Nathan Lloyd Tomlinson, 24, of Haslam Crescent, Lowedges, was sentenced after admitting the manslaughter of Anowar Tagabo at Sheffield Crown Court.
Mr Tagabo, 25, originally from Sudan, was studying Peace and Development at the University of Bradford.
He came to Sheffield for a celebration and afterwards went into the city with a friend, but they became separated during the night.
Mr Tagabo was approached by three men on Carver Street at around 4.20am on Sunday 25 May and was punched once by Tomlinson, which knocked him unconscious.
He was taken to hospital where he died on Tuesday 3 June. A post-mortem examination concluded that he had died from a head injury.
Tomlinson was sentenced to three years and nine months, half of which will be served in prison and the remainder on license.
Mr Tagabo was a first year student of Peace and Development Studies and in the days after his death one of his course mates Youssef Al-Manea spoke of his shock at what had happened.
“He was a really, really nice fella, very kind and got along with people,” Mr Al-Manea said.
“He had lots of friends and was always going out and socialising.
“I’m struggling to manage to see just how he got into trouble, all I can imagine is it was completely unprovoked. He was so kind and I’m just so shocked.
“During the exam period we got really close. He told me he had studied in Leeds last year and before that he had stayed in France for a few years, where he has relatives.
“He came over here for a better life, but I don’t think he’s been in England for more than two or three years.”