From Andhra Pradesh, India to Sheffield, U.K – this is Girish Kuppala’s journey so far living at DIGS The Pinnacles student accommodation and studying at Sheffield Hallam University!
“The pursuit of a master’s degree in the U.K was one of my long-standing dreams. COVID-19 had taken a bit longer than I expected and after 7 years in the corporate world in my late 20’s, I was finally living my dream of studying for a Master’s degree in Sheffield. Having decided to become an international student, I realised there will be a few hurdles and a lot of challenges in academic and living situations, whilst adapting to living in a new country. Having looked at DIGS The Pinnacles online, I booked my university accommodation with DIGS and next thing I knew I was packing up my life back at home in India and moving to the U.K.
In September 2022, I took my first flight and flew to Manchester Airport in the U.K. Sheffield Hallam University was kind enough to send one of their Student Reps to the airport to meet me on my arrival in the U.K. Eryn Brooks, the student representative from Sheffield Hallam University was the first person I met in the U.K, she made my worry disappear with her comforting and outgoing personality. I travelled to Sheffield with Erin and it was time for me to move to The Pinnacles, my accommodation for the next year. After receiving a warm welcome from TJ, the Accommodation Manager, the staff gave me a welcome pack, as well as freebies and contact information if I needed support. I was then on my way up to my room!
I expected my room to be smaller, untidy, and lacking amenities. I was amazed to find everything in my room that was shown on the website, everything in the agreement was there as well as the room being so spacious that you can add personal touches and make it your own. The bed is very comfy, there is a study chair, a lot of racks for clothes and books, and a very clean ensuite. During those first few hours at my student accommodation, the feeling of homesickness vanished as the friendliness and helpfulness of the team at The Pinnacles and Eryn made me feel reassured that I was in good hands.
As I walked through Sheffield, I was greeted with smiles and kind gestures by so many people. My first impression of the people of Sheffield and the city itself was really positive, it’s green lush surroundings provided a peaceful atmosphere which was perfectly balanced with the vibrancy and hustle and bustle of city life. The transition to my new life in the U.K was complete in just a few days. It is so easy to feel at home here, there are a lot of students from all over the world so you can meet people in your accommodation and bond over shared experiences moving to a new country for the first time. Everyone in Sheffield is really approachable and I haven’t felt anxious to ask for directions or guidance since living here.
The first day at Sheffield Hallam still echoes in my mind, such a spacious, clean, and well-equipped campus with state-of-the-art facilities. There are a lot of humble people from staff to students. The Pinnacles is just a 10 minute walk to Sheffield Hallam University, which is really convenient for attending lectures and making the most out of student life in the Steel City.
The Pinnacles has excellent facilities for students to use, like an on-site gym, a common room with pool and table tennis tables, a study room, cinema room and a spacious outdoor courtyard where a lot of events are hosted. My first social experience living here was when I ventured into the common room and played pool for the first time. During that time, I met a few bachelor’s students from Halifax and York. In addition to teaching me the game, they also made me feel comfortable by cracking jokes, so even today, they greet me with warmth and kindness.
My social life at my accommodation was underway right from when I had my first encounter in the common room. I have made so many friends due to all the events DIGS have hosted, such as a fresher’s party, a free trip to Manchester, and free crepes for Pancake Day. There has never been a day in Sheffield where I have been short of things to do or people to meet; someone or another will greet me with a smile that makes me feel at home. Additionally, maintenance is excellent. It has been very professional and any issues I have raised via the DIGS Support Portal, they have been resolved within a specified timeframe. Also, the staff at The Pinnacles and DIGS are so friendly, I know all their names and enjoy every interaction I have with them, there is a 24/7 on-site security time and you can have all your parcels delivered to Reception which is very handy . Without any second thoughts, I can say Sheffield and The Pinnacles are my second home away from home. Since I am a film buff, I have loved having access to the 24/7 Cinema / Gaming Room with their PS5 and multiple streaming services like Netflix and Disney +. It is all of these amazing things that made me rebook my room for another year.
Having previously conducted work experience in the business and operations sector, I am studying MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management. With the help of the staff and friends I made in lectures and seminars, I was able to get stuck into my studies with the facilities and support from Sheffield Hallam. The combination of all these factors enabled me to successfully complete all my modules and the dissertation is the only thing left to complete for my MSc. I have gained valuable skills from the universities Library Skill Centre programs; every student at Hallam should spend some time at the Library Skill Centre which covers all necessities needed to succeed in not only academic life but everyday life in the working world post graduation.
It’s also important to mention this myth that “getting a part-time job is hard.” A good job hunt via Indeed or Reed can get you the job you’ve been looking for. Finding part time work is also great for feeling integrated in the local community and earning a bit of extra cash as a student.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to my university, The Pinnacles, the people of Sheffield and the U.K for making my time here better. I can cherish these times in my life forever because they truly are some of the best years of my life.”
By Girish Kuppala
MSc student studying Logistics and Supply Chain Management living at DIGS The Pinnacles.
To find out more about The Pinnacles and life as an international student in Sheffield, click here
*Limited availability for 2023/24.