On a wintery February 2022 in Pakistan, I found myself filling out my UCAS application to pursue my dreams of studying as an international student in the U.K. Although I had alternative paths to choose between, my heart was already set on studying at Sheffield Hallam University. My determination to make this happen was then was rewarded with an unconditional offer. From this point, my journey to the U.K was just getting started.
My journey up this point was met with a few personal setbacks, from battling depression to overcoming the hurdles of partial paralysis. Each of these trials only added to the sweetness of my victory. My unconditional offer from Sheffield Hallam was not simply a gateway to higher education in the U.K, it was a testament to the resilience I have been driven towards for the past 10 years.
Sheffield Hallam University, with its exceptional hospitality and dedicated student representatives warmly welcomed me at Manchester Airport. The coach ride to my student accommodation, DIGS The Pinnacles was unforgettable, getting to know other U.K and international students about to embark on their new life at uni in the Steel City and bonding on shared experiences moving away from home for the first time. Despite the fatigue from a 19-hour flight from Islamabad, Pakistan, I instantly felt a sense of belonging when I arrived.
The International Experience team dropped me off at The Pinnacles, where a friendly staff member named Diana greeted and guided me. I was given a welcome pack upon arrival which included all the essentials for my stay, as well as freebies and key contacts for my accommodation and the university. The room and other common areas met my expectations, affirming that my journey was indeed on the right track.
Cost of living
Embarking on this remarkable journey, I couldn’t help but be grateful for the incredible value for money that the city of Sheffield has offered. As I shared my decision with friends, their jaws dropped in disbelief when I disclosed the cost of living here. I compared it to the hefty expenses my acquaintances endured in other cities like London, and the difference was staggering. In fact, the difference between their living costs and mine surpassed the fees I paid for my education at Sheffield Hallam University.
Sheffield’s affordability allowed me to explore its vibrant culture, indulge in local delicacies, and partake in enriching experiences without financial constraints. It is a city that truly values its residents, including international students like myself, and has provided a nurturing environment full of opportunity where I can thrive.
Feeling at home in Sheffield
The remarkable aspect was that I did not have to sacrifice anything in return. My student accommodation in Sheffield at The Pinnacles has provided me with a cosy en-suite room and an abundance of communal spaces to engage in activities, events and build connections with fellow students. In addition, Sheffield Hallam University boasts a prestigious ranking among the top 5% globally, This recognition solidified my belief that choosing Sheffield as my study destination as an international student was one of the smartest decisions I had ever made, making the Sheffield the ideal environment o both academic and social growth.
The warmth and acceptance I experienced upon arriving in Sheffield were beyond compare. The city has embraced me with open arms, if you’re an international student moving here, it will definitely feel like you new home away from home with the accommodating northern hospitality from the people of Sheffield and the vibrant diverse international student community living here.
Fast forward to today, Sheffield Hallam, The Pinnacles, and the city as a whole have evolved from being unfamiliar territory to a place I call my second home. This transformation is not just about physical spaces; it’s the collective support from every person that I have met so far on my journey in Sheffield that has made this adventure in the U.K a positive experience.
I hope reading this makes you consider Sheffield as your study destination in the U.K. Make your move, you won’t regret it!
By Ghayas Rashid
BSc final year Business and Enterprise Management student living at DIGS The Pinnacles.
Rooms are selling fast at The Pinnacles for 2023/24. Book your room through Sheffield Hallam University here.