Moving to Sheffield for my PhD, I was a little bit anxious about whether I’d miss my wonderful hometown, Montréal Québec. This was greatly due to the fact that I had almost no notice beforehand: the funding I needed to help pay my tuition was confirmed on the 2nd of September, and my semester was due to start on the 1st.
So, I spent a week saying my last goodbyes to friends and family, purchased an enormous suitcase, looked up my national consulate, booked my ticket, packed overnight, and off I went. Upon arriving in Sheffield, I had the extraordinary benefit of having truly outstanding teachers who were very generous with their time, and supportive of my transition process.
The very day that I laid foot in Sheffield, I was greeted by my awesome supervisor, who offered me a coffee to stay awake (12 hours of travel is, to say the least, tiring), and later on a pint, to relax.
The following days, my oh my, what would I have done without the Students’ Union? In my first days, I would feel lost just walking about the University campus. I had never studied in such a big school before. Crowds of people were bumping into each other, cheering, spreading colours everywhere, and I was bombarded by flyers and goodies of every sort. As much as it was unbelievably amazing, it was also quite dizzying.
But I quickly came to learn that the Union was there to help, to guide, and to help me feel at home at university. The very welcoming and open-spaced Union building helps you to chill out even if you’re feeling disoriented. And, most of all, when you enter the place, you’re met with the most lovely and charming people ever — the welcome desk! They’ve always answered my questions in the friendliest, most welcoming and understanding manner. No wonder they’re rated #1 student experience.
PS. I don’t really miss Montréal all that much, after all… 😉