Nathan Lloyd Tomlinson, 24, of Haslam Crescent, Lowedges, Sheffield, 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 Bradford University.
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 May 25 and was punched once by Tomlinson, which knocked him unconscious.
He was taken to hospital where he died a week later.
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 licence.
Senior Investigating Officer Superintendent Natalie Shaw, of South Yorkshire Police, said last night: “Mr Tagabo was a talented young man with his life ahead of him which was snatched from him in a moment of madness by Tomlinson.
“Sadly, this case highlights the dangers of losing your temper and punching somebody.
“A split second decision made in anger can have tragic consequences, ruining the lives of the people involved, their friends and families.”
Mr Tagabo was a first year student at Bradford University. He had previously studied in Leeds and before that had stayed in France where he had relatives.