Gabriella Scerri – Institute of Tourism Studies, Malta
I have just completed my Erasmus mobility programme for 1 semester at Sheffield Hallam University. My semester started from the 14th of September till the 15th of January in which I had to complete four subjects including; Business Events Operations, Leisure and Risk, Tourism and Society, Intercultural Professional Development. All four subjects were very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed every lecture.
I was living with a host family which I found on the University website as part of their accommodation service. The house I lived in was just a thirty minute walk from the city centre where the university was located.
Upon arrival at Sheffield Hallam University Erasmus students as well were welcomed by an orientation week which involved many activities such as:
- Getting around the city
- British Cultural Awareness
- Meeting our subject coordinators
- Meeting other students
- Brief explanation on criteria of study
- Tours around the library and university
- Games and activities
- Ice breaking sessions
- Different fairs such as the society fair and freebie fair
The first week was full of activities which helped me meet different people and make new friends. Some of the friends I made came from different countries such as America, Portugal, Germany and Finland. We were all English speaking Erasmus students which made our integration process easier.
As lectures started the next week I was aware that we had different types of teaching hours for each subject. These were called lectures and seminars. The difference between the two is that during a seminar the global class will be split into small groups of not more than 20. During seminar hours discussions and hands-on activities relating to the subject were made. During a lecture the respective lecturer presents his lesson in a formal presentation using PowerPoint, flip charts, projectors and even YouTube to facilitate teaching. Each lecture/seminar was also recorded on our student hub which was accessed using our student number and personal password. This student hub was called “SHUSPACE” were each student could access their personal student record, grades and results, timetables, examination timetables and any other information put by our lecturers such as lecture slides and important data. Through SHUSPACE I could also access my library account which showed me the amount of books I had borrowed and their due date.
Sheffield Hallam University is a very efficient place for students to facilitate their learning through the use of adequate technology. I enjoyed the way the University never made me feel like I am only a number. They were always ready to help as well as provide facilities to students such as; laptop loans, video and SLR cameras on loan, accommodation, assistance in any subject etc. I never encountered a problem which I was not able to solve with Sheffield Hallam.
Overall I had a wonderful experience and I would go back any time. It was a great opportunity to learn and become more independent.