Xinying, a recent BSc Computer Science graduate student, talks about Cardiff and gives lots of advice to applicants of all disciplines.
Student name: Xinying Wang
Course title: BSc Computer Science
Year of graduation: 2016
Why did you choose Cardiff University?
Cardiff University has a good reputation in teaching and research. Cardiff is also a pretty safe city, and the living cost is cheaper than other big cities like Edinburgh and London.
Tell us about your course. How is it different to classes back home?
I am studying Computer Science. The course setups are very different to those at home. Chinese universities have many compulsory modules like Situation and Policy Education, Physical Education, Military Training, the Basic Tenets of Marxism, an introduction to Mao Zedong thought, etc., which are unrelated to our degree and cost students lots of time to study them. Studying courses here is efficient because we only study modules related to the degree scheme.
In each course, there is not a textbook designed for the course. Generally, your tutor will provide a full list of readings, and you can find most of them in the library. British books are more expensive than in China, so I read them in the library, borrow them from the library, or photocopied chapters.
Due to the large group of students, Chinese professors would not spend too much time on you even they are your project supervisors. Here, my project supervisor has a small number of students so that he can give us more guidance.
What have you enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
There are many study spaces in libraries and IT rooms, plus Wi-Fi. It feels comfortable and convenient to study and work here.
Tutors are all friendly and kind, they give me a lot of support and help me to go further in the field of Computer Science. I would like to express the deepest gratitude to my personal tutor and my project supervisor! I appreciate them for their guidance, support, and patience!
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
I love the climate here so much! Cardiff is cosy in summer and warm in winter whereas most areas in China have a super-hot summer!
I love the people here! They are friendly and kind. If you are taking a map and looking around on the street, there is always someone who will ask if you need any help.
I love the view here! There are few high-rise buildings and not so many people in Cardiff; you can always get a sweeping view of the beautiful scenery.
Are you a member of any clubs and/or societies? What is it like to be part of a society?
I did not join any clubs, but I am a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador of our college. As STEM ambassadors, we teach young kids to program in classroom settings and explain current applications of STEM in industry or research. I met many young kids who have a great interest in techniques and programming. It is a great feeling to encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects.
How has the University supported you during your time here?
There are several departments in Cardiff University that help students to address their problems. For example, the Student Support Centre can help you with your visa application; the Job Shop forwards you lots of job opportunities; the student unions organize lots of activities that you may be interested in; the accommodation team can help you to find a private sector without an extra fee and so on.
What would be your advice for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
You will learn a lot if you do everything by yourself. If you apply for your university study via an agency, I would like to advise you do not leave everything to your agency.
Do not feel embarrassed to speak and make mistakes, and if you have any questions about whatever, in study or life, do not hesitate to ask your tutor or friends.
Choose to live in University accommodation rather than rent a house outside with your Chinese friends; you will never improve your English if you speak Chinese most of the time.
Try to find some part-time jobs, do not be scared of interviews.
What are your plans for the future?
I graduated in Cardiff University with First Class honours in July 2016 and got an offer to study MSc Computer Graphics, Vision, and Imaging from UCL. I will continue my studies in London this September.