I made my decision to go abroad early on, which is really the most important thing in the whole planning process, especially if you don’t want to go abroad through collaborations like Erasmus. Planning should therefore begin at least 1. 5 years in advance.
I advise everyone who has the opportunity to go abroad, even if it is only half a year, to do so. It was the best experience I’ve had so far and you will make friends for life.
I spent mid-September 2010 to the end of May 2011 in Sheffield, where in two semesters I studied 8 self-chosen courses from master’s courses, which is called ” Study Abroad “. Actually, I wanted to go abroad after my bachelor’s degree, ie a year earlier than I actually left, but I didn’t know MicroEDU and I hadn’t thought about a lot when planning.
I was enrolled at my home university throughout the entire time I studied in Sheffield. However, there was no connection and the study was in principle additional. But I subsequently had a semester of my German master’s degree credited, which of course you should discuss with the German professors beforehand, as this can also cause a lot of problems.
After I expressed my interest at MicroEDU , I had really good email contact with a contact from MicroEDU who was always able to answer everything important to me.
So I had decided on 8 courses, where I had previously received module descriptions from MicroEDU. In the second semester, however, it was possible to change the course selection without any problems and it was even no problem to choose courses from different departments (but the courses could also have overlapped).
The calculation of the tuition fees was therefore dependent on the choice of course. For the 8 courses I paid £ 3,025. For about 4000 pounds it would even have been possible to do a full master’s degree in Sheffield (which would also have meant 8 courses + thesis). However, this was not necessary for me as I will get my master’s degree from my German university. You only had to pay the tuition fees on site, which you could even do in cash. Because my landlord had even accepted cash payments, I was able to do without an English account altogether, which should only cost a small amount.
The Sheffield Hallam University requires in my experience quite a lot for a shot. So I had to have the Abitur certificate translated, which I did with the help of my high school. I also had my bachelor’s degree translated by a translation agency.
Then I would have to present a TOEFL test (internet-based: 89) or an IELTS (6. 0) test, which also takes a certain preparation time and processing time.
In addition, two letters of reference were required, which in turn takes time.
The actual application to the SHU could even only be submitted 2-3 months before the start of the course.
All of my application documents arrived at the university in mid-April 2010 and it took until mid-July for my new contact at SHU to get in touch with me and clarify the last open questions. At the end of July, MicroEDU made the final decision. After I had the contact person in Sheffield, it was also easy to communicate with the university straight away.
I would rate the level of study at SHU as lower. The course at the master’s level is very international. In marketing courses I was partly with 60% Chinese and Taiwanese and in mechanical engineering courses with 60% Indians. The professors are also often not native English, which is a great advantage for understanding everything in class. The Sheffield accent takes some getting used to.
The lecture period during the year but also during the week is very short. Sometimes you only have three hours a week for subjects (times 4 courses in the semester are 12 hours). The courses are structured differently, most of which you end with an exam also have homework distributed throughout the semester, which is very good for learning progress. Others have a major written assignment at the end of the semester.
The courses normally consist of lectures in a larger group and smaller practice hours. The level may not be as high as in Germany, but the many small assignments during the semester keep you busy.
But there was still enough time to go out and partying and you can do that really well in Sheffield and shouldn’t miss out on a year abroad.
The on-site support is really great, both in student life with excursions but also the support with advanced English courses, assignment controls, a particularly good library and student self-study areas is really good. There was also an airport pick-up service, which made the start easier and you came into direct contact with other students.
Sheffield is a student city with many dormitories, but they are usually really expensive and you don’t know who you will be living with. I found a place to stay for my first 4 days through Couchsurfing. com, with people who showed me Sheffield and the university and made it a lot easier to get started.
The SHU offers House-Hunting Days, for which you can and should register in advance and where you can team up with others without any problems and rent a house together in the private sector. You can also take part in a second Househunting Day for free if nothing was there on the first day. For the first time you can also stay in the dormitory until you have found something yourself.
However, the ancillary costs (especially gas) in the private sector can be very high due to the generally poor quality of the houses. Nevertheless, Sheffield is a comparatively cheap city with a low cost of living.
Leisure and excursion possibilities
Although Sheffield is one of the largest cities in England, the inner city area is very small and everything is within walking distance. You hardly ever see cyclists, but buses or trams are also easy to use.
Sheffield has a beautiful Botanical Garden and a relatively beautiful city center, but little else to offer. Because it is centrally located in the UK, you can go on trips to other cities.
Finally, I can only recommend everyone to study at SHU or especially in Sheffield.