Who are you and where are you from?
Hi. I am Mohamad Faiz and I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Undoubtedly my nationality is Malaysian.
What course are you studying?
I am a second year student doing Foundation Degree in Football Coaching and Performance
How did you find out about the University of South Wales?
At first I use Google to find out about football in Wales and it directed me to the University website link. I go through the link and found out that one of the past Football Coaching student is working with 1 Malaysia Cardiff City Academy based in Malaysia which gave me the opportunity to get in touch with him.
Why did you choose to study here?
First of all I wanted to experience the culture which is different from Malaysia and what is the most important is the Football scene over here is world class.
Tell us about the course you are studying and how you find the lectures?
What I expected when I decided to further my studies here is to be only taught football but part of the course does include a few science modules as well which is very interesting. All of the equipment used for the practical studies is top class and the lecturer’s way of presenting their knowledge to students is easy to understand.
Tell us a bit more about studying at the University, what is it like?
All of my mates in my class are friendly and helpful. The classroom environment is very cheerful and all of the staff are always there to help if there is a problem.
Did you attend the International Welcome Week? If you did, would you recommend it to new students?
Yes. I recommend new students that enrol with USW to attend the International Welcome Week because it is a good way to settle down in a new place/environment. The trips and events organized by USW were also interesting and fun.
What are the facilities like at the University?
Most of my lectures will be at the Sports Park located just 5 minutes from Treforest campus which USW will provide a shuttle bus from campus. The sports park is shared with Cardiff City FC Academy. This includes 5 grass football pitches, 1 3G pitch, 1 astro turf, an indoor court (various sports) and class rooms.
At Treforest campus, USW provide high standard gym facilities that can be used by students who register with the Sports Center. The USW library is also new as the building has just been up-graded last year.
During my first year, I stayed in campus which is also good because I met new friends from various countries as well. The accommodation service is well organized with high speed internet, comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms and a shared kitchen.
What have you enjoyed the most (Lecture, project, trip, particular moment etc)?
I have been given the opportunity to work with Cardiff City FC Academy teams during my second year as part of my placement. This is very good to add in my CV.
What’s the most useful thing you have learnt?
I have gained confidence to communicate with new people and learn on a lot of things in terms of living away from my family. With regards to football, which I am more focused on, it gives me a bigger view on how the football scene in UK is operated.
What is the biggest difference between life in the UK and back home?
Obviously the weather is unpredictable but after a few months it will not be a problem. In Wales it rains a lot during winter but it is the same condition back home where it rains a lot.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to study in the UK?
This is a good chance for you to consider. Studying/Living abroad is good; it will make you value the chance given. USW has a fantastic reputation, fantastic facilities and endless opportunities for you to get involved in. I would heavily encourage anyone to apply to USW, don’t hesitate to apply as I am very happy I decided to after much deliberation.
What do you do in your spare time? Have you joined any sports or social clubs?
During my first year I joined a local football club where we trained once a week and played matches on weekends. I spent twice a week in the gym when there is no lecture. Apart from that I do part time jobs during holidays or off term.
What has been the social highlight or highlights?
During International Welcome Week – within a few days of arriving in Wales it allowed me to meet new people during a trip to Bath.
How have you surprised yourself? For example, did you turn out to be really good at something you didn’t expect to be?
Yes. I am a shy and quite person but after almost two years studying here I gain confidence to talk and communicate with various people. The people around here are friendly – from students, lectures, university staff and residents who lived in Treforest.
What moment will you never forget?
During the International Welcome Week when I was encouraged to dance with some random person and my first day of lecture. I was so nervous but soon felt very at home with my surroundings and the people I met.
Tell us something that you think would be useful for prospective students to know?
Wales is a very nice place, if you want a peaceful and relaxing student life Treforest is one of the places you should consider because it is not in a city and the cost of living is not that high as well. The benefit is that Cardiff city is only 20 minutes away by train and the train station is only 2 minutes walk away from the Treforest campus.
What will you miss the most about University when your course finishes?
My football coaching classes and my course mates.
What has University taught you?
A lot! The most important thing is being independent and organising my time well.
What are your aspirations? What would you like to do when you finish your studies?
After graduation I hope to gain a job related with football, specializing in coaching. Ideally I hope to be able to work in exciting countries with big football clubs.