Heledd Lewis, current student
"Choosing to study Welsh was something that came naturally to me – this is the subject I enjoyed throughout secondary school – I could express myself through this language and I knew that I wanted a future in the subject. By studying Welsh, I have the opportunity to study Welsh literature from the medieval times to the most recent works. This gives a full picture to any student of the development of the language over the centuries, and the cultural and historical changes. As well as writing critically, there is an opportunity at Cardiff University to follow creative writing modules and this has encouraged me to write material for competitions such as the Eisteddfod. But the greatest advantage of a degree in Welsh is that it’s opened so many doors for me in Wales, and the diversity of the degree has given me the opportunity to showcase my wide range of skills."
Anys Jones, current student
"I chose to study Welsh at Cardiff University because it gave me the opportunity not only to study Welsh poetry and prose throughout the centuries but also to write creatively and study modules such as ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ and ‘Welsh for Adults’. The course offers a great variety and it has something to suit everyone. The social opportunities through the medium of Welsh offered by the University are also valuable. I believe that studying Welsh as a degree subject gives you many essential skills for the world of work today. In this bilingual Wales, the ability to offer bilingual skills to any employer gives you an advantage and I believe that the module ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ is important as it gives a taste of the different careers available today."
Llŷr Gwyn Lewis, graduated in 2009
"The School of Welsh here in Cardiff is small – but perfectly formed! There is never a sense of distance between anyone – neither amongst the students nor between the staff and the students. Staff greet you in the corridor, will more than likely know your name, and their office door is always open for you to come in and discuss anything with them – whether it’s an academic or a personal query, or simply just to chat about your time here at the University.
There are experts here on each and every aspect of Welsh – from the literary to the linguistic, and the teaching standard is nothing short of excellent. In addition, an impressive amount of research goes on here alongside the teaching – whether it’s by postgraduate students, research assistants or members of the academic staff themselves. This goes to show how active and dynamic the School is, and it’s an honour to know that those who teach you are leaders in their fields of study.
There is a great deal of collaboration between the students as well – everyone knows each other and we have fun – in and out of the School! There is a vibrant young Welsh community in Cardiff and this is an integral part of the academic experience as well as the academic work.
I wouldn’t change a single thing about my experience as a student here so far; this is definitely the place to be if you want to be part of an active and lively School, as well as part of a wider Welsh community which is equally as dynamic."
Huw Foulkes, graduated in 2008
"As a final year student at Cardiff University, I’m very aware of the nervousness, excitement and the fear of having to move from the countryside to a large city, and the start of a new chapter in life. The first thing that struck me about Cathays was the variety of cultures that co-exist here. Whilst walking to a lecture, it’s impossible not to hear several different languages being spoken by various students along the way, a far cry from hearing only Welsh being spoken on the school playground.
Whilst adapting to this urban culture, one must be open to a number of social changes and developments. However, you can rest assured that there are plenty of other students who are in precisely the same situation as you.
The Gym Gym (Cardiff University’s Welsh Society) welcomes Welsh-speaking students and caters for everyone’s tastes by organising pub crawls, folk-dancing, trips to the Inter-Collegiate Eisteddfod as well as an annual rugby trip to support Wales in the 6-Nations. It feels almost like moving to a small town within a larger city. In Cathays, there are a number of small corner shops, a few small branches of larger chains as well as a variety of restaurants and pubs. By walking ten minutes in one direction, you’ll end up in the city centre, and by walking in the opposite direction, you end up on the University campus – the location is really perfect.
The most popular hall of residence amongst the Welsh students is Senghenydd Court, and it is here that the majority of the Welsh speaking students reside during their first year.
There is plenty of fun to be had here and I’m certain that you’ll look back fondly at your first year in years to come.
After this first year, you can then move out to a house with a group of friends, and there certainly isn’t a lack of houses here – indeed there are more houses than there are students, so I doubt you’ll have any problems finding one!
So don’t worry too much – there are plenty of things to keep you entertained and busy in Cardiff and in the Cathays area. I’m sure that your time as a student here will be fondly remembered forever and that after your first week any worries will have disappeared and you’ll be making the most out of your life as a student having left the countryside for Cathays!"
Catrin Elis, graduated 2007
"I currently work as an Executive Communications Officer at Cardiff International Airport, and the experiences that I had at the School of Welsh have undoubtedly helped me a great deal in my career. The wide range of modules offered by the School helped me customise my degree and follow paths that were of interest to me. In addition to the academic work, we were also given a number of opportunities to give presentations, which helped develop our communication skills and confidence in public speaking. Above all, all there was always a great deal of fun to be had at the School – I met some of my best friends there!"
Hywel Owen, graduated in 1996
"I followed the undergraduate course at the School before completing a PhD on the effects of de-industrialisation on the Welsh language in Carmarthenshire, under the supervision of Professor Colin H. Williams. My experience at the School was a happy and a pleasant one, and the lecturers made the students feel at home. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cardiff; I have continued to work in the capital and am now based at the Welsh Assembly Government."