Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?
I chose Cardiff University for my postgraduate studies because the university is among the UK’s top 5 leading research universities. My goal for the next five years is to embark on a career in academia. Thus, the MA programme in Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University is the best choice for me to initiate my career plan. Personally, I was also greatly fond of Cardiff itself, which I visited seven times during the year of 2014 when I volunteered in Wales as a support worker. Thus I only applied for Cardiff University, and when I was accepted as an unconditional offer holder I did not even hesitate to say yes.
How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University, in terms of the programme?
The programme consists of a variety of seminars and workshops where I have learned a lot from my peers. The timetable is relatively less tight than other courses, but off-class time is filled with loads of readings, which helps me further develop my self-learning and critical thinking ability.
Teachers in my department are all friendly and committed to helping students. It was uneasy for me to switch my role from a working woman to a student again in the beginning, which lessened my confidence for my studies. But I got a lot of help from my personal tutor and other teachers in my department, which I feel very grateful for.
How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life and accommodation, again specifically as a postgraduate student?
I travelled around the UK when I lived in Wales before, and it turned out Cardiff was my favourite city. It is the capital of Wales, but the living expenses are not high compared with other major cities in England and Scotland. Cardiff has a diversity of cuisines and pubs, making it a great place to hang out with friends.
The city welcomes people from different cultures background. I have met many new friends from all over the world, which enriches my social life and horizon.
What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?
Two biggest differences about my postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to my previous degrees in Mainland China and Hong Kong are the flexibility to manage my study as well as the opportunity to interact with professionals in my field.
For one thing, I was given autonomy to select modules that I had passion for in the beginning of the semesters. I was even provided an opportunity to work as a research assistant with professional linguists in the second semester, and I could choose one project out of nine according to my own preference.
For another thing, a host of seminars, symposium and workshops in linguistics field have been hosted at Cardiff University, where I have a chance to meet renowned linguists and talk with them. This definitely benefits my study and future research.
How did you fund your postgraduate degree?
I self-funded my postgraduate degree. I worked nearly three years before I came to Cardiff University, so I saved up for my tuition fees. Also, my parents are so generous to financially support me to live in this country. Now I am taking part-time jobs trying to cover my living expenses in Cardiff as much as possible.
How do you think that your postgraduate degree is helping prepare you for the future – job aspirations, career development, future study etc?
This MA Language and Communication Research programme opens new doors for me, which develops my research skills and expands my knowledge of linguistics. I plan to apply for the PhD programme in my department by June this year and hopefully start it in October or January next year.