Now in Italy, after having travelled through more of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Austria, my appreciation for home and Sheffield has grown. I now realize that I belong in a mid-size city, not a metropolis like London or Paris. It is a challenge to pull myself away from exploring the Dolomites outside my window to write this blog post but I’ll give it a go. It is fitting given the nature of the study I have undertaken that my last glimpses of Sheffield were of Park Hill looming over the train station. The focus of my group presentation was on public housing in the U.K. In London there are many examples of public housing models similar to Park Hill. It is a strange thing to notice on a holiday but I can’t help myself now. My friend (Aussie ex-pat) who I stayed with in London has never visited Sheffield and has contempt for the Northerners.
It is a shame about the technical issues with the presentations. Fortunately for my group, everything fell into place nicely and I am quite satisfied with the finished product, which featured historic videos of Sheffield found on an online archive database and a local soundtrack including The Arctic Monkeys. I enjoyed the interdisciplinary aspect of the subject and learning about a variety of historical figures including the architect Le Corbusier, the entrepreneur Henry Lever, the artist John Everett Millais and the all-rounder John Ruskin. The morning lectures enhanced my experience and understanding of the places we visited. It was obvious that visiting the United Kingdom was more than just a study tour or a holiday for many students, but rather a pilgrimage to their ancestral home. I commend the lecturers for their organisation of the trip and I will cherish my memories of Sheffield and the lifelong bonds with students formed there.
- Angela Plazzer (Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning)