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Top 10 Insider Tips to Ease Your Pre-Arrival anxiety at Cardiff University Part 1

5 April 2024
Photo by Taylor Floyd Mews on Unsplash
Photo by Taylor Floyd Mews on Unsplash

Hey fellow Cardiff University newbies! If you’re feeling a mix of excitement and a bit of nervousness or anxiety about starting our journey at Cardiff University, you’re not alone. It’s completely natural to experience these feelings as our big move approaches—especially for those of us heading over for the pre-sessional English language courses. I’ve been in your shoes, feeling that blend of eagerness and apprehension. But here’s the good news: there are steps we can take to ease those feelings. That’s exactly what this blog series aims to do. In Part 1, I’m sharing the first five of ten essential tips to help us prepare and reduce our pre-departure anxiety. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Stay Connected: Sorting Out Your SIM Card Early

Stepping off the plane with your phone ready to go can be a game-changer. Sure, airport Wi-Fi exists, but it’s not always reliable, and nothing beats having your own data plan sorted. I learned this the easy way when I popped in a three-month prepaid UK SIM card before my flight. By the time I landed, I was all set to send a quick text home—“Made it, love you!”—without a hitch. And when my initial plan was up, I found plenty of shops in Cardiff’s city center to choose a new local SIM card. It was a breeze, honestly, and it’s something I’d recommend to any new Cardiff student. Not only does it mean you’re instantly reachable, but it also gives you and your family back home some much-needed peace of mind.

Cash or Card? Setting Up Your Spending in Cardiff

Landing after a long-haul flight, you might find yourself craving a strong coffee or a snack—trust me, it’s the little comforts that matter when you’re jet-lagged! It’s a good idea to have an international credit card and some cash on hand. I remember, I landed with just my phone, ready to tap away on any card machine. But reality check—some places have a minimum card payment that my single espresso definitely didn’t meet. Most places do take cards, yes, but for those times when you just need a bottle of water or a piece of fruit, a little cash can go a long way. Save yourself the hassle; carry a bit of change and be ready for anything.

Digital Dive-In: Sync Up with Uni Wi-Fi

Getting hooked up to Cardiff University’s Wi-Fi in advance? Total lifesaver. Picture this: You arrive, your device pings, and there you go—you’re already online. I arranged my connection back home, and as soon as I walked into my student accommodation, my phone was instantly connected to the university network. It felt like a little welcome gift! I recall a classmate during our language course who hadn’t set up their devices beforehand and ended up frantically trying to get online. Totally unnecessary stress! So, make it easy on yourself: set it up before you land. It’s a smooth move that’ll spare you from first-day connection chaos. Don’t forget to click here and follow the steps to tap into the campus Wi-Fi from day one.

Power Up: Stay Charged and Ready to Go

As international students, we’re no strangers to the epic journey it takes to get to Cardiff. Between layovers and long flights, keeping our devices charged is a mission on its own. My best travel hack? Bring a UK power adapter and a flight-friendly power bank. On my way here, having my phone charged meant I could snap last-minute departure lounge selfies and catch up on messages without a hitch. Remember, not all planes or airports have convenient charging points, so it’s better to come prepared. Plus, arriving with a full battery means you can navigate to your new digs or play your favorite tunes as you settle in, making the first day a little less daunting and a lot more like home.

Smooth Moves: Navigating from the Airport to Your New Home

Touching down in a new country, the first question is usually, “How do I get to my new home from here?” It’s a valid worry—airports can be overwhelming places. But here’s a pro tip to ditch the disorientation: check out Cardiff University’s handy travel guide. It’s got all the travel info you could need to get from the airport to campus. And get this—in September, there’s even a free Coach Collection service from London Heathrow courtesy of the university. It’s like a welcome hug from Cardiff University! Having these details squared away made our arrival feel less like a leap into the unknown and more like the exciting first step on our Cardiff adventure.

And there you have it, the first five of my top ten tips for easing into life at Cardiff Uni. Feeling a bit more prepared? I hope so! But don’t pack away your notepad just yet; there’s more to come. In Part 2, we’ll delve into the social side of things and making the most of your first few weeks. Cardiff’s got a lot to offer, and I can’t wait to share the insider scoop on how to make your new city feel like home. Stay tuned, and get ready to kick off your Cardiff adventure with confidence and a little know-how!