Studying abroad in Cardiff will leave you with hiraeth: the sense of longing for the green, green grass of home. Wales’ capital will almost instantly feel like a home away from home—making it hard to leave. But why talk about the end when this is only the beginning?! This thriving, growing, modern city also has an epic 2,000 plus year history waiting to be discovered, in a place with more castles than any other country in the world. Cardiff study abroad means epic exploration!
What you need to know about studying abroad in Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff is home to top-ranked universities, great museums, and an up-and-coming food scene; it’s also a great jumping-off point for hiking through breathtaking scenery.
Popular subjects to study. Cardiff is a great place to study just about anything. In addition to English, Welsh is an official language in Wales, and one of the oldest living languages in Europe. The Welsh people are extremely proud of their culture and language. In addition to rolling green hills, historic castles, and sky-high mountains, Wales has miles and miles of coastline. Hop across the pond to study marine biology. Don’t leave your sonic screwdriver at home when you head to Cardiff to study filmmaking. Dr. Who was filmed here!
Short term & summer programs vs. long term programs. Deciding to study abroad is a big deal and a full semester or year is not for everyone. That’s ok. There are plenty of short and summer programs out there. You can have the experience of a lifetime without having to commit long term. If you do have the time and interest though, you can study in Cardiff for longer, like semester or year-long programs. Cardiff University welcomes more than 7,000 students from over 100 countries every year. As an international student in Cardiff, you’ll have the opportunity to make Welsh friends, as well as friends from all over the world.
Attending university vs. other program types. Cardiff study abroad is truly an excellent place for university students. Cardiff University is perfectly located for its students to take full advantage of everything the rapidly growing and modernizing city has to offer. A study abroad program at a university offers all of the resources of a traditional school, as well as the possibility for your credits to transfer to your home institution. On the other hand, programs through a third party often allow students to pursue more non-traditional options. These programs can offer more choices that you may not find in a traditional university setting. Regardless of which program you choose, studying abroad in Cardiff will be an epic adventure!
Life in Cardiff, Wales for international students
Cardiff has more than 300 parks and gardens, a world-class national museum and art gallery, and the oldest record store in the world! Spiller’s dates back to 1894, when it sold wax records for the phonography which was a new invention. As the 11th largest city in the UK, Cardiff is brimming with fun and interesting ways to spend your time (after you’ve studied of course!). If sports are your thing, you won’t be alone-- everyone in Cardiff has a favorite team.
If you’re up for trying something new (and isn’t that why we all go abroad?), perhaps try your hand at coasteering, a sport that was invented in Wales. The object is to travel a coastline (and Wales has 870 miles of it!) by any means, which includes, but is not limited to, swimming, climbing, rock hopping, and scrambling. Apparently it’s one of the fastest growing adventure sports, so start practicing now and maybe you’ll be debuting it at the Olympics someday!
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for study abroad students in Cardiff
Check out the Dr. Who walking tour, but be careful—if you’re a fan of the show, you know that Cardiff is at the center of the time rift!
If you’re going to spend time studying abroad in Cardiff, it’s important to understand the geography and politics and how they influence the place you’re in. Wales lies in the southwest of the island of Great Britain, which makes up part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Despite this, Wales maintains a proud, distinct, Welsh cultural heritage.
English may be an official language in Wales, but about twenty per cent of the population also speaks Welsh. There is also a small Welsh colony in Argentina, so if you learn Welsh it could help you there too! Learning Welsh will also go a long way to help you make new friends, because people always appreciate visitors who make an effort to learn about their new home. Luckily, Cardiff University offers a program called Welsh for All, which offers FREE language classes to all students!
Cardiff study abroad is the perfect way to get to know this surprising capital city that is constantly growing and improving. Cael hwyl (that’s Welsh for have fun!)!
If green hills and castles as far as the eye can see sounds like your cup of tea, then keep reading! You’ll love our comprehensive guide to studying abroad in Wales.