My desire to travel brought me to studying abroad. I’ve traveled a lot around the U.S. and wanted to see the rest of the world. My home university’s study abroad advisor suggested going to Cardiff, as it was a school with a great reputation and matched what I was looking for. Being at Cardiff University was great! I made so many new friends, got to travel during breaks, and learned a lot about myself. Living in the campus residencies was a big help in meeting people. It was so easy to befriend my neighbors and my flat mates who are now some of my best friends.
I was amazed at how easy it was to get around the U.K. and the rest of Europe. I was able to travel to London and other major cities in the U.K. by using buses and trains. Cardiff University’s Student Union has an amazing activities calendar called Give It A Go. You can hike to waterfalls, visit famous monuments, jump in underground caves, and more! During school breaks and holidays, my friends and I mainly flew to other countries to explore. There are some cheap airlines to use when getting around the rest of Europe like FlyBe, Ryan Air, and Vueling.
What surprised me the most about coming to Cardiff University was the large Latin American Society. Being Mexican-American, I thought I would be around people who did not look like me or come from a similar background, but that was the complete opposite. I made some great Colombian, Argentinian, and Venezuelan friends. The society’s events were some of my study abroad experience highlights.
Homesickness was my biggest challenge being abroad because I had never been away from home for a year. I felt it the most during the Christmas/New Years holidays and when traveling. I had the privilege of traveling a lot during my time abroad and at times when being in those amazing cities, I had wished my mom and siblings were there with me to experience it all too. When you go abroad, it is not just for yourself but for others too. You get to come home and tell everyone who does not have the opportunity to go travel how Paris, Rome, and the rest of those big cities really are.
If you are thinking of studying abroad, DO IT! It is a bit intimidating in the beginning and the process can get overwhelming if you do not plan your personal statement and decide whom to get letters of recommendation from, but the experience is so worth it. Get out there and see the world. Cardiff University will be there for you to help you grow as a person and student.