His British adventure: Fernando goes to Sheffield!

And so he has done it again: our Social Media Manager Fernando Leandro has visited yet another European city under the Erasmus+ scheme, with the aim of sharing experiences with staff members from partner universities across the continent.

After Vilnius (LIT), Tampere (FI) and Keele (UK), it was now the time to discover Sheffield. Something tells us that our friend Fernando likes the cool weather…


Once upon time…

I divided my experience during the international week at Hallam Sheffield University in three parts: About the week, About SHU University and About Sheffield.

About the week…

The programme was very comprehensive, full of speakers, many people from different University services involved. We saw many enriching presentations about different units giving a global vision to the University. Different staff members of the University held sessions and all the team was completely aware of the importance of the international week. All talks were interesting and very explanatory. English people, after my second trip to the country, showed me again that they are professional and their big dedication and attention to details are remarkable.

As usual when the week is ending is when I become more relaxed and confident about my English. These meetings are a shot of motivation and energy to keep learning and improving the language…it makes me laugh when I see those courses that promise “learn English in 4 weeks”.

In order to master a foreign language it is necessary to study a lot, to set small goals in order to become aware of all the nuances …it takes years. There is a big difference between playing ball with friends and a real football game.

They are used to meetings and teamwork, we learn only through experience and this kind of week forces you to leave your comfort zone. I had to take part in 3 public sessions: the first one to introduce myself the first day, the second one in small groups to talk about stereotypes on different countries and the third one to share the conclusions about the week with colleagues. Public speaking and teamwork are basic skills during this kind of meetings.

The international week wouldn’t be the same without the people participating in it. We were around 26 participants from Universities all over Europe (out of the 60 that applied for it). I take back to Spain with me many conversations with my international colleagues. Being with great people makes you GREATER. Without a doubt, each one with its personality and profile was extremely valuable and a source of expertise for the week.

About the University…

The person in charge of the meeting, Andrew Bromley is active and enthusiastic; he took part and was involved in every activity of the week, and for me it is something very positive because it shows a high level of interest and involvement to reach the best interest for everyone. It is evident that he likes what he does and this is what makes the difference.

We had a meeting with: the library, a student delegation (Student Union), the welcome staff to accommodation, employability, orientation and pastoral staff, and language service. I really enjoyed the workshops about Sheffield and British culture. I liked the workshop about mentoring students and employability programme. Various students took part in workshops to tell their experience and for me it was very interesting because you can see their vision on the life in an international campus. I was amazed by the involvement degree of students in University activities. It was impressing to see how they told their experiences in the Campus with ease and certainty. We also had a workshop on how hard it is to understand a language and to adapt to different cultures, something very interesting considering the internationalisation process.

I was astonished to discover how many efforts and resources are necessary to satisfy and help students. They are 100% dedicated to their students.

Many say that Sheffield is their University and not any University, a big one, expanded on the whole city, with many places to work a welcoming atmosphere which creates a big international campus.

About Sheffield…

The city of Sheffield is totally dedicated to the two existing Universities. Around the city there are many and diverse pubs and places to chat. The city in itself is easy to handle and makes you feel safe as a visitor. To sum up, it can be said that it is a very accessible and safe city, it is easy to move around and it has a great cultural environment. Staying there makes you feel welcomed. On the contrary, the negative side is the weather; quite rainy…it is essential to always have an umbrella with you.

We went to the theatre, enjoyed the after work and all the beers in the traditional pubs. Moreover, we ended the week with a grand finale visiting Chatsworth House…in order to really understand a culture it is necessary to visit and discover the essence of its surroundings and traditions. Inside the palace there is a fashion exhibition and the pictures were amazing. The majestic palace seems to come from a British novel such as “Pride and Prejudice”.

When I have to travel and move around, I always put into practise the method that I call “double check” which is to always ask twice in order to make sure to be on the right way. It is something obvious but sometimes things are different in another country abroad. The best thing is to be always sure.

I really want to end up with one of the most interesting things for me. Here are some of the moments of my meeting with Joe Field, Social Media Manager from Hallam Sheffield University. As any English person, he was very fair. I had prepared a lot of questions to make the best use of my time with him. Joe politely answered all my questions. Those are some of the questions I asked him: What are the main goals with Social Media? Tell me about your team. What are your main tasks? Content is the king or Audience is the King? Content creators? Broadcasting versus Community? What about 24 hours/always ON? Crisis? ¿3 tips for people who work in this area? Future? Trends for 2017/18 at Universities? Can a University create funny contents? What about taking risks? How do you balance the work of your colleagues and that of interns?

I share the interview…thanks Joe!! 😉

I keep these sentences that he clearly and vehemently repeated: Brand Awareness and Affinity, Costumer Service at Social Media and Engagement with the Community. I liked him to underline the importance of working inside a social community, creating conversations. He also shared his concerns about being social, working because of and for the community…he said: “You are in their pockets, you must be entertaining.” I also agree on the fact that Live Streaming is the future trend. They will soon start working with Snapchat. They know they are international and their hashtag is: “#WeAreInternational“. If you are willing to know more, you can check his blog.

“On Social Media you should be entertaining, informative, funny and interactive” – Joe Field.

Do you want to watch and listen to it?

I end up with a few pictures and videos from the week, but of course it is not the same thing as living the experience in person.

Photo gallery, day by day
– Youtube playlist

You can check my previous post clicking on: ¿Qué motivos me movieron a elegir la Hallam Sheffield University SHU?

CONCLUSIONS

To end up, I recommend this kind of ERASMUS+ STAFF TRAINING stays because they are a school of life giving you a huge personal, cultural and professional value underlining the importance of creating collaborations and networks among Universities. I want to thank all institutions, people, departments that make this kind of exchanges possible.

Thank to Andrew Bromley and its international team!

Below you can find some other international week I took part in:

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