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Colombian MSc Information Security and Privacy student Adalberto discusses his course and what makes Cardiff a special place to live and study.
Name: Adalberto Garcia
School: Computer Sciences
Degree: MSc Information Security and Privacy
Year of study: 2015 - 2016
Twitter and Instagram: @AdalbertoGame
Why did you choose Cardiff?
I wanted to come to Great Britain to continue my education and improve my English. I had a couple of cities in mind and after doing some research Cardiff caught my eye, because for a capital city is pretty quiet, full of nature, attractions and nice places to go. It’s perfect for students, and here I realised that Cardiff was a good choice, you will never get bored! And the fact that Cardiff is one of the most affordable cities in the UK makes it better.
Tell us about your course. How is it different to classes back home?
Regarding the classes, they are both practical and theoretical, we have the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the lectures, in a workshop in the laboratory. We can actually see and confirm that the lecturer’s lessons and concepts are real.
In addition to lectures and workshops, classes also depend on the personal study of students. The class does not end when the teacher leaves the room, computer labs and libraries are available for students even during holidays, which is an added value for curious students like me.
What you have enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
A lot of things! Starting with my classmates, the international aspect of Cardiff University allowed me to meet people from different countries, getting to know their cultures and knowledge.
Different events taking place throughout the year in the university, and societies are other aspects that have allowed me to socialise, meet different people and learn new things.
The fact that there are libraries and spaces to study opened 24 hours a day, all week is amazing! I personally think that each activity has its own space, for studying there are libraries, if you want to relax you can go to the park or the bay, for having fun, in the City Centre there are plenty of attractions… here there is space for any activity.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
Cardiff has many things to offer, from old Castles to modern shopping centres, and green parks where you can relax or exercise. You can have British breakfast in the morning and Asian food in the afternoon in a restaurant, and the best part is, you can reach any of these places with just a bit of walking.
I had read on Cardiff University's website that popular TV shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who are filmed in Cardiff, but I never imagined I could see the actors in the field, in fact, I met Peter Capaldi from Doctor Who!
During spring campus becomes the set of multiple television series, and we have the chance to see them being filmed.
Are you a member of any clubs and/or societies? What is it like to be part of a society?
Yes, I have really enjoyed being a member of the Catholic Society and also the Latin American Society, which was starting when I got here. There are a lot of societies, being part of one is being part of a group of friends with the same thoughts and interests. It is amazing how people from different countries and cultures can have many things in common and become friends in a society. I really recommend joining at least one, it is very supportive and a good experience.
How has the University supported you during your time here?
When I first came to Cardiff the staff were very friendly and helpful, they made me feel that they cared about me and my experience, until this day they are always keen to help and solve each one of my enquiries.
The various events and trips organised by the Students’ Union were a great help too, thanks to that, I know more about Wales. In addition, another service that the Students’ Union has which was a big support, is the Jobshop, a student employment service. Taking casual and temporary jobs not only allowed me to earn extra money for my personal expenses, it also brought me additional experiences, being able to go places with a completely different environments. This can be relaxing and productive, especially during exam times.
What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
Do not think twice, go for it! You will not regret it. Cardiff is a great city and the University has a place for everyone, it does not matter your way of thinking, I am sure there is a society for you and a lot of people like you here. Follow your dreams and believe you can do it, that is my advice.
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment I’m finishing my final project or dissertation and with that my time at Cardiff University ends. After that I would like to take some time to further explore the city and the country, because I feel that time has passed too fast and there are still places that I would like to go.