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Case Study

Shawn Page

Ontario, Canada

BA (Hons) Media Production and Tourism


Shawn Page was studying at a university Canada but chose to study part of his degree at the University of Sunderland through the Study Abroad scheme. He picked up modules in media, marketing and photography and will be putting them to good use in his new role as a Marketing Manager for a local Real Estate Firm back in his home town. Here, he reflects on his time at Sunderland.

As an international student travelling from Canada to Europe, one of the biggest motivating factors for choosing Sunderland was the location. Sunderland is a great central location, close to Newcastle airport which allowed me to travel to Scotland, Ireland, Poland, and other various places in the UK such as Liverpool, Manchester, Durham, and Newcastle - all of this travelling in just 2 short months. Another big reason was how affordable Sunderland is in comparison with other cities in the UK, such as London. I also enjoy the feel of a smaller community as I was able to walk to class from the residence building.

Studying at Sunderland allowed me the opportunity to take modules that explored areas I am interested in that weren't offered at my home institution. I took a marketing class that specifically specialised in the service sector - this module also included a field trip to STACK Newcastle which was an awesome experience and allowed me to make new LinkedIn connections. I was also able to take modules that were outside of my current field but were very relevant in developing business skills. The module ‘Shoot, Edit, Share’ was a great learning experience; I was able to come out of this class with the ability to create media content using Adobe Premiere Pro, and to understand what makes a shot look pro and what makes them look amateur. These skills will be very valuable as I will be doing some social media management for various businesses this summer. I also took a photography class which I had a lot of fun with. It paired well with the Shoot, Edit, Share’ module as it taught me composition and how to create a good story using photos.

Being a student at the University of Sunderland gave me benefits such as camera equipment rentals and access to Adobe software for free. I also had lots of free research material through the online library which I made use of as I finished most of my courses at home due to COVID-19. Sunderland was also flexible with assessments amid this pandemic. I am so thankful that I got to complete my credits from home. Otherwise, I would have had to repeat a semester.

I would absolutely recommend any student to go to Sunderland if they have the chance. Being on exchange was a life-changing event for me and Sunderland was very welcoming. As I will probably be asked by future students, I will tell them to make the most out of travelling. That is an opportunity that many do not get in North America. I will also tell them that all the people in my class were very accepting of foreign students. Be sure to make the most out of some of the extras Sunderland offers as well, such as the North Sea activities and the masterclasses offered.

I am planning to become a Real Estate Salesperson back at home. The skills I've learned in the classroom in Sunderland have allowed me to pick up a job as a Marketing Manager for a local Real Estate Firm back in my home town.

If I had to sum up my whole experience I would use say that it has taught me three very important skills: I have learned to be adaptable in the face of the unknown; I have enhanced my leadership skills in both personal and academic settings; and I have learned more efficient ways to travel (how to use technology to find the best price on flights, better ways to pack 'carry-on', etc.). Most of all, I have made lifelong friends all across the world. Even though our shared experience has been cut short, I have no doubt that we will all meet again!”

Published 19 May 2020

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