Harry is an Business Studies student, at Hallam for 1 year on an international exchange programme. He uses a variety of spaces for studying and is “always trying to find new places to study” as well as trying “to find new ways to motivate myself to work and make it fun…if you are in an enjoyable atmosphere you are least likely to create excuses to be somewhere else”. Harry starts off by deciding which work to do each day “so depending on the type of work my next decision is what environment I am going to work in. This is a little game I play all the time to keep me motivated and explore new areas”.
Harry describes his flat as his “base station” which offers a good space (“Back at flat to organise final powerpoint slides and then send off to group members…fine workspace”) with few interruptions (“In flat working on research for presentation with music playing, no interuptions so highly productive”). His room offers the best place “when studying for exams or tests…I am able to have the many books or reference material in front of me, I will have classical music playing the background”. For revision, Harry likes to transfer notes between paper and his laptop “to get it ingrained in my head”. He carries his laptop around with him most days and looks “for places that I can use my laptop and use free wi-fi”, which include on-campus buildings (“was at the stoddard building with group members working on negotiation presentation. went well though lots of noise in seating area”; “in a class room in the owen building with group members, practicing presentation”) as well as pubs (“moved on to varsity bar to use the free wi-fi to do research for my presentation”) and cafes (“spent afternoon working on a group presentation with the other members at the showroom café. was a great atmosphere and the coffee helped”; “starting to put my powerpoint prsentations here in my flat, will eventually move on to a café to finish them off when I go for a coffee”). Pubs or cafes with free wi-fi let him “kind of have fun” when writing presentations and assignments: “I find a nice café…grab a coffee listen to some music and have everything in front of me with my laptop which I feel naked if I don’t have it with me”.
Harry describes the library as the “ideal scenario for reading and taking notes…access to information through books or through my laptop, from there I will enter the information into my laptop as a learning strategy”. However he only reports visiting and staying in the Learning Centre when he needs to access resources or activities only available there (“Have to do some printing so doing work in the learning center. It seems like lots of people are doing last minute assignments here, busy.”; “Trying to find the right books in the library for research and to catch up on weekly material. Will then just sit here and take notes.”).