When I finished my undergraduate degree in India, I knew I wanted to study further. I wanted to explore public health in more depth, so to broaden my horizons I decided to apply to universities abroad.
The UK stood out for lots of reasons, but in particular the fees were affordable and the language was not a barrier for me.
I did my research, and soon chose Cardiff Metropolitan University – mainly because it had been ranked first for overall international student support for the fifth year in a row. It was very reassuring for me.
The International Office team was supportive right from the application stage, and their advice gave me the confidence to understand the visa process.
I had so many questions – this was my first time traveling alone internationally. I worried about how much cash I should take with me, how I would get from London to Cardiff, what the accommodation would be like… so many practical things.
The University took some of these worries away by providing a free pick-up service from London’s Heathrow Airport to Cardiff, and student ambassadors (who’ve been very helpful ever since) were waiting to greet us at the airport.
When I arrived, registering at Plas Gwyn, my accommodation, was simple, my room was nice and clean and my bed was already made. A warden even escorted me to my room and helped me with my luggage. It made me feel very welcome.
I was given an induction and a tour of the city that would be my home during my studies. I met lots of students from different parts of the world, and found out about some of the activities and trips available to international students. This included a subsidized trip to London, which gave me the opportunity to explore one of the world’s great cities – I got to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and lots more.
I do miss home sometimes – for example, last year was my first Diwali away from my family, which was difficult. But luckily was able to go to a Diwali event in Cardiff – the International Office were able to secured a handful of passes for International Students. The performances, the speeches and the food all made me feel so at home.
My course is very interesting. I’m learning many new things, not only from my course but outside as well. I also like that we are graded according to our assignments rather than through exams.
The teaching staff are very attentive and thorough, and they know us very well. They understand our strengths and weaknesses and help us with our assignments, projects, internship applications and more.
I have had the chance to explore Cardiff, and I’ve found lots of great places for eating and shopping – the streetfood stalls are very tasty and reasonably priced, and stores like Primark are great for stocking up on new clothes!
I feel at ease now with my life on and off campus. I find this a safe, affordable city to live in, and it’s very student-friendly – in fact I like it so much that when I go back home to India during vacation, I find myself looking forward to returning to Cardiff!
Looking for more International Student experiences? Check out Jonathan’s blog about coming to Cardiff from South Africa or Lina’s post on joining us from Colombia.