a bit of your culture with everyone else on campus.

This is only a glimpse of what opportunities the university can offer, so you can make the most of your experience, but I would also like to mention a few tips and tricks on what day to day things you could do to adjust better to this new chapter in your life.

  1. Homesickness

 

Probably one of the most common issues international students are dealing with is homesickness, which may seem inoffensive, but if let to develop can interfere with your studies and your overall experience. Fortunately there are several ways to deal with such a situation, one of which, making sure you speak to someone about it. The Nightline at university is a great place to start, as you can talk with an individual and express your feelings while being completely anonymous.

(more details here: https://www.sheffieldnightline.co.uk/)

Another way is to come together with members of your national society (or set one up!) and have traditional celebrations. And the best advice of all, make sure you stay in touch with your family. With all the deadlines and stress at university, is easy to forget to give your parents a call, but that can help you more than you think in a hard moment.

  1. Get to know the city

3 or 4 years seems like a long time to spend in a city for your degree. However, as a final year student I can attest that it passess a lot faster than you think, and by the end of your degree you find yourself not knowing the city you have lived on for so long at all. My advice here is to get out there and befriend people in your area, your neighbours, try out the attractions in Sheffield, the coffee shops and the Peak District especially, and truly become part of the community. This will give you a different outlook on the city and make you feel more at home.

  1. Know what you don’t know and how to fix it

This one applies especially if you have a different education system in your home country. Know what is expected of you as a student, what studying techniques are the most efficient ones and what are your strengths and weaknesses as well as how to apply them best. If you already thought about this but are unsure of where to start, then 301 is here for you. As an international student in Sheffield in my first year I found it difficult to understand what is expected of me in seminars, what is the best way to take notes in a lecture so I can take in all the information presented and hardest of them all, how to go through all the readings I had to do and make sure I extract the right information. The 301 academic workshops have helped me tremendously in getting a hand of all these and perform better, so if you are still unsure why not give it a try by following this link: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301

 

And here you have it, a few quick tips on how you can improve some of the most common issues international students are struggling with to make your life a bit easier and the university experience an unforgettable one!

 

 

Posted in Extracurricular, Written by Ellie

A Summer in Sheffield

If you’ve decided to stay in our lovely city over the summer break, you may be wondering what you can do to fill your days; here are some ideas of all the fun you could have:

There’s nothing like a day in the park. Having a BBQ and a couple of drinks with your friends is the ultimate dream of British summer time.

Weston Park

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Crookes Valley ParkImage result for crookes valley park

 

 

 

 

 

These parks are all within walking distance from the uni, and visiting them is a cheap way to enjoy a day in the sun.

On a rainy day, when the sun just won’t shine, Meadowhall is a perfect place to meander around for a while. With all of the shops you could dream of, and more, you won’t get bored for a while. AND if you do get bored, Meadowhall is right next to Centertainment. This contains a selection of restaurants, a bowling alley, a cinema, arcade, laser quest and more. You physically can’t get bored in Centertainment!

These two are accessible from the tram, so extremely easy to get to from Uni.

Another day out from Sheffield could be into the Peak District. With lots of walks, outdoor activities, country estates and quaint little towns, the list of things that you could do out there is endless. You can get to the peaks by bus or by train, so it is very convenient.

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The restaurants in the city center are perfect if you fancy a quick bite to eat at night. Within the Peace Gardens there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, including a ‘global banquet.’

There are plenty of ‘Sheffield’s own’ restaurants and Cafes that are definitely worth trying, including, The Steam Yard, for a world famous ‘Kronut’. There is also The Harley, who serve scrumptious burgers all day, and it is practically on campus! You could also try a Notty House pie, or some Marmadukes coffee…

One thing is for sure, you won’t be going hungry this summer!!

Another great thing about living in Sheffield is that there are two world renowned theatres, The Lyceum and The Crucible. Both present an array of shows all year round, so a trip to the theatre may be the perfect entertainment for a summer’s night.

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Finally, there’s Tramlines Festival. A huge music festival, right in the centre of Sheffield, that celebrates music and Sheffield as a city. There are venues throughout the city, from Devonshire Green, to Endcliffe Park. During the weekend you get a great sense of how versatile the city is. Tickets are still available online for only £45! This is such a great event for anyone staying in Sheffield for the summer.Image result for tramlines

 

Whatever you are doing this summer, I hope you have a fantastic time doing it!

Posted in Written by Kim

Organising A Dance Team

Hey everybody! I’m part of a dance team called Equinox. Recently, we entered an audition to compete in the K-pop World Festival UK Regional Round in London and got through (the audition video will at the bottom of the post)! While I did not create Equinox, I have had experiences in organising dance teams. So, I thought I’d share some tips on how to organise a dance team.
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First, you will need to choose the right team members. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your members, such as dance skills, attitude and availability. The most obvious thing to look for is dance skills. Some people may have previous dance experiences and thus better dance skills, while some may not have any sort of dance experience but you can see potential. As the past UoS K-pop Dance Society president, I have taken in those without dance experience but with a lot of potential. This is also depending on whether you are willing to put in the time and effort to teach them.
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A can-do attitude is also an important trait to have. If your team members are practicing dance as a hobby, they will need to be motivated and take the initiative to learn the choreography. Being able to take criticism and learn from it are also equally important for improvement and self-development. In addition, they will need to be able to work well in a team.
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The last thing to check is the availability of your team members. If a choreography have a lot of formations and member-dependent dance moves, you will have to ensure that they can attend most of the dance practices.
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After you have formed your dance team and chosen the choreography, the learning and practicing begins. For learning choreographed dance from videos, I would suggest learning the dance from mirrored videos and slowing down the speed to learn it properly. If your dance team members learn their choreography individually, a good tip is to have a circle dance time to ensure everybody is in sync with each other.
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Those are my tips for organising a dance team. Hope you find it useful and good luck if you’re going to organise one!
Note: This post was written before the K-pop World Festival UK Regional Round on 8 July.
Posted in Written by Stefana

Starting a new society

Hello there! This is Stefana with some tips on how to start a society! If you couldn’t find a society that suits your interests you can take your passion to the next level and start your own society!

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First, you will have to read the application criteria on the Students Union website and make sure that your society follows the guidelines. There are some types of activities that aren’t allowed such as sports or high risk activities. Also, you need to make sure that your interest isn’t already represented by another society.

The next step is completing an online application. The application form will be available starting September. One of the questions asks you how is your proposed society different from the existing ones.

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After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by the Societies Committee. If it is approved, you will be contacted by the Student Groups Administrator and you will have to complete 3 documents: A Society Constitution, Committee Details Part A and Committee Details Part B (one per each member of the committee).

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And that is everything! You can check the Students Union website for more detailed information on this.

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Amber

My Top Uni Experiences

I can’t believe that my degree is over, and how quickly the time went! Now that I’ve finished I’ve been looking back at my time at uni and although it was incredibly busy and sometimes stressful, I’m pleased to say I don’t think I would have done anything differently! I got involved in everything that I wanted to during my degree and my university experience was about far more than just my degree. Here are some of my favourite university experiences, you could take inspiration from these if you are looking for some ideas of what to get up to next year!

Societies

I knew before I came to university that I wanted to make the most of the huge range of societies that the university had to offer. I would advise new students not to rush into buying membership for everything, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to try something new! Societies are great as they allow you to meet people with a shared interest, but from a range of different cultures, backgrounds and fields than the people you might meet on your course. Not only this but classes/lessons through societies are often FAR cheaper than what you would be paying elsewhere! I knew I wanted to find something active and I ended up joining Bellydance Society. I fell in love with the dance and the culture that surrounds it, as well as making so many amazing friends and at the end of that year I applied to be on committee. I got the position I applied for and also continued in my position this year. As Publicity and Events Officer I have gained brilliant experience of marketing and event management including planning and running sell-out shows. Being on committee was one of the most stressful but rewarding experiences of my degree and if you find a society that you love I would really recommend applying for a committee position.

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Volunteering

At the beginning of my final year I realised that I had done lots of things for myself during my time at university, but hadn’t really done anything to give back to the community that have made me feel so welcome. So I went to the volunteering fair and looked into a range of opportunities, there is everything from helping at animal sanctuaries to working with people such as children with disabilities or elderly people in care homes. I chose to volunteer for ‘Clubbing Crew’ which runs nights out at the Student’s Union once a month (on a Friday) for adults with learning disabilities. The experience has required very little commitment – just one evening a month, finishing at 1am which meant it didn’t interfere with my study time but has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences. The feeling of knowing you have helped someone have a good time is amazing – when you see a shy and quiet individual turn into a total diva, dancing away with a giant grin on their face, is fantastic. I would 100% recommend a volunteering project as it will benefit you and the community.

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Outreach

Throughout my degree I have been involved in outreach opportunities within my department. For me, this has consisted of volunteering at our departmental museum during open evenings (which led to me gaining a part time job as a museum tour guide) and assisting during the Animal and Plant Sciences ‘Annual Christmas Lecture’ which involves 1000 local primary school children descending on the Octagon for a lecture by a member of staff, followed by activities designed and ran by undergrad students. Although I don’t particularly want to go into teaching, the experiences have massively increased my confidence working with children and I have found it really rewarding to help inspire the next generation of scientists.

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End of year ball

The end of year ball for your department is a great way to celebrate the year with your coursemates, and a good excuse to buy that dress or suit you’ve had your eye on! The food at my ball was pretty good and although I have heard mixed things from other departments at least there is usually free alcohol to wash it all down! I would especially recommend attending your ball to final year students. I saved some money so that I would be able to buy photographs so I have memories of my time at university.

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Varsity

Even if sports isn’t your thing, I would thoroughly recommend attending a varsity event. It’s a great way to get into the unviersity spirit, particularly if you have friends competing. In particular, the final event, the ice hockey has a great atmosphere and is really good fun! However make sure you plan to get there early and either leave early or wait for the rush to finish after the event as the trams are usually packed!

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Walks in the peaks

With the Peak District on our doorstep, Sheffield is a fantastic university if you enjoy walking. During my first and second year I went on walks in the Peaks with Natural History Society (now named Nature and Wildlife Society) who run walks once a month out into the Peaks. During my final year, having been so busy I have often been unable to go walking on the dates that the society had arranged, this led me to contact the Walking Club who usually run two walks every week. Both societies are full of very friendly people and walks usually just cost a few £s in bus or train fare. Walking with a society is great if you don’t want to worry about working out transport and planning a route. If you are feeling more adventurous, obviously you can always get on a bus and go by yourself or with friends!

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I hope your time at Sheffield is as great as mine was!

Posted in Intern advice, Uncategorized, Written by Britt

The importance of travelling and working abroad

I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say it, but travelling really is an amazing experience. This is particularly the case if it’s coupled with something meaningful, for example getting involved in a programme that gives back to the community or equips you with valuable work experience.

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Last summer, I travelled to China to teach conversational English skills to 7-10 year olds at a Chinese summer camp. I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life. After I had completed my placement, I travelled around China with some of the other summer teachers – we went to Beijing, Shanghai and of course climbed The Great Wall!

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Although such experiences are truly incredible, many volunteer/work programmes can be pretty expensive and I did have to save up for a while in order to be able to afford it. That said, the university do offer bursaries to help students fund their placements (depending on the rules of your department). For instance, I’m in the Arts & Humanities Department and I received a £500 bursary from the university which essentially paid for my return flights to China!

These things are often planned in advance so I am not suggesting that you try and get yourself onto a summer placement before uni starts! However, it is something to think about for next summer and, if you’re sure it’s something you want to do, you can certainly start saving early.

I suppose the purpose of this blog post is to encourage you to be brave. Save up, take a deep breath and go out there and see the world!

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Sophie

Getting a head start with your research over the summer

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I hope you are all having a lovely summer holidays!

Are you moving into the final year of your degree and will be writing a dissertation?  It *could* be a good idea to start researching your main idea, if you’re feeling productive.  When I first started preparing, I had to send in an idea so I could be matched up with a supervisor.  If you haven’t done this already, or if you just want to carry on developing your idea, this post may help you!  It’s not necessary to do lots and lots of research over the summer, but it could help you get a head start before your supervisor meetings, and you may have more developed questions to ask them.  Here are some tips for early research:

  1. Figure out what you’re interested in.

If you have some sort of idea of what you want to do, then great!  You can probably skip this step.  If you don’t, then no worries!  Start off by making notes/diagrams/mind-maps on topics you’re interested in within your subject.  I got my dissertation idea just from attending a lecture!  There might be something in one of the lectures that hasn’t been researched enough, you may want to apply a new concept to an already existing theory, or you may want to combine different areas within your subject.  Whichever way you decide to go about it, it all starts by deciding what area you’re most interested in and working on from that.

  1. See what’s already out there.

Start off with a simple Google Scholar/Star Plus search.  If you still don’t have a concrete idea, but you do know what you’re interested in, this could be a good idea to see what others have researched.  You may stumble across some interesting, recent articles that haven’t done X, Y and Z.  If you’re looking at a specific topic, make sure to view all recent articles written about it, so you don’t start claiming you’re filling a gap in the literature that isn’t there!

  1. Get advice from your tutors.

Even though it’s the summer holidays, you could write a list of questions as you go along, ready to ask your tutors/supervisors when you start the next academic year.  You might even find that you answer the questions yourself, just by researching.  Remember that it’s not a requirement to start research so early (unless you have been instructed to by your tutors) and that even making a list of questions is a good way to get a head start.

Disclaimer: if you feel at any point that doing research is not helping you, and that you would like to wait until the start of your next year, do not feel guilty for stopping.  I did tiny amounts over the summer, and the amount I researched did not affect my progress throughout the academic year.  Also, drop in to 301 at any time during your final year!  It’s not just for first or second years here – in fact, I only utilised the workshops/study sessions in my final year when I needed the help!  There is support in every section of the university, so don’t panic!

Posted in Extracurricular, student life, Written by Jenny

#sheffieldissuper

If you’re on social media and in Sheff you have probably seen the hashtag #sheffieldissuper, and trust me there is evidence to back up this claim. I love the steel city so much that I’ve spent four years of my life studying here and am staying for at least one more! Let me show you…

The green space.

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Whilst historically known as ‘the steel city’ Sheffield is also known as the ‘outdoor city’. Why you might ask, well given it’s location right next to the Peaks it’s brilliant for a whole host of outdoor pursuits including hiking, cycling, running, scrambling and climbing. There’s loads to do and see including the three peaks challenge, Stanage Edge, and countless walking routes.

Given this location and an abundance of local parks and woodland Sheffield is one of the greenest city in the UK! It has the highest woodland coverage of any UK city!

The pubs.

Pub culture is huge in Sheffield and there is a real passion for high quality food and drink in the city. The city boasts 23 local breweries which you can often find in the local pubs. There really is something for every type of pub goer in Sheffield whether you are more fussed by the real ale, food or quizzes. What could possibly make this any better? Low prices.

The culture.

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Sheffield is bursting with culture, from museums such as the Weston Park Museum and Kelham Island Museum to two theatres in the Lyceum and Crucible (home of the Snooker). The city hosts food festivals, a documentary festival, the largest city festival in the UK and thriving independent food establishments. And this is all just a teaser.

The University’s.

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Both University’s are great additions to Sheffield, it wouldn’t be the same without them. There is an enormous sense of pride in them held by students, staff and locals alike. Whilst there is of course a rivalry both University’s make valuable contributions that benefit the local communities and beyond.

The location.

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Sheffield really is slap bang in the middle of the country and has excellent transport links within the city and to all round the country. Whether you want to go to London, Edinburgh, Plymouth or the Peaks all is possible from Sheffield train station. When it comes to Sheffield itself you’re spoilt for choice with multiple bus and tram routes, and £1 student bus fares! So getting around couldn’t be easier!

The students.

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Because of over 6,000 students living in Sheffield, Sheffield feels very young and vibrant. No doubt this has contributed to the array of things on offer and Sheffield’s nightlife. You are spoilt for choice on a night out with clubs and bars for every music taste, a whole host of live music and two great unions. 

The locals.

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The local people in general from my experience are unbelievably friendly, so much so that you’ll be shocked if you go back home and a passer by doesn’t say hello!

Sport.

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Sheffield has a strong sporting history, just think of Jess Ennis. With an ice hockey team, two Championship football clubs (and the oldest football club in England), the EIS, indoor and outdoor cricket leagues (it is Yorkshire after all), and a strong history of boxing sport in Sheffield is strong. This is in addition to the two University’s sports teams and the annual varsity fixtures! You’re spoilt for choice!

Despite being told it was ‘grim up North’ etc. it turns out coming up was the right choice because Sheffield really is super! Want to know more? Check these out…

http://www.ourfaveplaces.co.uk/

http://theoutdoorcity.co.uk/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldylanwray/things-to-do-in-sheffield-1oaaj?utm_term=.uopwq1pXN#.axVp2nxYP

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/sheffield/top-things-to-do/a/poi/359102

https://www.creativetourist.com/sheffield/