Cardiff

Student-accommodation-in-cardiff-pano

Study

There are two universities in Cardiff, UWIC (University of Wales Institute Cardiff) and Cardiff University. Cardiff University is the largest university in Wales, with more than 30,000 students, 15% of whom are foreign. In the 2007 academic ranking of the world’s universities, it placed in the first hundred globally and in the first 35 in Europe.

Cardiff University’s campus is in Cathays. It is very close from the city centre (around ten minutes walk) and offers various facilities (Student’s Union, coffee shops, sport centre…).

The Erasmus students are made feel very welcome and are reasonably well guided during their stay. On the first days of your arrival, you will have to enrol for your different modules and you will also have the possibility to join any of the University’s societies (the Erasmus society, the music society, the German society etc.). These societies are very popular among students; they’ll enable you to get acquainted with a lot of people and to quickly get used to your new life as a ‘Cardiffian’.

A majority of the students at Cardiff University are actually English, not Welsh! Try to avoid offending anyone by misjudging their origins… The cliché of this characterised love hate relationship between the English and the Welsh is in fact still a reality! Anyway, let’s remain very diplomatic: most of the time, you will share your lectures with “British” students and you will therefore have to respond to the same expectations in matter of homework, essays, seminars, exams and class participation. Nothing better to emerge yourself completely during your year abroad!

As far as the workload is concerned, it varies a lot in connection with your field of study. Law students, for example, are required to read a lot and to provide a large amount of personal work and research. On the contrary, the expected amount of work from students in humanities (language, politics, literature etc.) is more than manageable. Each semester consists of only 12 weeks with a ‘reading week’ in the middle (basically, a week holiday for you to catch up with your work, or, if you’re very dedicated, to take some advance!). Each week, you will have on average between 6 and 10 hours of lectures and seminars. You don’t usually have to prepare anything for the lectures in theatres. You may occasionally have to read an article or a text that the professor will have posted on the “Blackboard”, an Internet based space where teachers put their course documents and any announcement they need to make. You will often be asked to prepare seminars, either by working on a topic given by the teacher, or by doing a few exercises. To put in a nutshell, your year abroad at Cardiff University should allow you to keep your brain switched on, while leaving you plenty of time to have fun and enjoy yourself.