Rike Lohmann from Germany
MA European Studies, 2009-10
It was not only the brilliant reputation of the School that made me apply for a postgraduate degree in the Welsh capital, there were also several other reasons, like the vibrancy of the city, that influenced my choice. After spending two months at Cardiff University in the School – I can say it was the right one.
The support offered to postgraduate students in the School is, in my perception, exceptional. From the very first day I felt that everybody is more than willing to help and to provide advice. I have found the relationship between the student and the professor is not a hierarchical one, but rather it is like a team in which both parts are collaborating in order to achieve the best possible results for the student. If there are any sentences or expressions I cannot understand because of language issues, there is no problem whatsoever in asking the lecturer for an explanation. The great expertise of the lecturers of their particular subjects and the high amount of effort they are putting in the student’s support is, in my opinion, outstanding.
The beautiful city with countless opportunities to enjoy your free time, as well as the numerous possibilities to socialize in the various University facilities are perfecting my stay.
Andrea Aleotti from Italy
MScEcon Politics and International Relations, 2009-10
I have always been excited about the possibility of spending some time abroad for study purposes. Finally, last year I had the chance to apply for a dual-degree programme from an agreement between Turin University and Cardiff University, and now I'm here in Wales.
There are several differences between the university where I come from and the School. First of all, the welcome I received together with the other students, and the opportunity to spend some “informal” time with the professors, to get the chance to establish a good relationship. I never had this opportunity back in Italy, and I found that very helpful to became a part of this new group.
I'm not saying that everything was easy at the beginning, but every time I had a problem, with documents, language or the new methods of studying, there was always someone to help me deal with it. The services and the facilities for the postgraduate students are really unique and efficient.
Regarding the approach to the lectures and seminars, it is really different from what I expected. In relatively small groups, everyone has the opportunity to take part in the discussion, to ask questions and get clarification in a very pleasant atmosphere, and that is essential to people who are not comfortable in speaking another language or simply a little shy. In addition, every professor is available for a personal meeting for any kind of questions and problem one could fall into, and that is something really important to me.
Apart from the academic life, I found Cardiff a very nice city, where it is easy to meet people from all around the world, to get in touch with different cultures, and I'm glad to have this opportunity. The Cardiff Student Union, in particular the Graduate Centre, organize a lot of different activities and trips, and that is where I met my new friends.