Adjusting to life in Cardiff
Last updated: 03/10/2022 15:52
Cardiff is a great city to live in, but as an international student, it might take time to adjust to your new surroundings. Here are a few things to be aware of when you arrive.
Homesickness is a natural course of living in a new place. Usually, you don't experience it straight away because you are somewhere new, this is what we call the "honeymoon" period.
You will feel like you are on holiday - you'll get excited by the little things - the street signs, the buildings, the way people speak. But after a while, you might start to feel uncertain, disorientated, and alone - this is natural.
Ways to counter feeling homesick
Keep yourself busy
Bring home comforts with you
It might be a photo of your family, a mascot from school, or a gift someone gave you. These memories will give you comfort when you feel homesick
Keep in touch with your family but set boundaries
Make sure you keep in regular contact with your family be that via Whatsapp or video calls. However, keeping in touch too much can actually make you feel the distance more. The trick is to not let it get to the stage where you're communicating with people back home more than you are with people at university.
Limit your social media and screen time
Sitting in your room scrolling through your phone is addictive and it can have a big impact on your mood. On most devices you can limit your daily exposure, it'll make a big difference to your routine.
Create a routine
Jetlag will change your body clock and habits for the first week or so of living in the UK. One of the best ways to counter this is creating a routine for yourself - getting up at the same time every day, even at weekends, can really help you adapt.
Buy the right clothes
Geographically Cardiff benefits from a mild climate in comparison to other parts of the UK, but because of this it frequently rains. When you get to Cardiff it is worth checking out St David's Centre or the shops nearby to buy a reliable waterproof jacket and the appropriate clothes.
Getting moving Is a great way to clear your head. When we exercise endorphins are released into our bodies which lift our mood. There are lots of sports facilities at the university to choose from, but if that isn't something you're interested in there are plenty of places to explore on foot in the city and further afield.
Explore your new surrounds
Thanks to the rain, Cardiff and the country of Wales are very green and full of places to explore. You can walk and cycle to most parts of the city, there are lots of green spaces like Bute Park to enjoy by yourself or with friends.
Cardiff has lots of food options. Cardiff Market in the city centre is a great place to visit for fresh fish, meat and vegetables. City Road, Albany Road, and Woodville Road are home to plenty of international stores and restaurants.
Ask for help
Student Life is here to help support you whilst you are at University. Our teams can support you with everything from building your future plans, to managing your money, developing your academic skills, or disclosing you have a disability.
In the UK we have daylight savings, often referred to as the 'clocks changing'.
Every October the clocks are turned back 1 hour, and the days get shorter culminating in the Winter Solstice (the shortest day) in late December - when there are less than 9 hours of daylight.
After the Winter Solstice, the days slowly get longer, with the clocks going forward every March - culminating in the Summer Solstice (the longest day) in late June where there are almost 17 hours of daylight.
Our student bloggers share their experience of what it's really like to be a student in Cardiff University - from a typical day, the clubs and societies they've joined, the Cardiff food and music scene and everything in between.