The sweet life of a student.

Since more than half of the first semester at Cardiff University is already over, I thought I’d tell you some more about my life as postgraduate student at Cardiff University. It is defnitely hard work but it’s more than awesome at the same time. The university is simply beautiful, our courses and all the teachers are inspiring and my coursemates are just a big bunch of 64 international students from all over the world!

In this picture you can see the whole course with our course director Elliot Pill. The picture was taken during our Research Away Day at Cardiff Castle. The day was meant to be an opportunity for us to get away from our usual lecture halls and experience workshops about creativity, storytelling and engage ourselves in brainstorming ideas for our master’s-thesis. We also took our time to get to know each other better and explore the beauty of being surrounded by people from different cultures.

Storytelling Workshop

Storytelling Workshop

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

Our lecture hall for the day

Our lecture hall for the day

As soon as the official part of the day was over, our course leaders had arranged a free castle tour for us, which was simply breathtaking. Cardiff Castle was built in the 11th century and went through the hands of different Welsh royals before it became the home of the Bute family in the 18th century. The name of the Bute family appears in different contexts in Cardiff, a bunch of locations are named after them – for example Bute building and Bute park just to name a few.

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Castle Library

Castle Library

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My usual week consists of three days of formal lectures (Tuesday to Thursday) and several group meetings or days in the library. All our lectures take place in Bute building, which is right in the centre of Cardiff University’s main campus. Although Bute building is one of the oldest buildings on campus (the university was established in 1889), the library inside the building follows the newest technological standards and offers the perfect atmosphere for spending all the dark rainy winter days there (oh boy…), working on group projects, individual assignments or our thesis proposal.

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Inside Bute building.

Inside Bute building.

Bute Library.

Bute Library.

Study-Buddies - Keshia, Aditi, Corrie an me.

Study-Buddies – Keshia, Aditi, Corrie an me.

Although all of us take our courses very seriously, we still enjoy the sweet life of a student: sleeping in on Mondays or Fridays or the occasional going-out on Sunday evenings. Every night out ends at “Chippy Lane” – a small alley in Cardiff city centre where everyone buys a massive portion of fish & chips to end the night in a proper British fashion.

Sunday night out!

Sunday night out!

Janice, Kat, Corrie and me.

Janice, Kat, Corrie and me.

Long time no see!

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I cannot believe that it has been almost a month since I have last posted an update on the blog.
This probably means that I have fully settled in to my life in Cardiff and that my studies have already taken up all of my time here.

These past few weeks have been busy – half of the semester is already over. Only six more weeks to go until we start our Christmas break. Until then, 7 assignments and 2 presentations will be due, one of them being my dissertation (or rather thesis) proposal.

I have spent most of the last few in Cardiff – exploring the city, getting to know people from all around the world and settling in to life here. There has also been a short trip to London which will of course be covered in the next blogpost.

After I have to hand in my final four assignments on 12 December, the Christmas break will start. On 13 December I will catch a bus to London and from there I will fly to Dublin to meet up with Susann (dear friend and travelling partner with whom I have explored Gothenburg, Berlin, Oklahoma and Panama City Beach) and spend the next 3 days there. On 16 December I will board a plane to go to Frankfurt to spend my first few days in Germany with Alexandra and Florian. From 20 December until 16 January I will be in Unna, meeting up with everyone. Then, following all the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations I will go another trip around Europe: From 17 to 24 January I will go to Athens!! Corrie, my coursemate & friend from Canada and I will explore the city and its surroundings in the days that we spend there. We will hopefully be joined by Keshia (friend & coursemate, she is from the Netherlands). On 24 January we will fly back to London and take a bus to Cardiff to start the new semester that following Monday!

So much to do, so much to see, so much to tell!
I promise you, there will be a new post soon, covering London and my time in Cardiff!

First week in Cardiff!

More than week has already passed since I arrived in Cardiff.
It’s been a week of figuring out the left-hand traffic, waking up to the sound of seagulls every morning, understanding the Welsh accent and exploring the city.

Last Saturday my mum and Lothar brought me to the airport in Dusseldorf – Checkin and everything went smoothly so that we still had a little time to have a coffee outside of the airport.

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Then it was time to say goodbye to Mama and Lothar and head to the gate. Unfortunately my flight was delayed for one hour but everything went well in the end and I arrived safely at Cardiff aiport. There I met a girl from Germany who is also studying in Cardiff and we shared a taxi to our houses. In my new home I was greeted by Rob and Anna, two of my 5 housemates. They showed me around and then it was time for me to unpack.

Our house is the one with the red circles in the middle

Our house is the one with the red circles in the middle

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That night Rob and Anna already took me out for a night of partying so that Sunday was kind of a lazy day with watching TV and Anna showing me around the city centre – it is so beautiful!

Main shopping street

Main shopping street

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On Monday during lunchtime I went to the University’s Student Union to collect my student ID. Since it was Fresher’s week, everything was totally crowded and people handed you flyers and goodies everywhere. In the end I had to wait in a queue for half an hour before I finally received my ID.

Freshers week!

Freshers week!

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That day I also walked around the beautiful campus and tried to allocate myself a little. My classes are in Bute Building, which is home to the College of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. It is about a 15min walk from our house, so that’s perfect!

Cardiff University Main Building (1)

Cardiff University Main Building (1)

Cardiff University Main Building (2)

Cardiff University Main Building (2)

Alexandra Gardens on campus.

Alexandra Gardens on campus.

Inside the Main Building

Inside the Main Building

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The rest of the week passed rather quickly – it was orientation week so I didn’t have any classes yet. Around 60 other coursemates are studying with me. At first I was kind of shocked by how many Asians are studying with me, I didn’t expect this. In general, my course consists of a bunch of people from various nations which will probably make it exciting and challenging at the same time.

From Tuesday to Friday I explored the city a little more, spent time with my roommates or prepared myself for the upcoming first week of classes.

Patriotism right outside our house ;-)

Patriotism right outside our house ;-)

Millenium Stadium (Rugby and Soccer)

Millenium Stadium (Rugby and Soccer)

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Roomie night with Trash TV.

Roomie night with Trash TV.

Saturday afternoon I met up with Jana (the girl that I met in the taxi) and we spent the day shopping and having a coffee at Coffee#1. It is a café-chain but the atmosphere is still cozy and really personal.

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That evening, Anna, Agenieszka (another one of my roommates, she is originally from Poland) had dinner together and went to a house party at a friend’s house.

Me, Anna, Agnieszka

Me, Anna, Agnieszka

Yesterday was a typical sunday – we cleaned the kitchen, watched TV, chilled in our living room and went to the city centre for a little while. Today I didn’t have any classes yet. If everything goes as planned, I will have classes from Tuesday to Thursday whereas Tuesday is the fullest day. I will have 5 classes in total in the first semester: Multi Platform Writing, Global Communication Management, Research Methods, International Public Relations theory and Law. I am really excited to finally start tomorrow!

Cardiff. It’s getting real!

This is it. Soon I’ll be a student at Cardiff University!

I cannot believe it – tomorrow I’ll be leaving for Cardiff. The days of anticipation and waiting are finally over. It’s been about a year since my first encounter with Cardiff University and it’s been 8 months since I got the letter of acceptance.

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Starting next week I’ll be studying the Master of Arts in International Public Relations and Global Communications Management among about 40 other students whom I don’t know yet. I am hoping to encounter inspiring personalities in my fellow students as well as my professors and the university staff. Studying abroad once more and being able to learn about a foreign approach to studying will be extremely rewarding for me.

Tomorrow I’ll be departing from Dusseldorf airport at 11.45 a.m. and I will arrive at Cardiff airport at 12.20 p.m. local time. In Cardiff I will take a taxi to go to our house where I will meet Rob (one of my roommates) who will show me around my new home. I am eager to get to know my other roommates as well – most of them are international students, too! I will use the weekend to get acquainted with the city and settle in. On Tuesday school will start: the first week will be an orientation before classes start on September 29th.

When I think about it, building and crossing bridges brought me to where I am today – a future student at Cardiff University and an excited girl who is going to spend the next year of her life in Wales!

[the picture is taken from and owned by http://www.pinterest.com]