When many people think of the United Kingdom, they think of London. There is, however, so much more to the UK than just ‘London’ or ‘England’; there are different cultures, landscapes and traditions throughout the UK, but perhaps the most enchanting-- is Wales.
London is the capital city of the UK and it was recently home to the London 2012 Olympics. It is a popular choice for international students, because of its iconic landmarks and exciting lifestyle, but studying in London has its difficulties. The cost of living can be higher than other areas of the UK and, as with any big city, you need to consider your personal safety, and what sense of community you get from your international experience.
Wales, on the other hand, offers a unique and vibrant culture, equally brilliant educational opportunities, and is a massively affordable option, with lower accommodation and living costs.
Wales can also give you a real choice of location, where you choose to study. If you prefer a bustling city life, then there is the Capital - Cardiff, which was recently voted the best city in the UK for quality of life. The city is large enough to have everything you need, but small enough to feel safe and comfortable.
Wales is also home to the adventure capital of the UK – Bangor where you will be spoiled for choice by the range of opportunities for outdoor pursuits on the Universities doorstep, and Bangor was voted ‘Best University Setting’ (The Independent). Alternatively, for a tranquil environment, you can choose Swansea, which is home to the best beach in the UK (Trip Advisor) – Rhossili Bay.
Steeped in 3,000-years of history, Wales has been a real source of creativity and culture. From children’s author Roald Dahl, to the internationally acclaimed fashion designer Julien Macdonald, Wales continues to produce fine talent and make an impact on the international arts world.
The country has also produced world-renowned musicians such as Tom Jones, Stereophonics, and Duffy, and actors including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Christian Bale, and Catherine Zeta Jones.
The people of Wales are refreshingly open, warm-hearted and hospitable, and are keen to provide international students with a comfortable and friendly living and studying environment.
If you’re not looking for big city or neon lights, but a million little adventures then you should consider studying in Wales. The spectacular land and seascapes mean that there are plenty of things to see and do when you study in Wales. With three national parks and almost 1,200km of coastline, Wales offers some of the world’s most exciting adventure playgrounds in which you can really let yourself go. You can wakeboard, abseil, kayak, rock climb and much more.
Wales is often referred to as a ‘hidden gem’. It is not overrun with tourists like other parts of the UK can be so you can really get to know the character of the place. It is somewhere that you can call ‘home’.