Study in Cardiff, The United Kingdom
Study in Cardiff, The United KingdomFor most people, the image that comes to mind when they think of Wales is of rolling green hillsides dotted with livestock and the occasional medieval ruin. Wales is typically thought of as England's small and pastoral neighbor, and with good reason. Amidst this bucolic splendor, however there is a city of constant activity. On the small side as British capitals go (300,000 residents as compared to London's 7 million), the Welsh capital blends attractively with its countryside thrives amidst an atmosphere of indefatigable optimism that is the quintessential spirit of Wales.
The city comprises a number of small neighborhoods, each with its own personality and attractions. These range from the timeless yet colorful ramparts of Cardiff Castle to the 21st-century gleam of the Wales Millennium Center. Perhaps the most attractive aspect of Cardiff, however, is its environs – acres of easily accessible parkland abutting the sparsely-populated countryside. Many tourists take a day trip to the nearby town of Caerphilly, home of the world-famous cheese by the same name.
Cardiff is also well-regarded among travelers for its convenience and the comprehensiveness of its transit systems. Within the city, nearly all major attractions are accessible by foot, and pedestrian shopping centers are expanding every year. More far-flung areas can be reached by a fast and cheap train system or by buses. External transportation is also easy to arrange, as the bus and train lines that connect all cities within Great Britain make stops in Cardiff.
Studying in Cardiff is a popular choice for students from the UK and throughout the world, and the city has been famous as a place of learning and research for over a century. Today, the city is home to 3 major universities (Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and the University of Glamorgan), as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, one of the top performing arts academies in the UK. Of these, Cardiff University is almost certainly the most prestigious. Its palatial and iconic Main Building is the very symbol of education in Wales, and its roughly 40,000 students represent some of the top academic talent in the UK. Its academic offerings are fairly typical of British universities (biosciences, engineering, humanities, architecture, medicine, the arts, etc.), although it has 2 programs that stand out in particular. The first is the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, and the other is Cardiff University's degree program in European Languages, Translation, and Politics.
Due to its attractive appearance, laid-back demeanor, and relatively low costs as compared to London, Cardiff is becoming increasingly popular among non-English speaking students who want to study in a foreign country in order to improve their language skills. By studying in Cardiff, these students gain access to a high quality of instruction (whether through a university or a private language school, or simply through personal study) as well as a comprehensive immersion in the language. Students planning to complete an immersion experience in Wales should be advised that the Welsh accent is quite different from American or standard British accents, although it is not so pronounced in Cardiff.