Laura from Taiwan: The support I received during my pathway programme

Our former International College student, Laura, on campus

Our former International College student, Laura from Taiwan, tells us about her experience of studying abroad in Sheffield. In this blog, she shares how supportive College staff were before, during and after her International Foundation Year studies.

I have to confess that last year, when I decided to study abroad, I wasn’t really sure if I’d made the right decision at first. Before everything started, I was really worried. I was worried about travelling alone during the pandemic, about transferring to the unfamiliar environment and even about not reaching the progression requirement, or not being able to make foreign friends.

However, after starting my studies at the University of Sheffield International College, I soon realised that the whole environment there was welcoming and supportive, and all my previous worries seemed unnecessary. Before I took my flight to the UK, I received emails listing the airport pick-up services that the College provided, as well as asking if everything was fine in terms of my travel. After settling down in Sheffield, the staff at the College also gave me phone calls from time to time, making sure that I was adapting well to the local life. With this support, I soon conquered my anxiety and homesickness, and was able focus more on my studies and assessments.

Studying at the International College, we had to reach the required grades in order to progress to the study at the University. I sometimes felt stressed about this, but the teachers were always willing to give me advice for improving my essays and reports, and the Academic Success tutors also taught me a lot about how to construct effective study plans. From this help, not only have I passed the progression requirement successfully, but I’ve also acquired a lot of useful learning skills to take forward with me.

Additionally, through the College’s activities like buddy scheme and campus tour, I got chances to socialise with more people from different cultural backgrounds, as well as to make new friends with mutual interests and hobbies.

Studying abroad might sound intimidating in the beginning, but throughout my International Foundation Year, I found myself fully supported on the way to my goal and dream.