March 29, 2017
We continue the series of materials about the motivations and impressions of the Romanian students who chose to study abroad. This time we talked to Larisa Oprea, who is studying International Marketing at Sheffield Hallam University, the fourth largest institution of higher education in the UK. What motivated her to choose this university and how she sees things now, after having been in direct contact with the academic environment there, see in the interview below.
PedagoTeca: What motivated you to go to study abroad?
Larisa Oprea: First of all, I chose a master in England because of the employment opportunities that are at every corner, and secondly because of the high level of education. I wanted to be able to put into practice the theory I'm learning, not just have a lot of books and journals to read and prepare, without a potential chance to use the information I have gained.
PedagoTeca: What do you like most about the UK education system?
Larisa Oprea: The UK education system is renowned throughout the world. We have the chance to use the latest technology and practice in a real business. The chance to work with people of different nationalities is another benefit. It develops your judgement and abilities.
PedagoTeca: What does a student's day look like at Sheffield Hallam University?
Larisa Oprea: It is not easy, but it is surreal. I wake up (well, I usually get the smell from the kitchen, where my colleague in China is cooking different meals), I get ready to go to college, and at 9 am I am already in class. In the first few minutes I try to understand the morning jokes made by over 5 nationalities, and then I have to be careful. We do not have many courses, but of course we have to spend a lot of time in the library. Here we prepare the homework, we set up all the new information we learned in courses and socialize. We do everything in a team. So time passes faster and we can help each other.
We go to other courses, learn to use and work in different programs to make our lives easier. If you have not understood an idea, teachers are very open to give you their time after classes to explain your misunderstandings.
After classes, we usually stay with colleagues having a coffee in the city and talking about our future. Discussions are very interesting, each of us comes with different opinions and ideas. We are telling about our traditions, and my colleagues have always shown openness and interest in finding out more about the customs in Romania.
On certain days, te faculty organizes events where we can have fun and at the same time we can develop our general culture.
In the evening I go to the gym. Clearly, I have to do this because of the countless sweets here! Likewise, I'm not going alone, but I'm going with my friends here at the college gym. There we have different programs or even sports teams where we can combine what is useful with pleasure. In the evening when I get home, I watch a movie or prepare my stuff for the day.
PedagoTeca: For many Romanians, the idea of going outside studies seems something unrealistic, starting from the premise that you need a lot of money or it's hard for that. How did you get there, how do you handle everything?
Larisa Oprea: I always wanted to get here. I knew that if I started something I had to finish it, even if it was not easy. Given the budget, everything is simple. We have a £ 10,000 loan. With the money we paid for college and accommodation. My parents helped me, but here all the students have a job. There are part time jobs where staff make our program so we do not have any problems at college. You can choose every week when you work, both days and hours. So everything is simple, just have the will, the ambition, and to want to be different.
PedagoTeca: What field do you study and why did this specialization attract you? How does your faculty combine theory with practice?
Larisa Oprea: I'm a Master in International Marketing. In the country I finished journalism and I wanted to change the field a bit. What attracted me to studying this field were the opportunities that you have. Every company has a marketing department and everything you need to have a good job is AMBITION.
As I said earlier, I am very happy with the practical side. I have no exams, I only have projects that I have to give in at the end of the course. Practice consists of different project ideas where we must apply the theories and methods learned at the course and seminar.
For example, I recently had to give in a Branding Module project that consisted in describing an international brand. For another module, Consultancy, we are working in a real company and we need to find customers for a new product in the veterinary sector. We go to the firm, we have a supervisor who guides us what to do. So is the manager of the company and the manager. Everything is very interesting!
PedagoTeca: Do you want to go back to Romania after these studies, do you think you can find in your country the professional fulfillment for the field you have prepared for?
Larisa Oprea: I do not want to go back. I already know there are a lot of opportunities here that I want to take advantage of. Great Britain does not offer you a job opportunity here but it gives you the chance to choose the country where you want to work in the future. That's because the learning here is recognized as the best all over the world.
PedagoTeca: Sheffield is said to be one of the most green cities in Europe and to attract students because of the relatively low costs. How would you describe the life there for the young Romanians tempted by Sheffield?
Larisa Oprea: Not only is it a beautiful city, it is the fourth largest city in the UK. Indeed, compared with other cities, costs are very low. From lodging to food. There are very big differences!
From the first month I started to recommend Sheffield. Not just as a study city, but also as a city where you can start your career. People here are very friendly, I remember the first day when I was to buy a juice from a store, and the vendor politely replied "Thank you, love!".
The fact that it is close to other famous cities in England is an advantage, cities where we travel with colleagues or where we go weekends in clubs like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London, York.
Sheffield is a real host city. You can't not make good memories here!
Sheffield Hallam University has two campuses in the south of Yorkshire County, England. Being the fourth largest British university, it has more than 35,000 students annually, licensed in more than 700 specializations from over 100 countries. Sheffield Hallam is also the UK's highest student satisfaction rate in terms of post-graduate employment, achieving a 96% score. Student practice throughout the studies is a very important element in the university's program. Foreign students who arrive there are university-housed accommodation on campuses located near its headquarters at advantageous prices.
More details on how to get to Sheffield Hallam University: study programs, accommodation, fees, scholarships, etc. can be obtained from the consultant by the educational consultant IntegralEdu, awarded in 2013 as platinum status for the best representative of Of the British university.