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Nathan is a first-year Politics student from Phoenix.
Course title: Politics (BSc Econ)
Year of graduation: 2025
Nathan is a committee member of the student Politics Society, a member of the Polo Club, and keeps busy with lots of other student societies across campus.
Why did you decide to apply to study in the UK?
There are a number of reasons I decided to apply to study in the United Kingdom. The opportunity of gaining exposure to a unique culture and history of a beautiful nation is a huge benefit. The UK also offers a reasonable cost, an alternative to schools in the US. While international fees are not cheap, the cost is comparable to that of an instate school. Finally, I must say I was a bit tired of the desert and the UK provided a vastly different landscape for me to explore.
What made you choose Cardiff?
Out of the five universities I applied to there was something special about Cardiff. For starters, everyone I had talked to recommended Cardiff as an amazing city and a great university. When making my decision, I took into account so many different things but in the end, I decided that Cardiff would be the best for me given its connections to the Welsh government and the beauty of the city in general.
How did you find the application process?
The application process was at first intimidating to me. I remember being confused and a bit nervous when first approaching UCAS as it was very different to our application system in the US. After spending time doing my applications I found that UCAS was much more streamlined and easy to use than US application systems. Everything is very easily laid out and it is exceptionally easy to get in contact with someone if you have a question.
What were your first impressions of Cardiff?
The minute I arrived in Cardiff I fell in love. From the Bay to city center, Cardiff is unique in everything it has to offer. I have never felt as though I have nothing to do while living in Cardiff.
Have you found it easy to make friends and settle in?
One of my biggest worries when moving to the UK was that it may be difficult to connect with others. This worry has been proven wrong more times than I could ever possibly count. When you first arrive at university, everyone is looking to make friends and everyone looks out for each other to make sure they’re settling in nicely. I would strongly recommend participating in as many induction week or general course events as you can. By becoming active in clubs and societies you may also meet amazing people. I have made great friends through societies and on my course, the key thing to remember is that everyone is looking for friends when they first get to University.
How have you found your course so far?
I have personally found my course to be absolutely amazing. The lecturers are all experts in their fields and my seminars have provided great learning moments and debates. The coursework is manageable and the guidance resources provided by the University are exceptional. I would say the biggest difference between my course here in the UK and a politics course in the US would be the lack of general education. I am able to jump straight into politics classes without taking anything unrelated to politics. Overall, there has never been a point in my course where I’ve felt I’m learning something useless or that I could spend my time better doing something else.
What’s your favourite thing about the University?
My favourite thing about Cardiff University is all of the social opportunities offered. Getting involved with a range of societies has really been one of the best decisions I think I have made. Societies offer a range of opportunities and rewarding experiences that can truly benefit you in the future.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of studying in the UK?
My one piece of advice to someone who is thinking of studying in the UK would be to just apply. When I first applied to study in the UK I didn’t think I’d actually end up here. I thought it would be cool if I got in but I knew next to nothing about studying in the UK until I received my first offer. There is no harm in applying and if you don’t study in the UK you can say you’ve examined your opportunities. However, without taking that first step and submitting an application you won’t get the chance to consider the opportunity if it is presented to you.