After living in London for the first 18 years of my life, I jumped at the chance of a change in scenery when I was accepted into Cardiff University. It was far enough away from home to challenge my independence, yet close enough to travel home whenever I wanted to. I studied English Literature, and found the course to be thriving with diversity. I studied pretty much everything from Shakespeare to Medical Fiction which meant I could graduate with a wide range of knowledge. The lecturers were supportive and deeply passionate about their chosen field. They were also great with office hours and email support, which I would recommend taking full advantage of - because it helps - especially when you don’t know what to write 3000 words on.
Cardiff itself is a great student city, as it is both affordable and accessible. I stayed in Talybont which is a fantastic student community. But if, like me you’re studying humanities, be prepared for a 30-35 minute walk to lectures. These halls are closer to the maths and engineering buildings – however they are dangerously close to a 24 hour Tesco and McDonalds which kind of makes up for the long lecture walk, especially when you need to satisfy a 2am chicken nugget craving! Housing is very cheap, compared to London prices, which is helpful when you’re looking for second and third year accommodation. I would definitely look around and not jump on the first offer you find. Also wait until after Christmas to make decisions about who to live with and where to buy. Ignore the pressure estate agents put on you. Speaking from experience; there is always housing available in a student city.
Cardiff’s campus is beautiful, especially the older buildings that are dotted here and there. You’d probably recognise the stunning main building on Park Place. Remember Sherlock’s mind palace? You’re looking right at it. The BBC films a lot of its shows in and around Cardiff, including Doctor Who and Sherlock so you will more than likely wander past a film set on the way to lectures.
I’ll move on to Cardiff’s nightlife because that deserves an honourable mention. You’ll never be in for a dull night out, that’s for sure! The Student’s Union puts on really great events during fresher’s week, but if you want to venture out, the city centre is teeming with clubs and bars. A personal favourite of mine was Live Lounge which has live music every night until 11ish and then plays all the classics you can sing along to. It’s a great vibe and definitely worth braving the freezing temperatures!
I do miss Cardiff from time to time after moving back to London, but I prefer being back home. Cardiff was a great experience for three years and I would highly recommend moving away to study at university. You learn a lot of important life skills and get a taste of adult life without the commitment, which is worth making the most of before graduating. Below I’ve included some helpful websites that I used when at university.
Cardiff University Student Website -For more information about the student union and what goes on. They have some great events throughout the year.
Waterstones Marketplace -A really good place to buy second hand books if you can’t find them on amazon. You can get them delivered to store too if it’s easier.
Jstor- Most universities will insist upon using this for extra scholarly articles. I’d get used to using it in first year because it makes life so much easier when you need references for bibliographies.http://www.waterstonesmarketplace.com/ -A really good place to buy second hand books if you can’t find them on amazon. You can get them delivered to store too if it’s easier.
By Jessica Beynon