fashionablylait
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I've now applied to and received offers from both of the above unis for Korean - however, I'm having a lot of trouble deciding which one I should accept. Does anyone whos attended either (or both) have any comments from first-hand experience about the ups and downs?I've heard only good things about the student life in Sheffield, and obviously it's significantly cheaper, but how is the actual Korean course itself in comparison with SOAS? I read on these forums somewhere that the Sheffield Year Abroad is much, much higher quality than the SOAS one, but I'd like to know a bit more about that.I'd also like to hear a little bit about living in both London and Sheffield - obviously there's a few more benefits to living in London, but which is overall a more pleasant city to live in for a student?Thank you
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by fashionablylait)
I've now applied to and received offers from both of the above unis for Korean - however, I'm having a lot of trouble deciding which one I should accept. Does anyone whos attended either (or both) have any comments from first-hand experience about the ups and downs?I've heard only good things about the student life in Sheffield, and obviously it's significantly cheaper, but how is the actual Korean course itself in comparison with SOAS? I read on these forums somewhere that the Sheffield Year Abroad is much, much higher quality than the SOAS one, but I'd like to know a bit more about that.I'd also like to hear a little bit about living in both London and Sheffield - obviously there's a few more benefits to living in London, but which is overall a more pleasant city to live in for a student?Thank you
The YouTuber Lucy Moon went to SOAS (I think she did history) and she has a few videos about her university experience that you could watch.
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fashionablylait
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
The YouTuber Lucy Moon went to SOAS (I think she did history) and she has a few videos about her university experience that you could watch.
Thank you! I'll give them a watch.
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fashionablylait
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In addition to this, I'd love to know about the quality of life in London vs Sheffield. Thanks everyone.
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umbrellala
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I'm making the exact same decision at the moment! I'm definitely going to wait until after the applicant days and see how I feel about it, but I will probably end up putting SOAS as my firm just because it makes more sense grades wise.
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fashionablylait
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(Original post by umbrellala)
I'm making the exact same decision at the moment! I'm definitely going to wait until after the applicant days and see how I feel about it, but I will probably end up putting SOAS as my firm just because it makes more sense grades wise.
Sheffield required higher grades for me - was it different for you? It's well within my required, but still higher than SOAS. I'd love to know what you've found out about the differences between the two!
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umbrellala
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(Original post by fashionablylait)
Sheffield required higher grades for me - was it different for you? It's well within my required, but still higher than SOAS. I'd love to know what you've found out about the differences between the two!
Oh really! Sheffield offered me ABB or BBB + B in EPQ, and SOAS offered me AAB or ABB + B in EPQ. When I went on the initial open days, I really loved both in comparison to other unis I'd seen and felt at home in both cities, but I preferred the atmosphere and staff at SOAS a bit more. It also helps that I went on a SOAS taster day for Korean last year and really enjoyed it, and it felt like the Korean department was a much bigger and more important part of the uni than the department at Sheffield (which is inevitable when SOAS is so focused on Asia, but at Sheffield it felt like I would be less of a part of the actual uni?). I know the Bloomsbury area well since my parents work nearby and I only live about 30mins out of London, so that might have made me feel like I belonged at SOAS a bit more. I definitely think the social life would be better at Sheffield, but I haven't heard anything about the years abroad being different? Do you know where you saw that?

I guess the main factors for me have been preferring the SOAS vibe, the fact that the SOAS course seems to be more internationally respected, but not really wanting to spend so much to live in London and worrying about the social aspect. I do love London, and want to live there at some point in the future, but in some ways I feel like it's a wasted opportunity to try out another city.

How have you been feeling about it?
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fashionablylait
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(Original post by umbrellala)
Oh really! Sheffield offered me ABB or BBB + B in EPQ, and SOAS offered me AAB or ABB + B in EPQ. When I went on the initial open days, I really loved both in comparison to other unis I'd seen and felt at home in both cities, but I preferred the atmosphere and staff at SOAS a bit more. It also helps that I went on a SOAS taster day for Korean last year and really enjoyed it, and it felt like the Korean department was a much bigger and more important part of the uni than the department at Sheffield (which is inevitable when SOAS is so focused on Asia, but at Sheffield it felt like I would be less of a part of the actual uni?). I know the Bloomsbury area well since my parents work nearby and I only live about 30mins out of London, so that might have made me feel like I belonged at SOAS a bit more. I definitely think the social life would be better at Sheffield, but I haven't heard anything about the years abroad being different? Do you know where you saw that?

I guess the main factors for me have been preferring the SOAS vibe, the fact that the SOAS course seems to be more internationally respected, but not really wanting to spend so much to live in London and worrying about the social aspect. I do love London, and want to live there at some point in the future, but in some ways I feel like it's a wasted opportunity to try out another city.

How have you been feeling about it?
I'm doing a BTEC, and Sheffirlds offer required DDD(don't worry, that's not the same as A level D) whereas SOAS wanted DDM or DM on the first year and a pass in welsh baccalaureate. I found SOAS to be nice too, but it was very small and had slightly unimpressive campus.
I've only visited London once, on an SOAS open day (man I really feel like a country boy) and loved it - but as you said, the cost is a huge worry. Also, on the telegraph's ranking of student experience, Sheffield was in top 3, whereas SOAS was 76th. That worried me a little.
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ElsieArhin
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I really like Sheffield but it’s so far from London. I’m still leaning towards Sheffield tho.
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BritishEarlGrey
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I’m making the same decision too! SOAS has a higher grade requirement for me so I’m probably going to put that as my firm since it makes more sense. It also offers me a combined degree that I can’t do at Sheffield.

In terms of cost I’ve done a heck of a lot of research, and I’ve found that since the maintenance loan inside London is higher, the cost of living is pretty much levelled out.

I haven’t heard of any differences in terms of the year abroad, I’m pretty sure they have links with the same uni’s too.

The only differences between them is population size and teaching style - from what I’ve heard, soas is much more relaxed in terms of reminding students about deadlines etc

Sheffield population is around 27K? And soas is 4K, half of which is undergrad (I’m not too sure of the split between undergrad and postgrad at Sheffield)

If anyone has any extra info that might tip the scale between the two please link it to me!
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blawan
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(Original post by BritishEarlGrey)
I’m making the same decision too! SOAS has a higher grade requirement for me so I’m probably going to put that as my firm since it makes more sense. It also offers me a combined degree that I can’t do at Sheffield.

In terms of cost I’ve done a heck of a lot of research, and I’ve found that since the maintenance loan inside London is higher, the cost of living is pretty much levelled out.

I haven’t heard of any differences in terms of the year abroad, I’m pretty sure they have links with the same uni’s too.

The only differences between them is population size and teaching style - from what I’ve heard, soas is much more relaxed in terms of reminding students about deadlines etc

Sheffield population is around 27K? And soas is 4K, half of which is undergrad (I’m not too sure of the split between undergrad and postgrad at Sheffield)

If anyone has any extra info that might tip the scale between the two please link it to me!
I'm not sure it really does level out, plus remember you still have to pay it back. You'll run through your money quite quickly if you go out a lot (which I recommend you do). If you plan on going out in the centre, drinks and club entry is really expensive. Also obviously rent and travel. Of course you can just go out in cheaper places though.

Yeah Uni of Sheffield is around 27k, undergraduates make up around 20k. You also have Sheffield Hallam nearby which is another 30k. So you'll find Sheffield is a very student friendly city which makes it a fun place to live.

It just depends on what kind of environment you're after. Sheffield is a classic student city with most things walking distance and everything pretty cheap and student friendly.
I prefer London as a city because obviously there's more to do, but there's less of a student community so it just up to you and what you find important.
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BritishEarlGrey
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I’m not really someone that goes out drinking if I’m honest so I’m not too worried about the cost of that. From what I’ve seen on here, there’s quite a few non-drinkers at SOAS so I should be fine - even if I were to go out I’m quite happy to play “designated make sure everyone gets back safe” lmao.

Rent at soas is my main issue, garden halls is £195 per week for a room without a shower?? 😭
I have a work friend who studies at Sheffield and he absolutely loves it, but I’m not sure if I’ll like such a big student population. I feel like I’ll benefit more from a smaller community of people.

My main issue is that I’ve wanted to go to a London university my whole life, so I’m worried that that might bias my decision a little, my theory is that I can I can test out London for year 1, if I hate it that much I can swap uni’s in year two. London is my favourite city though, so I think it’s a place that will suit me a lot better than Sheffield 🤔

Thank you for your input! What are you studying and what year are you in?
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umbrellala
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(Original post by BritishEarlGrey)
I’m making the same decision too! SOAS has a higher grade requirement for me so I’m probably going to put that as my firm since it makes more sense. It also offers me a combined degree that I can’t do at Sheffield.

In terms of cost I’ve done a heck of a lot of research, and I’ve found that since the maintenance loan inside London is higher, the cost of living is pretty much levelled out.

I haven’t heard of any differences in terms of the year abroad, I’m pretty sure they have links with the same uni’s too.

The only differences between them is population size and teaching style - from what I’ve heard, soas is much more relaxed in terms of reminding students about deadlines etc

Sheffield population is around 27K? And soas is 4K, half of which is undergrad (I’m not too sure of the split between undergrad and postgrad at Sheffield)

If anyone has any extra info that might tip the scale between the two please link it to me!
After going to the applicant day at Sheffield, I think the only two things that make Sheffield more attractive are their tandem learning programme and the year abroad. In the tandem learning they pair you up with one of the Korean language exchanges staying in Sheffield in the first year so you can practise your speaking with them for 2hrs a week which would be so useful. And for the year abroad you have the choice of 6 (if I'm remembering rightly) unis whereas at SOAS there's only Korea Uni.

Personally, I don't really mind about where I go for the YAB since Korea Uni is so good, even though Yonsei would be my first choice. On the applicant day, I couldn't fault Sheffield for anything at all, but something just wasn't clicking for me so SOAS is still my favourite. I won't be firming anything until after the SOAS applicant day though just in case.

As for accommodation, I think most people stay in Dinwiddy for first year which is £160 a week for en suite. Ranmoor and Endcliffe at Sheffield are around £140 a week, so it's not a massive difference, but the overall cost of living would be cheaper in Sheffield for sure.
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BritishEarlGrey
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(Original post by umbrellala)
After going to the applicant day at Sheffield, I think the only two things that make Sheffield more attractive are their tandem learning programme and the year abroad. In the tandem learning they pair you up with one of the Korean language exchanges staying in Sheffield in the first year so you can practise your speaking with them for 2hrs a week which would be so useful. And for the year abroad you have the choice of 6 (if I'm remembering rightly) unis whereas at SOAS there's only Korea Uni.

Personally, I don't really mind about where I go for the YAB since Korea Uni is so good, even though Yonsei would be my first choice. On the applicant day, I couldn't fault Sheffield for anything at all, but something just wasn't clicking for me so SOAS is still my favourite. I won't be firming anything until after the SOAS applicant day though just in case.
Ah thank you for that info! That cleared a couple of my questions up.

The same with me though, something about Sheffield just didn’t feel right for me? SOAS just feels like a place I need to go to haha. Not firming till then seems like a good idea though, I’m just anxious about getting my accommodation application in early :/ the next applicant day is the 25th April and the deadline for firming offers is the start of May? I feel like I’m cutting it too close 😂😅
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umbrellala
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(Original post by BritishEarlGrey)
Ah thank you for that info! That cleared a couple of my questions up.

The same with me though, something about Sheffield just didn’t feel right for me? SOAS just feels like a place I need to go to haha. Not firming till then seems like a good idea though, I’m just anxious about getting my accommodation application in early :/ the next applicant day is the 25th April and the deadline for firming offers is the start of May? I feel like I’m cutting it too close 😂😅
Yeah honestly waiting until the 25th April is going to be torture since I tend to overthink things way too much haha but apparently no one is given priority for accommodation as long as you apply before the deadline so I wouldn't worry about not getting any. I wish they could have organised a few applicant days between now and April :/
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BritishEarlGrey
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(Original post by umbrellala)
Yeah honestly waiting until the 25th April is going to be torture since I tend to overthink things way too much haha but apparently no one is given priority for accommodation as long as you apply before the deadline so I wouldn't worry about not getting any. I wish they could have organised a few applicant days between now and April :/
I know!! Almost all of my friends got unconditionals to their first choice uni’s so they’re all firmed and have done their student finance and are ready to apply for accommodation when the lists open 😭 I wayyy overthink stuff so I end up reading up on stuff everyday and freaking myself out 😭 I just wish I could get it sorted and start focusing on studying but I can’t 😭😭
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ElsieArhin
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(Original post by BritishEarlGrey)
Ah thank you for that info! That cleared a couple of my questions up.

The same with me though, something about Sheffield just didn’t feel right for me? SOAS just feels like a place I need to go to haha. Not firming till then seems like a good idea though, I’m just anxious about getting my accommodation application in early :/ the next applicant day is the 25th April and the deadline for firming offers is the start of May? I feel like I’m cutting it too close 😂😅
Really??? I visited SOAS for their applicant day and it felt off to me. I visited Sheffield for the open day last year but I will be going again for the applicant day. I think the vibes we pick up from the school is down to preference because I like Sheffield way more after seeing SOAS. I live in London tho so it’s more convenient for me to stay. Definitely not making a decision anytime soon.
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aychow
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Not sure if this is helpful but the Youtuber Korean Englishman aka 영국남자 studied Korean at SOAS! You can look through his old videos of him during his uni days - he also mentioned SOAS was a whole lot of fun
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ElsieArhin
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(Original post by aychow)
Not sure if this is helpful but the Youtuber Korean Englishman aka 영국남자 studied Korean at SOAS! You can look through his old videos of him during his uni days - he also mentioned SOAS was a whole lot of fun
Thanks. I’ve come across his channel but I never watched his old videos.
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(Original post by umbrellala)
After going to the applicant day at Sheffield, I think the only two things that make Sheffield more attractive are their tandem learning programme and the year abroad. In the tandem learning they pair you up with one of the Korean language exchanges staying in Sheffield in the first year so you can practise your speaking with them for 2hrs a week which would be so useful. And for the year abroad you have the choice of 6 (if I'm remembering rightly) unis whereas at SOAS there's only Korea Uni.

Personally, I don't really mind about where I go for the YAB since Korea Uni is so good, even though Yonsei would be my first choice. On the applicant day, I couldn't fault Sheffield for anything at all, but something just wasn't clicking for me so SOAS is still my favourite. I won't be firming anything until after the SOAS applicant day though just in case.

As for accommodation, I think most people stay in Dinwiddy for first year which is £160 a week for en suite. Ranmoor and Endcliffe at Sheffield are around £140 a week, so it's not a massive difference, but the overall cost of living would be cheaper in Sheffield for sure.
Hello!

I hope you don't mind me chiming in here but as someone who is seriously considering leaving Sheffield for good, or at least taking a leave of absence due to health to reconsider whether this university is the right one for me I hope I can shed some light on the current state of affairs that are going on at the moment with a change of curriculum for SEAS which is in charge of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. There are a lot of changes being implemented for 2018 entry, but it would be hard for me to say how smoothly this will go.

Sheffield is a lovely place, there is so much beauty and nature and lots of stuff to do on a budget. You can save money living here and if you're really thrifty you'll have a good portion of your loan left over from the year (like I did!) I cannot fault some of the lecturers I've had who have been amazingly supportive and drive you to succeed and engage. Others, however, I have found have a demoralizing attitude towards 1st years. That can happen at any university though so make sure you always choose the right module for you.

I have heard both positive and negative feedback from Korean and Japanese studies students this year. The feedback has always depended on whether they entered as an intermediate or beginner. From the people I have spoke to a lot of students feel that the course is 'false advertised', as it specifically says it welcomes beginners but there is definitely a ratio difference between those who have a lot of prior knowledge (or have been in Korea for a summer and done language) and those who have minimal (self-teaching, taken a few classes). Just because you have a beginners standard of knowledge does not mean you aren't able to achieve the same results as those who have intermediate knowledge because plenty of people have managed to do amazing this year. However, the whole beginner vs intermediate attitude on the courses can dishearten some students.

Also; there is a discrepancy about how many hours all the languages have at the moment, but I think that's being changed to make the credits equal (don't quote me on that, definitely ask on the next visit). Japanese has 9 hours at current, Chinese has either 7 or 8 but Korean has the least amount at 5 hours a week. I'm not sure if they upped the hours to 6 this semester but they most definitely have the least and I'm hoping that this overall with the department will change that and make it more equal to improve a balanced level of study and make it less rushed for people. Also, from those who I know have tandems it's only 1 contact hour a week unless you become good friends and just want to practice more regularly.

Whilst there are more universities to choose from at Sheffield there is still a ratio of how many places are offered. Yonsei had 5 places this year, and Korea University had 8 (or 10, because extra spaces were asked for.) etc. There is more opportunity with choice but only some unis offer halls, others mean you have to find your own accommodation which can be pricey, but if you find someone to share with you can usually save more money that way. Also you can be paired up with a friend if you live in halls and go to the same uni. There is good guidance on how to plan for your year abroad.

I know someone who transferred from Sheffield to SOAS this year doing Korean and Business. The duel honours has now been scrapped for 2018 applicants so those on the course currently are the only remaining people doing it. So at this current time, there are changes going on overall to improve things and it would be hard to say whether the implementations will go smoothly in September since it will only be starting this year. If you are going to an open day again here anytime soon my advice would be to just make sure ask a lot of questions. SOAS was on my list of universities to go to, in fact, it was my insurance originally so I think anyone making a decision right now may need to ask more questions for the Sheffield 2018 entry.
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