Current Cardiff postgrad Jack Wetherill praises the Welsh capital…
Cardiff – capital city of Wales and all-round hotspot for students. Cardiff has long had a name for being a popular location with students, but why do so many people choose to study there?
1. The reputation
Not only is it a member of the Russell Group, but for areas like journalism Cardiff University is also considered one of the top institutions in the UK for postgraduate study.
2. The architecture
Some of Cardiff University’s buildings – such as the Bute Building – are listed. The architecture, especially on a summer’s day, looks beautiful.
3. The greenery
If pretty buildings aren’t your thing then there are plenty of pretty parks, too. Cathays Park near the city centre even has a giant fountain in the middle; if that isn’t relaxing then what is?
4. The nightlife
It shouldn’t be, but the nightlife is always a selling point of where you choose to go to university. There’s Greyfriars Road with Glam and Pryzm, Mill Lane with slightly more classy joints like Soda, Mocka Lounge and, er, Retro. There are plenty of different places to go on a night, and many won’t break the bank.
5. It’s gay friendly
Cardiff University is one of the top five gay friendly universities in the country. And if you want a gay night out then Churchill Way is the place to be, with The Kings, WOW Bar and Pulse.
6. The university location
Many university buildings in Cardiff are located fairly centrally, so you really get the experience of actually living in a city and the associated hustle and bustle.
7. Busy, but not too busy
That being said, it isn’t horrifically busy. Cardiff is no London, put it that way. There are times when the city centre should be a no go zone though, like match days.
What would Wales be without its rugby? Cardiff comes alive on match days. The Millennium Stadium is right next to Cardiff Central Station, too, so easily walkable from the city centre.
9. Close to the countryside
If you have a car and enjoy walking in nature then Cardiff is only an hour or so away from the Brecon Beacons and the stunning area around it. There are waterfalls, woodlands and quaint country pubs not far from the capital city.
10. Surrounding cities
Cardiff has great links to other cities, too, if you also need to think about work experience. Bristol is a short train journey away, but London and Manchester can also be reached by a direct train.
There are so many cuisines available in Cardiff. Go to City Road if you want a takeaway, Cardiff Bay if you want to push the boat out or head to The Hayes for some inner-city fine dining. Burger & Lobster, which recently opened in Cardiff, only sells burgers and lobster but won’t cost the earth.
12. The Taf
Cardiff University’s student pub is the perfect place to go after a stressful day of lectures and seminars. A pint costs a couple of quid and the atmosphere is cosy. On a Friday they do Bar Exchange, so you can drink and learn about the stock market at the same time!
13. It’s a whole other country
No one says it but everyone thinks it, unless you’re Welsh. There’s something exciting about studying in what is technically a different country for the rest of us English folk.
14. Live music
Cardiff Union hosts loads of popular bands and The Motorpoint Arena holds massive groups, even hosting the S Club 7 reunion concerts! But there are also so many small venues for local talent, such as Club Ifor Bach.
Just about every shop imaginable is open in Cardiff. It has two shopping centres on the main street as well as a train station to get you home if you have too many bags.
If drinking or sports or shopping aren’t your thing then Cardiff has some amazing spots for art and theatre. Chapter is a centre that hosts various types of art, including international and independent films, trad itional art, and performance art.
17. Cost of living
It’s quite cheap to live in Cardiff, especially in comparison to other capital cities such as London. As little as £275 a month each could get you a spacious three-bedroom apartment close to the city centre.
Top image via flickr.com
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