The basics
THE UK: Destination Guides

Why study in Wales?

Find out why Wales is the study destination you've been looking for.

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Wales has heaps to offer international students studying in the UK. It is a beautiful, hospitable and historic country, with hundreds of castles and miles of coastline to keep you busy. Living and studying in Wales is a great way to get to know the unique character of this country.

 

In this article, we’ll delve into some of the main reasons why international students are choosing Wales for their studies. We’ll also hear from a few international students studying at Bangor University to hear about their personal experience of studying in Wales.

 

Location

Wales is home to three of Britain's most famous national parks, namely Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, Snowdonia National Park in the north, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the west. The surrounding coastline is dotted with award-winning beaches including the Gower Peninsula and offers residents and visitors many opportunities to sample outdoor activities like surfing, hiking and horse-riding.  

 

wales, welsh scenery

 

We spoke to Rafia Mohsin, a Clinical Health and Psychology master’s student at Bangor University, for her perspective on studying in Wales. She said, “It is an ideal living situation with the sea on one side and the UK’s highest mountain on the other. So, for me being a lover of adventure, it was a key selling point.”

 

Sport

The Welsh are passionate about many things and a love of sport is certainly near the top of the list. Cardiff's Principality Stadium (formally the Millennium Stadium) is considered one of the finest stadiums in the world and used to be home to the FA Cup final when the new Wembley Stadium was being re-built.

 

Six Nations

Cardiff's Principality Stadium brings rugby fixtures to the capital city, including the prestigious Six Nations tournament. Even if you haven't experienced the thrill of live rugby, attending one of these events is bound to get you hooked.

 

The Guardian Hay Festival

The little town of Hay on Wye hosts a bijou literary festival with a global reach, set in the beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Bill Clinton calls it the 'Woodstock of the Mind'. It's not just about literary celebration, there’s also music, comedy and current affairs on the agenda. Don't miss it.

 

A Quality Education

Student life in Wales is a supportive and social one and Welsh institutions have a world-class reputation.

 

Wales has eight universities, namely Aberystwyth UniversityBangor UniversityCardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wrexham Glyndwr UniversitySwansea University, University of South Wales and University of Trinity Saint David.

 

With 5,600 courses and more than 25,000 international students, Wales is the perfect 'home away from home'. Welsh Higher Education institutions are also continually increasing their offering of programs across different fields.

 

Low cost of living

You might struggle to find a place in the UK with a cost of living as low as Wales. Combine this with beautiful scenery, buzzing city centres and high-quality of education, you’re onto a winner. Cardiff was even recently crowned the most affordable student city in the UK based on student income, monthly spend and life balance (2019 NatWest Student Living Index).

 

At university, you’re likely to be juggling different costs which can feel overwhelming at first. To ease this stress, make sure you check out our guide on student money saving tips.

Source: Cardiff University living costs

 

Keep in mind that these figures are averages and so there will be some variation depending on your preferences and budget.

 

According to StudentTenant, the UK national average for the cost of rent per year is GDP 5,353. In one town in Wales, Pontypridd, University of South Wales students can expect to pay GDP 3,078 on their accommodation, making a saving of GDP 2,275. We spoke to Bangor University student, Fueanglada Prawang, who shares her thoughts on the cost of living in Bangor.

 

She commented, “It is much cheaper than other parts of the UK. There are many supermarkets around such as Asda, Morrison, Aldi, Lidl, M&S and Iceland. The restaurants are also not expensive and welcome all students, with many national cuisines such as Chinese, Thai and Indian on offer. The rent is also cheap, and you have many options. It is like a city for students, so everything is not expensive.” 

 

Transport

Wales boasts some of the most scenic routes to travel by train or car in the UK. As a mountainous and hilly country, you can also explore on foot, making the most of the stunning landscapes. As an international student you’ll probably want to visit other cities in the UK during your time abroad. Your university may even organise group visits to new cities. That’s exactly what Fueanglada Prawang did during her studies in Wales. She noted, “I went on many university trips such as Manchester, Bath and Stonehenge.  It was not expensive, and I got to know many students from other faculties.”

 

Luckily, cities such as Bristol and Birmingham are easily accessible from Wales. However, the length of the journey will depend on where you’re headed and where you are coming from in Wales. If you’re further north, it will take less time to get to Liverpool for example and if down in south Wales, you’ll be much closer to Oxford and London. While you’re in a new country, it’s definitely advised that you take time to venture outside of the university campus to learn more about different people and cultures.

 

Safe environment

In comparison to many other parts of the UK, Wales is considered to be a safe and welcoming country. In fact, Aberystwyth was ranked in first place for the safest cities in Britain with three other Welsh cities placing within the top 20 (Unbroken Britain 2018). So, as an international student, you can feel secure while completing your studies in Wales. That also means peace of mind for your family.

 

For more insight into safety in Wales, we spoke to Raja Asad, a master’s student at Bangor University who studied both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Wales. He commented, “It feels like a safe place, you can make friends quite easily as most of the people are students your age. You truly feel a part of a community here, the locals are super friendly to have a chat with on High Street at the Friday market.”

 

Feeling inspired to study in Wales? Start searching for a course in the UK today.

 

Study in the UK

Free

'Study in the UK' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the UK into one handy digital book.

Get your eBook

Must read

5 Reasons you should study in Scotland

Have you considered studying in Scotland? No? Why not? When most international students think of studying in the UK, they think of studying at Oxford or Cambridge, two of the top universities in the world; however the likelihood of gaining admission to one of these institutions is slim due to the heavy competition. Others automatically think of studying in London; yes, one of the top tourist cities in the world, but everyone heads there.   Why don’t

5.2K

A beginner’s guide to studying in the UK

Some of the world’s best universities, unforgettable cities, brilliant nightlife and a welcoming environment for international students.   Those are just some of the reasons you might have for wanting to study abroad in the UK, but there’s actually so much more. Want to find out more about the University of Edinburgh’s essay proofreading service for students that don’t list English as their first language? Or more about the University of Sheffield’s

3.4K