Nan came to Cardiff in 2014 to study her Master’s degree and decided to stay to complete her PhD in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture.
Name: Nan Hu
Degree course: MA International Journalism (2014), PhD in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture 2018
Why did you choose Cardiff?
When I applied for my Masters, I received a few offers from different universities within the UK. It was not a hard choice since I did research beforehand and knew that the School of Journalism, Media and Culture in Cardiff University is one of the best ones and has an excellent reputation worldwide. I was also attracted by the location of the university – the size of the city is just perfect and there is easy access to green spaces for running and walks. What made me want to stay for my PhD in Cardiff University is the academic and research atmosphere in my school. Lecturers and staff here are always so supportive.
Tell us about your course. How is it different to studying back home?
Studying back home will be a very different experience. For a master’s degree, the design of the course is tighter in the UK and they have no compulsory lectures as most master courses do in China. It is the same with a PhD. Also, the courses here encourage critical thinking and independent work, which is very different with the style of teaching and learning in China. Finally, studying abroad is an extremely valuable experience as I got to immerse myself in the culture here and made lots of friends from different backgrounds.
What you have enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
The time I spent with my course mates. We still keep in touch closely. I also enjoyed the engagement with the lecturers and staff from my school. They are very inspiring.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
I can’t talk about this enough. There are people who love big cities like such as London, but Cardiff is just the best for me. It is not too big, but it has everything I needed. The best thing is probably how close it is to the all the parks, especially the Brecon Beacons National Park. All the hikes I did there made me fall in love with Wales more and more.
How has the University supported you during your time in Cardiff?
As an international student, I felt really supported studying in Cardiff University. The English Language Support was really helpful in improving my academic writing skills. The library service is also brilliant, especially the inter-library loan service. As a PhD student, I received immense support from the Doctoral Academy, as they provide individual study spaces for researchers.
What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
Don’t only look at the overall rankings when you make your decision. Try to search for specific Schools. Cardiff University has many brilliant Schools that have excellent teaching and researching reputations. Also, the only thing I worried before I came to Cardiff was that I heard people here might have a strong accent. That turned out to be not a problem at all since everyone here speaks English and it is a very friendly place that welcomes international students.
What are your plans for the future?
Either to work in a university or do something different combining the skills and expertise I have, such as working in the arts and cultural sector. I guess it also depends where I will settle in the future.