'I didn't know how to write essays, so the support has been really helpful.'
Lin Alhaj Hussin fled Syria in 2013 with no English. Now she mixes a biomedical science degree with translation work, volunteering – and even a radio show.
What support did you get from Hallam?
“In Syria I didn’t have assignments, I only had exams based on books. I didn’t know how to write an essay or a lab report.
“I contacted my tutor and found out about the Skills Centre. It’s for people who need English support sessions, maths support, referencing, all sorts of things. I attended academic writing sessions, which were really helpful.”
How has your part-time work and volunteering helped you develop?
“I’m an Arabic-English translator for the NHS. I work in hospitals, in surgeries, with midwives, with health visitors, with nurses, everything. And it’s a professional job, so it has also enhanced my CV.
“I got six work placements through interpreting too, so when I go to interviews I’ll have all these experiences to talk about.
“I also volunteer with the British Red Cross, both as a first aider and on ambulance crews. I’m going for the Hallam Award, because it’s nice to be recognised for what you are doing, and to inspire others.”
What was it like adjusting to life in Sheffield?
“I do a radio show on the community station Link FM, and we talk about Sheffield a lot — about how welcoming the city is.
“People are really friendly. When you say something wrong no-one laughs. They correct you, they smile. That’s so important for someone coming from abroad. It’s really multicultural.
“My first show was with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Magid Magid. We talked about immigration and how immigrants feel being in the UK. He was the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and he’s a Somali refugee!”