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Wendy Blyth, Social Science Research Methods

Wendy Blyth

From California to Cardiff, Wendy Blyth first came to the School of Social Sciences in 2008 for a study abroad year. Here, Wendy describes how a serendipitous decision helped her on the way to a life-changing journey.

I’m a SoCal girl, originally from Huntington Beach in Southern California. My decision to study abroad at Cardiff was half fate and half good recruitment by the University's International Office. I knew I wanted to study abroad so I planned on going to a general talk about the process held at my University's study abroad office. When I got there, a representative from Cardiff University was holding a talk in another room just opposite. I was lured in by the prospectus showing the great Main Building of Cardiff University and I was hooked by the details about its reputation inside. There were also current students at the talk who gave me a sense of what living and going to University in the city of Cardiff was really like. From all that, I was sold. Hook, line and sinker.

I had a great time at the University, both socially and academically. I played on the Ladies Basketball team and made some great friends. More importantly I met some great academics and students as well. One thing that I love about Cardiff University is the investment in students. I’ll admit that with the reputation of SOCSI, I was a little intimidated and worried about how well I would do. When I got here I asked for help with assignments and put the extra hours in to do well. When you put the time in, the School is really great about giving back and providing support for you and your future.

Having had such a wonderful experience here during my year abroad, I wasn’t ready for it to end which is why I came back and did a Masters in Social Science Research Methods. People in the School inspire you to think big and do more. I had never thought about doing a Masters until I moved here, then when I finished my year abroad a couple of people at SOCSI put the idea in my head and it stuck. If I was going to do a Masters I wanted to do it in a school that supports its students' success, and from my experience, that was here.

I gained so much from this experience; great friends, great stories, awesome travel experiences and more cultural knowledge than ever before. But I think the biggest thing I gained, perhaps without even realising at the time, was self-confidence. Ask most people who have studied abroad, and they will likely tell you that there is something about putting all your belongings in one suitcase and jumping on a plane by yourself to live in another country that changes you as a person. Having to meet new people every day, I’m a lot less shy than I once was. New experiences and changes in life have become more exciting and less intimidating.

I am now living in Cardiff and I’ve recently got a job as a University Graduate Intern. I’m currently working in the student recruitment team, and enjoying every minute of it. I hope to stay living in Cardiff and working for the University for as long as possible.

Article taken from Cardiff News, Volume 19 No.3 (December 2012) Available to read here