February 1, 2018

Hareem Rehman

Two weeks into second term, with the ever-increasing hum of panic of my third-year dissertation project constantly at the back of my mind, seems to be as good a time as any to reflect on my time here at Cardiff Met!
Three years ago, the journey started when I made it into Cardiff Met during clearing and was immediately taken by the overwhelming amount of support from the International Office team during what was otherwise a rather scary time. Any international student can relate to the scary months of July and August, when you’re constantly fighting an upstream battle with immigration rules and visa requirements, filling forms after forms, feeling like it will never end. Just thinking about that summer gives me goosebumps! If it wasn’t for the prompt replies of the International Office to my numerous panic-induced 5am emails, I would have given up several times before making it here from Dubai.
The Psychology course offered here is incredible: I didn’t have to choose whether I wanted to do cognition or neuroscience or forensic or educational psychology while applying, as with other universities. Cardiff Met provided the opportunity to get an undergraduate degree which would give me a broad understanding of all the different disciplines of Psychology, so that I could make an informed decision when looking to do my post-grad.
Coming to Cardiff was a little surreal. I had no family or anyone I knew here, or anywhere else on the continent. It was equal parts frightening and exhilarating. There were days in the beginning when I struggled to find my place, when homesickness and culture shock would seem insurmountable. I decided that sitting idly in my room at halls was not going to be the sum of my university experience.

Hareem indoors

The weather can be a bit of a challenge but I do love it here!

It started with me trying to get more involved with the course. I signed up for the Psychological Literacy Award and next thing I knew I was miles outside my comfort zone, volunteering at churches helping homeless people. In my second year I upped the ante and signed up for the Cardiff Met Award, which got me involved with working with refugees. It seemed like I had found a cause worth fighting for when I campaigned for and managed to get the Sanctuary Award introduced at Cardiff Met.
Throughout my first year, I had relied heavily on the International Office for everything from asking advice about housing to figuring out the best places to eat. So, in my second year, I decided I wanted to be one of those people who had helped make my transition to life in Cardiff so smooth. I signed up to be an International Student Ambassador and so started what was possibly the most fun job I had ever had. The team was some of the friendliest people I had ever met and the opportunity to help new students was one of the most rewarding feeling ever.
Looking back, the past two and a half years have been the best of my life. Cardiff is a city I fall in love with a little bit more every day, and there’s nowhere I would rather be.
Find out more about coming to Cardiff Met to study in our other International Student blogs.