My first impressions of Sheffield have been really favourable. Honestly, from all the study we'd done on council housing, economic depression and industrialisation, I was expecting to find a dirty, smoggy and gloomy city. But it's actually quite the opposite.
I love the mix of old, heritage architecture and the new late 20th century buildings. I like how city planners have managed to adapt the old buildings to fit the new city. For instance, our accommodation being a 19th century mill that has been fitted out as student housing.
The colourful graffiti everywhere adds a sense of vibrancy and playfulness to the atmosphere. I really like that embracement of art, and wish that Melbourne would take a similar approach to street art.
Quite a few people on the tour have suggested that the city feels 'depressed' or stagnant, and even some locals have expressed surprise that people would even be interested in studying their city. While I can only speak from one day's worth of being in Sheffield, my first impression is certainly not a bad one. I think the city is an evolving, interesting mix of the old and new, and I look forward to exploring more of it.
- Cloe Timperley (Bachelor of Arts)