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Even though the study programme is intense, you will have time available for a full and active social life. As a Foundation student, you will be able to take advantage of the University’s extensive range of social and sporting facilities during your leisure time.
Cardiff University has a long history of welcoming international students and staff from more than 100 countries around the world. This year, we will welcome almost 3,000 international students to the University and to the city. As one of Europe’s youngest capital cities, Cardiff has a lot to offer international students. With a population of 330,000 the city has a friendly atmosphere and students are welcomed into a multicultural and safe environment.
The focal point for most Cardiff University students is the Students’ Union which is one of the biggest, best and most active in Britain. It provides for all aspects of student life at the University and offers several restaurants, cafés and fast-food outlets serving meals and snacks throughout the day. There is also a bookshop, a games room and video arcade, pool and snooker tables, banking services, a travel service and satellite television. More than 200 cultural, political, religious, social and sporting societies cater for a variety of interests.
The University has an impressive range of indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, including aerobic conditioning and weights rooms; indoor and outdoor tennis courts; squash courts; a martial arts dojo and, an organised programme of classes for all levels of fitness. The Athletic Union runs over 65 sports clubs that students can join and beginners are always welcome.
As one of the UK’s major sporting centres, Cardiff offers an outstanding range of facilities and events for the most avid of sports fans. The Millennium Stadium hosts world-class football matches as well as international rugby. It seats 76,000 people, and the atmosphere in the city on the day of a big game is certainly something to experience. International one-day and firstclass cricket matches (including a recent Ashes Test match) are played in the heart of the city at the Swalec Stadium. Cardiff even has its very own baseball and ice hockey teams!
In addition to the University’s facilities, the city of Cardiff has a great deal to offer. After class, you may want to explore the grounds of historic Cardiff Castle, visit the National Museum and Gallery or go window shopping at one of the old-fashioned Victorian and Edwardian Arcades dotted around the city. Cardiff offers a selection of ethnic restaurants (Greek, Arabic, Indian, Italian, Chinese and North African to name a few) as well as theatre performances, cinemas, concerts, dance clubs and live sporting events.
At weekends and holidays, many students like to take advantage of Cardiff’s excellent rail and bus services to explore the nearby coast and local countryside such as the beautiful Gower Peninsula or splendid Brecon Beacon Mountains. It is also easy to visit popular tourist destinations like London, Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon. Low cost airlines operate out of Cardiff International Airport to many European destinations allowing you the opportunity to travel further afield if your timetable and budget allows.
Cardiff University values the happiness and security of all its students. Apart from the Foundation Office permanent staff who are always available to help, the Student Advice Centre (located in the Students’ Union) offers free help and advice to students, and the Student Support centre provides trained counsellors who can offer confidential advice on personal, financial or academic matters. Within the Student Support Centre, there are also two designated Immigration advisors who can help you with any visa questions that you may have.
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