Since the go abroad fair is coming up soon, and this is the time of year many students decide whether to apply for a semester or year abroad, I thought I’d share my experiences of studying abroad so far. I’m currently on an exchange for a year at the University of Alberta in Canada, and I’ve been here just over 2 months. It’s been an amazing experience, and although it’s been tough at times, I’m really enjoying it. However, there’s also been difficulties I’ve had to overcome, some of which I anticipated, but some of which were unexpected. In this blog I’ll give you some advice for things to consider when deciding whether to study abroad.
Whether you are a first year or a well seasoned post-grad, university is a time of change. I recently started a year of studying abroad. Adapting to a new environment whilst reminiscing on my uni life in Sheffield has got me thinking about the importance of change and reflection. I think that everyone can benefit from some mindful reflection, in both our academic and personal lives.
When I tell people I study Environmental Science at uni, more often than not I’m met with the response “What even is that?”. Many people have never heard of the subject before, and the course is really small, with only 7 people in my year! When I was first applying for uni, I hadn’t heard of it either. But deciding to go to the open day talk at Sheffield just to see what it was all about was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Since I’m a student ambassador for my course and on the Enviro soc committee, I’m in a good position to speak about the course. So I decided to write this blog post, to tell people what Environmental Science is all about, and why it’s more important than ever.
I’ve noticed that recently a lot of students have started becoming more environmentally conscious and hopping on the sustainability bandwagon. Using reusable coffee cups and water bottles, opting for a tote bag instead of a plastic one, and not using plastic straws are all becoming trendy lifestyle choices. Whilst it’s great that more people are taking an interest in reducing their environmental footprint, the planet is running out of time, and these small changes are not enough to save it. The IPCC report states that we must limit climate change to 2°C warming to avoid irreversible changes, which will require rapid, widespread systemic change as well as individual incremental actions. We will be the generation that has to face the consequences of climate change above 2°C.
Are you scrolling through holiday pics on social media and wishing you were there? Want to get away from cold, hilly Sheffield? Maybe you thought jetting off to exciting destinations is unaffordable with your tight student budget. There’s actually loads of opportunities and funding available which you might not be aware of. Here are some of my suggestions for how to travel as a student.
Most of you will have heard of the recent strikes by school children demanding action for climate change. They were sparked by Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old girl from Sweden who initiated the strikes by sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament last August. Since then, the movement has only grown, with students from over 100 countries walking out of class worldwide and Greta being nominated for a Nobel peace prize.
Studying in a coffee shop can be a great way to take a break from the library when you start to get cabin fever. Studies have even found that changing your working environment boosts your productivity, and the background noise may enhance creativity. However not all coffee shops welcome you to sit there for hours on your laptop after only buying one coffee. Here are some suggestions of places close to campus that are suitable for studying.