Jog away the summer to avoid dissertation stress

If you are like me, you love reading ‘how to do lists’ and chances are that you never put them to practice. However if, like me, you are spending the summer in the library working on that dissertation or thesis, perhaps you will want to hear how I got rid of my writing-induced stress. My answer in two words: slow jogging.

Running in Western Park is great when the weather is sunny

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A pragmatic take on Brexit from a French student

I confess that I spent the last few days after Brexit was announced frantically checking every single article on Brexit out there. Yet, I decided to start looking forward and prepare myself for the post-Brexit world.

UK universities have been prompt to reassure their current/prospective EU students that their rights and funding would stay unchanged for the time being. The Vice-Chancellor has sent an email with clear comments: “EU and EEA nationals are currently entitled to pay home fees under UK law and we do not envisage this changing in the foreseeable future.” And “The Minister of State for Universities and Science has said the UK welcomes EU students and that current students and this autumn’s applicants will continue to receive student finance for the duration of their course.” Although we should all keep an eye on further developments, the university has been clear on the issue, and I feel reassured. Continue reading

How I organised a successful conference for my department

I recently attended a Think Ahead workshop on “how to plan a conference”, then realised I actually got it right the first time… a year ago when I organised my own (with some help of course)!

Do you think it is unlikely that you would organise a conference? Yet PG and even UG students can be asked to help in such an event at any time! Although challenging, if done right it can be a huge boost to your CV and your confidence, not even mentioning potential networking! Continue reading

Using Twitter professionally as a student

During the 8-14th of February I was the curator for the @shefunilife Twitter, and I discovered how enjoyable it could be to have a personal Twitter. It also made me realise that many students out there might have a personal account on Twitter, and sometimes tweet study-related things, but not too many have a professional account.

What are the benefits of a professional Twitter account? Continue reading

Making awesome international friends without teaching them your language

Lately I realised that none of my best international friends were met during language exchange. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy taking part in “tandems”, and I have a great time in conversation clubs such as One World Café (every Thursday 4-6pm in Foundry).

Although one of my best friends was my tandem partner at first, within two exchange sessions we had both reverted to English (which is not our native language). Here is the catch: good language exchange is about being focused on learning, but I have found it impossible to force myself to study grammar when I could discuss world food or the condition of women in different countries instead! So my friend and I just started to get coffee & chat while I found another person to study Mandarin on the side. Continue reading

Become a volunteer project manager with One World

Since I arrived to the University of Sheffield, I was attracted by the large International community on campus and wanted to be part of it. Being a postgraduate would not prevent me from taking part in the Union’s life!

As a PhD from France there was one difference in my approach: I wanted my time to be “worth it” and being able to add some lines to my CV. Early in 2014 I received an email advertising the One World initiative from the Union, and applied to be a One World Ambassador. Continue reading

How I funded my fieldwork in China

When I was 14, my mum brought me on the Trans-Mongolian train to China and back to my native France. That trip was a trigger: I discovered Chinese culture and gardens, and decided to learn Mandarin. Now I am a part-time PhD student in Landcape history at the University of Sheffield, specialising in Chinese garden history. I received a tuition fees scholarship from my department and I work part-time to pay for my living expenses. However grateful I was when I started my PhD, I could not help feeling worried that I might not be able to fund my fieldwork in China. Continue reading