Adjusting to life in Cardiff

Living abroad is a big step, and it does take time to adjust. We hope that you will be fine but there is additional support available to all international and EU students should you need it.

International student support

We have dedicated International advisors in our Student Support team to help you with a range of issues including:

  • Adjusting to a new and unfamiliar culture
  • Being confused by new values, behaviours, beliefs and lifestyles
  • Feeling lonely and isolated
  • Adjusting to the informal nature of UK culture
  • Feeling the loss of your familiar life
  • Adapting to different social hierarchies
  • Feeling you have to achieve perfect academic results possibly as a result of family pressure
  • Wondering how to make friends with UK students
  • Anxieties about returning home after your time in the UK
  • Relationship concerns.

We also offer a full, confidential counselling service where you can discuss any issues you have with a professional counsellor.

Coping with homesickness

Missing your friends and family back home is only natural. So here are some tips to help:

  1. Make connections with people from your own culture and background, if possible.
  2. Keep in touch with family and friends via the internet (Skype, email etc.).
  3. Keep busy - join in the activities provided by the Students Union.
  4. Watch films and read books about travel that you find inspiring.
  5. Cardiff is a lovely city to walk about in and is very safe in the daytime. Many people go into town to enjoy the city on their own.
  6. Keep active - physical activity can lift your mood.
  7. Eat well and try to discover where to buy the food you enjoy.
  8. Plan your time well, mark on your calendar activities and study times this can help you put your feelings of loneliness into some kind of perspective.
  9. Make as much effort as you are able socially, even if this doesn’t always bring instant results. Keep trying.
  10. Establish some kind of daily routine.
  11. Make your room comfortable and familiar.
  12. Sometimes you will feel less homesick and it is important to ask yourself; "what am I doing that is making me feel better?".
  13. Think that all this hard work will take you into a new phase of life with better employment prospects.
  14. Send photos home so that your friends and family have a good understanding of your current life.

If life begins to upset you, contact our counselling service -  you are not alone.