Posted in Extracurricular, Written by Katie

Summer Abroad

So you may be super organised and trying to figure out what to do with your summer or maybe you just want to develop your skills. This summer I went to Ghana with ICS and here is why you should do it too.

 

Leave your comfort zone!

Surprisingly, being in the middle of a foreign country and not knowing where you are going is probably going to be taking you out of your comfort zone. It isn’t the easiest experience but you learn how to deal with difficult situations (which is fab for your CV).

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Get a free holiday (sort of)

You do have to work and there are some fundraising events you will need to do but essentially the government pay most of it. It’s not all work and no play though; I saw crocodiles, learned about the slave trade, learned African dance skills and spent some time relaxing on the beach.

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Create some really cool events

Fundraising sounds difficult but the majority of people only need to raise £800 as it is funded by the governments Department for International Development. You can create really fun events for your community. I fundraised on my year abroad and took St Patricks Day, Pancake Day and pub quizzes to Slovenia. You can meet new people and have lots of fun.

 

Do something new

International Citizenship Service (ICS) partners with a range of charities working in a range of countries on a range of projects. You can do almost anything. I did Business Consulting with Challenges Worldwide but you can raise awareness of AIDS and HIV in South Africa, improve access to water in Nicaragua or improve gender education in India.

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Develop cross-cultural working skills

You will be working with an ICV (In Country Volunteer) and they may have very different views to you on the role of women, homosexuality, race and religion. This can be a challenge but you can use it as a chance to develop your skills. This was the first time I had ever worked with someone who openly had very Conservative views but I learnt to deal with that. Inevitably, there were conflicts (especially when my ICV said he hates white people, women, the British and  that people without a religion shouldn’t have a life (he knew each of those applies to me)) but I developed conflict resolution strategies.

 

It will be the best experience of your life

You will be there with plenty of other volunteers who you will meet at pre-departure training. They will become your best friends and be there for you when times get tough. You will laugh, dance and play games with them. The memories are unforgettable!

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You will be helping one of the poorest countries in the world

The best reward is knowing you made a difference! More info on ICS is here: https://www.volunteerics.org/

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Posted in Uncategorized, Written by Britt, Extracurricular

Do something worthwhile – volunteer!

For some people, university life brings with it quite a lot of free time and often it can seem like there’s almost too much of it. Whilst I definitely do not feel like this in third year, I did find that I had some time to offer particularly in my first and second years of my English Lit degree. For me, volunteering was the perfect solution!

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There are so many projects available across the university and also the wider Sheffield community. Here are just a few examples of current volunteering projects:

Clubbing Crew Volunteer: involves supporting adults with learning difficulties to have a fun night out at your SU!

Charity Shop Volunteer: roles are currently available with Oxfam, Bluebell Wood Hospice and many others around the city.

Guildford Grange Volunteer: form friendship with an older person through arts, crafts and games in a local residential home to help combat loneliness.

Word Club Volunteer: Work with Year 2 children after school to supplement their literacy learning.

WISE Mental Health Volunteer: deliver workshops to educate young people on mental health and common mental health illnesses.

These are just some of the projects available – there are so many more to choose from! Have a look on https://www.sheffieldvolunteering.com/ to find a project that works for you and to register your interest. Alternatively, you can pop into the Volunteering Office in the SU (near Coffee Revolution) to see what else there is on offer.

Volunteering is great for developing skills that you can’t necessarily get from your university degree alone. And don’t forget, you can also get HEAR recognition for your sustained commitment on a volunteering project!

 

 

 

Posted in Extracurricular, Intern advice, student life, Uni work, Written by Sophie

Balancing part-time work/activities alongside your studies!

For many of you, getting part-time work or undertaking extra-curricular activities is really important for developing your skills and getting that extra cash alongside your studies. Working at the 301 skills centre and as a Residence Mentor has made me realise the importance of balancing various deadlines and shifts, and how much employers value this. Here are a few tips that I have put together which have helped me throughout my few years at University, and how you can reduce stress-levels during exam periods.

  • Find a student-friendly job or activity with managers that understand how important your studies are to you.

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An obvious one is getting a university job. There are a number of different departments around the university that are always employing people, and an easy one to get is an ambassador job. I worked for the School of English as an ambassador and worked on Open Days, UCAS fairs, or introductory seminars. The Students’ Union is also usually hiring, in the various shops/eateries they have. You might even find research jobs or placements that pop up in your department, which require you to work 100 hours, for example. Keep an eye out on the Careers Service ‘Career Connect’ page, which all students have access to. If you do decide to go for a job with an external company, make sure they know which hours you intend to work. The University recommends 16 hours or less, and I’ve found that doing evening shifts allows me to do course work during my free hours in the day. See what works for you!

  • Organise your life!

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Now that I am a Masters student, I know how easy it is to lose track of what you have going on and when. I now have a wall planner, a diary, and various to do lists dotted around my bedroom, because I know it’s the only way I’ll know what I’m doing and when! We also have Time Management workshops at 301 which are now bookable at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/workshops, with the first one starting on 27th September, 1.15pm. It gives you realistic and practical tips for managing your time and being more productive, which can help you organise your activities around your studies! I always make sure that I write down all of my shifts as soon as I know them, as well as any deadlines, appointments, society meetings, etc. Even using your smartphone to write everything down is a good idea!

  • Know that it’s okay to have multiple breaks.

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It’s so important to know when you need a break, and when you need to ask for help. There are so many times where I have bottled my stress up and I could have easily talked to someone. There are many services across the University, but even just talking to a friend or personal tutor can really help put things into perspective. It sounds simple but sometimes I just needed reminding that there are people around who can help! Also, never feel guilty about taking breaks throughout the day – you know your own body and mind, and when it needs a rest. If that means taking a full day off your studies/activities, then go ahead! As long as your work or activity is not taking over your studies of course!

  • Just need the skills? Volunteering is an excellent way to get them!

If you just need the skills and development that a job can give you, then signing up to activities at the Sheffield Volunteering office is an excellent way to gain them. I have done a few activities with children and it really helped me to figure out whether teaching was right for me. Not only can it help figure out what you want to specialise in, but it’s incredibly rewarding and the hours you work are not meant to impact your studies in a negative way. I did a few hours a week at a project combatting homelessness last year, and it gave me that much needed boost every week to see that I was supporting people.

I hope these tips were helpful to some of you looking for part-time work and worrying about fitting it around your study timetable. University is not only a chance to study but a chance to get that experience for future employers. But remember, your studies should be your number one priority and you’re not obliged to remain in a job or activity that is making you stressed!

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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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Botanical Gardens Image result for sheffield botanical gardens

 

 

 

 

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 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/

Posted in Extracurricular, Written by Ellie

My Summer Reads

The academic year is over! This summer has come around so fast, where has the time gone?! However, with no impending deadlines and no course reading to do I am free to read for pleasure once again… and i cannot wait!

So, here are all the books that i cannot wait to read over the next few months and why:

The Circle, Dave Eggers. Image result for the circle dave eggers

Okay, so I have actually already begun reading this novel and I am loving it! Initially, I saw that there was a film coming out called ‘the Circle’ that i thought looked really interesting and was looking forward to the watch. When I learnt that this was based off a book, however, I was desperate to read it, because we all know that the book is always better than the film!

The story is set in an ambiguous near-future, where technology is slightly more advanced than it is today, and social media is at the center of young people’s lives – more so than it is today. Mae, the protagonist, begins working at a huge corporation called The Circle, and although this is deemed the greatest company in the world, things are not all what they seem…

I am so excited to finish this book and then watch the film. The plot seems eerily possible when you consider the directions that technology and social media are heading in at present.

 

The Essex Serpent, Sara Perry

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Well, I know very little of this book, only that it won The Waterstones book of 2016 and that it is set in 1890’s London.

I bought this book after two women in the shop both came up to me imploring me to read it  as I was having a nosy through it. I felt that their passion about the book spoke highly enough for it and i couldn’t resist buying it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

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This read is half for pleasure, and half for studies, but I am going to re-read this fantastic novel because I shall be studying it in September.

I read this book a few years ago, and although parts of it are long and challenging, it is such a worthwhile book to read. The story follows the life of a young boy, who although born into poverty, is left a large fortune by a mystery benefactor. This is a story of coming of age, and tackling the struggles of Victorian high society

 

 

 

 

How to Stop Time, Matt Haig

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I am SO excited to read this book. Matt Haig is a writer who I have loved for a long time now, I found his book The Humans, by complete chance, but i believe that everyone should read it in their lifetime; it gives such an interesting perspective on humanity that really makes you think. Haig has also written many other pieces, one being Reasons to Stay Alive, a memoir that is intended to provide people with mental health struggles, or anyone else, a list (for lack of a better word) of Reasons to stay alive.

How to Stop Time is out in July, and I intend on buying it on the day of it’s release. From what I can gather from the blurb, this book is about an immortal history teacher, who has lived through centuries, changing his identity to stay alive, and living by one rule: to not fall in love.

I am beyond excited to read this book, because I know that Matt Haig is a fantastic writer, who approaches the struggles of life so accurately.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

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This is another 50/50 pleasure/study book. I have studied parts of Wilde’s plays before, but none of his novels, and I cannot wait to read Dorian Gray.

Having seen the film I know what how the novel pans out – a young man sells his soul to the devil in return for his mortality – but I am excited to come to terms with Wilde’s style of novel writing. Also I’m sure the film missed out some gory details, so I am looking forward to learning the full story within The Picture of Dorian Gray.

So this is my summer reading list. I hope you all find time to do some reading for pleasure in the sunshine, and enjoy everything you read!