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Susanna Olson

Susanna

Susanna comes from North Carolina and is studying in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Course title: BA History
Country: USA
Year of graduation: 2018

As a first year student, Susanna hopes to stay in the United Kingdom after she graduates. She would like to write historical fictional novels and teach history in a high school.

Why did you choose Cardiff University?

I first heard about Cardiff University from some American friends who lived in Cardiff. I knew I wanted to try living in another country. As I started doing research about Cardiff University, the staff was extremely helpful and kind. The more I researched, the more I fell in love the University, the History programme and the city of Cardiff. Eventually I came to visit. After touring the University and making some friends, I decided to come.

Tell us about your course. How is it different to classes back home?

"The great thing about Cardiff University is that there are tons of societies to choose from. If you have an interest that does not have a society yet, it is easy to start your own."

Susanna Olson, BA History

I love my history classes at Cardiff University. Lectures are short but packed with interesting information.

The UK system of teaching expects students to be much more independent than most American universities, which I love.

I have six fifty-minute lectures each week as well as a couple of small-group seminars. The rest of my time is free for discussion, debate, and reading, researching, and engaging with historical sources on my own and with friends.

What you have enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?

My favourite part of my history course is probably the seminars. Seminars are small group discussion sessions led by professors or graduate students. In these sessions, there are a maximum of 15 students who debate about the reading material. This really helps me to absorb the information, and it is super fun.

What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?

Cardiff has so many fun things to explore and do, from nearby castles to beautiful shopping centres. If I had to choose one favourite thing about Cardiff, it would probably be the lovely parks and trails. There are so many gorgeous public spaces. Every month I discover a new amazing trail to run.

Are you a member of any clubs and/or societies? What’s it like to be part of a society?

Some friends and I are in the process of starting a Nerf Gun Society. We will rent out rooms and organise games so that students can come to de-stress, make friends, get some exercise, and have fun in a safe and friendly environment. The great thing about Cardiff University is that there are tons of societies to choose from. If you have an interest that does not have a society yet, it is easy to start your own.

How has the University supported you during your time here?

Before I arrived, I spent a lot of time chatting on Skype with members of the International Office. Now that I am here, I have really enjoyed being assigned a personal tutor, with whom I meet regularly to discuss my goals, problems, and questions about class assignments. I am yet to meet a member of the Cardiff University staff that is not friendly and helpful.

What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?

Come! I consider moving to Cardiff for University to be one of the best decisions I have made. Living in a new country is challenging, but it has taught me so much and helped me to grow. I cannot imagine a safer or friendlier place to start a study abroad adventure than Cardiff. Also, do reach out to the staff at the International Office. They are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and kind.

What are your plans for the future?

My dream is to stay in the United Kingdom after I graduate. I would like to write historical fiction novels and teach history to high schoolers.