International College

Sheffield tips for new students by student Dorothy Ho

Posted 30 September 2015
The University of Sheffield Student Union

Overjoyed by my first snow

Like many students coming from the subtropical or tropical region, I have never experienced snow before. It was my very first time and I still remember how excited my friends and I were. We rushed out from our flat to the field and screamed all the way through it. You never know what a white Christmas is like until you experience one here in the UK!

It occasionally snows in Sheffield between December and February. As many of you know, Sheffield lies within the Peak District and it is very hilly. So be careful when you walk out or travel. It’s even better if you get a pair of snow boots or winter boots here. I know how much it hurts when you slip on the floor, because I have tried it before!

Treat yourself to all the good food in West Street on Friday nights

West Street is one of the busiest streets for great food and drinks in Sheffield. I usually get a burger or sandwich there for lunch, but for Friday nights, we like to get a big meal there to compensate for the hard work we have done. You can find cuisines from around the world in West Street within a few minutes walking distance from the main campus, so why hesitate? Sheffield is also known for its low cost of living, and that will only cost you around £7-£10 for a dinner. You can never get this great price in places like London or Manchester.

Get a hoodie for the typical British weather

The UK is known for its unpredictable weather. You never know what the next moment will be like. It doesn’t rain cats and dogs usually, but enough to get you annoyed. Especially in winter, there is snow, hail and rain that can make you wet all the time. So the best way to get cope with it is to get yourself a hoodie or a jacket that can protect you throughout all the weather types.

Why bother bringing everything from home when you can have it here?

I bet all the students must be panicking about packing and doing last minute shopping in early September. Don’t try to squeeze everything into your suitcases and make yourself tired by carrying all those things when travelling. You definitely don’t have to! The college accommodation provides all the basic bedding and dining utensils for you. The most important point is that you can get all the things you need in the gigantic Meadowhall shopping center. It is super convenient to get there by tram, only 20-30 minutes will do.

Be part of the Uni of Sheffield - join a society or an event to meet more new friends from the university – come in September!

University is not only about studying. We live our life to the fullest in all directions! Always remember work hard, play hard! Apart from exam periods, we always love spending time in the Students Union to enjoy different kinds of activities. Explore your endless possibilities here by coming to our Activities fair on the 24th September or the Sports fair on the 25th September. Our #1 Student Union just never lets you down.

Start your independent life by cooking for yourself

I knew nothing about cooking before I came to the UK, LITERALLY NOTHING! But when the situation urges you to live independently, you have to pick up everything bit by bit. I usually cook myself pasta with chicken breast and vegetables for dinner, as that is quick and easy. However, sometimes when we prefer Chinese cuisine, we share the rice cooker together and enjoy a table full of different dishes. I hear there will be cooking classes for students this year – so you don’t need to worry!

I definitely enjoy going to the huge Tesco next to Sheffield every week with my flat mates. You will find all the ingredients you need there. Getting basic food here is rather low-priced, things like bread, milk or pasta costs you only one pound each!

Let Google Maps guide you around Sheffield in the first few weeks

Google Maps will definitely become one of your best friends in your first few weeks here in Sheffield. Having completely no idea about the geographical conditions in Sheffield, I totally relied on Google maps to guide me everywhere when I first arrived last year. It is extremely useful as it even suggests the best transportation to take and the best route to get to another place.

You will need a SIM card that allows you to go online to use the Google Maps function. So after you get a SIM card either from our coach service or in the airport, remember to top-up your card from time to time.

Catch a show in the Lyceum or crucible theatre

Musicals, dramas or other arts performances are much more approachable in the UK. There are always good shows going on in these theatres. I watched a fabulous musical ‘Anything Goes’ last year, and that was just £5 for student tickets. That’s totally worth it! There are always promotions or discounts for student tickets, so don’t miss your chance and grab a show there.

If you fancy snooker, Sheffield is absolutely your place. The World Championship takes place in the Crucible theatre every year. People crowd in the Crucible Theater to get a glimpse of the competition. This is one of the huge annual events in Sheffield.

Our Sheffield treasure – The Peak District

Sheffield is the greenest city in the Europe. Sheffield lies in one third of the Peak District, it only takes you around 30 minutes to 45 minutes to get there. It’s always nice to plan it as a short weekend trip to enjoy the greenery there.

It is also worth going to the Chatsworth House and Bakewell town when you go to the Peak District. The Chatsworth House is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire; and in Bakewell, you can taste the famous English cuisine - the Bakewell pudding. They are all great places to go when you want to take a break from your study and get some fresh air.

It’s not a journey only to Sheffield; it’s more than Sheffield

At the end of my last semester I made a trip to London and Switzerland with my friends. Planning your own journey will also be part of your life in the UK. It is better to get the train ticket or air ticket as soon as possible since it can save you great amount of money. You can do all the transportation and hotel bookings online easily with your visa or debit card.

Take the chances and explore the world, you’ll find more than what you expect. Meeting people from different cultural backgrounds will always give you some unexpected surprises.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.