Tell us about the leisure activities in the area – what did you do in your spare time?
I usually went exploring different places with my friends. We liked taking little trips around the country to places like Swansea, Caerphilly, Blackpool, Manchester and London. It’s a waste not to explore when the country is so beautiful and rich in history. I also joined in activities the International Student Support team organised. It was really fun going on trips with other students; I got to make some friends from it.
Tell us about your experience in finding accommodation
I was a little worried when I first came to the UK and I didn’t have any arrangements for accommodations made at all. I contacted the Accommodation Service at the University when I got there and was able to find a place quite easily. I stayed on-campus in the University hostel for 6 months before moving to a shared house outside. The student support and accommodation service officers helped me out a lot, gave me advice about the contracts and utility bills etc. I didn’t face any difficulties at all considering it was the first time I was doing all this on my own.
Are there plenty of transport links in the area? Easy access to trains and buses?
It’s very easy to take public transport. The train station and bus stops are very close by so it was really easy to travel to the city centre any time. The timetables and updates about the transport were easily available on-line as well. I applied for student travel passes so I was able to get discounts on tickets.
Were you able to find a part time job while you studied? If so, how did you find the process?
I found a part time job in the second year of my course. My profession is in Healthcare and although I could have easily applied for other regular jobs, I didn’t want to stray from Healthcare, so it took a bit of time. I did some research about working in UK so I knew I had to apply for a National Insurance number first as you cannot work without one. There was also the CRB check that had to be done once I got the job since I was to work in Healthcare. Other than that I didn’t find the process much different from anywhere else.
Tell us about the food options on and off campus
The menus on campus usually offer quite a variety of different choices – from hot food to sandwiches and salads. There are a lot of Asian shops/takeaways and chain restaurants like KFC and Dominos nearby so you won’t go hungry. There are also takeaway restaurants that offer Halal meat and Vegetarian options.
How did the culture and lifestyle compare to that of your home country? Did you enjoy the experience?
It is very different from the culture and lifestyle compared to back home. The people are always kind and helpful and there were always festivals taking place which allowed me experience the different traditions.