Nights out in Swansea were some of the greatest experiences I had Past Review

By (Rhetoric, Drake University) for

Swansea University: Swansea - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was by far the best thing I could have done for myself. I'm significantly more independent and able to travel alone competently. It made me more aware of how the rest of the world views America, despite how welcoming the Welsh are. I would definitely consider living abroad sometime in the future.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was far less than anything I do at my home university. They expect students to do lots of learning on their own, but there is no means to check that and very few students I encountered actually did. It was mostly a system where students scrape by doing the smallest possible work. But they are not rewarded as easily as they are at home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The study abroad team at Swansea were phenomenal. They understood the problems students face and worked with us to create easy solutions. They tried to make our experience the best it could be. They also organized trips for the international students. One of the staff was available to talk to us always. We even had the coordinators home number if there were any serious problems.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a flat owned by the university. It was located in the Hendrefoelan Student Village where 3,000 Swansea students live. I lived with 6 other British students all in their first year of university. This was by far the best aspect of studying in Swansea. <br /><br /> The Student Village was very old and run-down. But it was the best place for students to live. They have a laundry facility, bar, convenient store, and diner all within the Village. A bus ran from the Village to uni every 15 minutes so it was very easy to get to classes. It was a 10 minute cab ride to city center, or a 20 minute bus ride. I bought the bare necessities for my room, sheets and towels, and borrowed everything in the kitchen from my flatmates. My flatmates made my experience such a positive one, so I wouldn't choose anything else.

* Food:

The Village is self-catered. The diner in the Village served mostly greasy food, and catered mostly to drunk students coming back from a night out. The food of Wales leaves something to be desired. All the pubs are really cheap but serve the same menu everywhere.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Nights out in Swansea were some of the greatest experiences I had. On student nights, everything was cheaper and it was nice to know everyone around you went to uni. St. David's Day was really cool to see, all the kids in Swansea dressed in traditional Welsh outfits.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was treated immediately at the health center when I had a cold. And I never felt unsafe in Swansea. Everyone is so incredibly friendly it's hard not to feel like you belong.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The bus pass in Swansea was about 220 pounds, which was a huge expense I didn't expect but it impossible to live without. I definitely under budgeted while I was there. Take whatever you think you are going to spend and almost double it.


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Give everything a chance, because it takes time to get comfortable with new situations. The other girls in my program hated Swansea upon arrival, simply because we had to figure things out for ourselves and it wasn't as nice as they were used to. But if you want to have an amazing time while abroad and forget school for a term, then Swansea is a great place to do it. As with all programs, you have to be super flexible on classes or where you live.