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Alex comes from California and is studying an MSc Econ International Relations.
Course title: MSc Econ International Relations
Year of graduation: 2015
After graduating this year she is hoping to stay and work in Cardiff. Alex has been working in one of the University offices and has found that there are so many opportunities to gain experience in Cardiff.
Why did you choose Cardiff University?
I had visited Cardiff and fell in love with all it has to offer as a capital city. When it came time to applying for courses, I decided to visit again, and was led around the campus on a personal tour by a member of the international office. It was then that Cardiff University became my first choice.
There was so much energy with all the students bustling around and I was able to see where I would be on a day-to-day basis. I could really imagine myself using the facilities, from the library to the Student’s Union.
Tell us about your course. How is it different to classes back home?
As a student of International Relations, I feel like for the first time, I am gaining a truly international perspective. Not only have my professors challenged me to approach the subject differently, but I have learnt from my course mates, as we are all from different cultural and educational backgrounds.
I think that there is a huge bonus in pursuing an education internationally, and Cardiff University has given me a great amount of support as an international student.
What you have enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
What I’ve really enjoyed about being a student at Cardiff, is being a part of a culturally diverse university and getting to know people I would not have met. Additionally, watching rugby matches at the millennium stadium and enjoying tea and Welsh cakes by the castle are such fun ways to experience the culture of Wales.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
The best thing about Cardiff is that it is a major city, but is smaller in comparison to other capital locations. It has so much to offer, from public events to restaurants and shopping, but it never feels overwhelming or impersonal. I really enjoy the beautiful parks and public spaces, but can also appreciate the great dining and vibrant nightlife. I always feel like there is so much more to see and do.
Are you a member of any clubs and/or societies? What’s it like to be part of a society?
The first experience I remember after coming to Cardiff was walking through the societies fair. I was blown away by how many and how diverse the societies were. I quickly picked several that sounded interesting before realizing that there was another room with even more.
This year, I have really enjoyed being a member of the Yoga Society, and have found it to be an inexpensive and fun way to work out while also meeting new friends. There are so many good student organisations, that it is just a matter of what you are interested in and how many you have time to be a part of.
How has the University supported you during your time here?
The Student’s Union has so much to offer in the way of services. When I first arrived there were special events and trips scheduled to help new students meet others with shared interests or backgrounds. I have also been impressed with the staff and how approachable my professors have been.
Coming from a large public university in the past, I had very little interaction with my lecturers and found Cardiff University to be a welcome change. They really take the time to know our interests and academic strengths, so that class discussions are stimulating for everyone.
What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
I would advise prospective students to take advantage of all the university has to offer, from the free seminars and workshops, Jobshop and volunteering opportunities, events, trips and entertainment hosted by the Student’s Union.
Cardiff University is a great, energetic setting to get involved and make your educational experience memorable. I would also say to try to plan for friends and family to come visit if possible. Cardiff is a fun, cultural city and its location to other travel destinations makes it perfect for hosting.
What are your plans for the future?
I am hoping to stay and work in Cardiff after I finish my dissertation. I have met so many great people and I still have friends and family hoping to come and visit so I don’t feel ready to go home yet. I have been working in one of the university offices and have found that there are so many opportunities to gain experience in Cardiff.
Read more about Alex's experience
Learn more about Alex, and her time in Cardiff, in her monthly blogs on: