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Student Experience

The Students

Amar Shah: 20yrs, Gloucester
Coraley Medland: 21 yrs, Tavistock
Duone Fonternel: 21yrs, South Africa
Hsin Lim: 21yrs, Kedah -- Malaysia
Maria Roberts: 21yrs, Bournemouth
Bryony Allen: 20yrs, Southampton
David Robinson: 19yrs, Brynmawr

Questions on student experience

What is the best thing about your course?

Amar: The small size of the School means you get to know your fellow students really well, and members of staff are really approachable and friendly.

Coraley: I get to learn more biology, physics and chemistry which really interest me, and then learn how to use my scientific knowledge to help other people.

Duone: Knowing a great deal of people in all years, due to all the social events arranged for optometry students. On a clinical level – being in contact with so many different personalities and people by seeing patients.

Maria: It’s very intensive and you gain lots of useful experiences. It’s a great, fun course and everyone knows everyone – undergrads, post grads and lecturers.

Bryony: It’s vocational. Fairly varied though. Staff always willing to help. Very clinical after 1st year – which I love. 

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Why did you choose to study at Cardiff University?

Amar: It was the best Uni for my course, had a brilliant feel as a capital city and was close to home.

Duone: On of the best places in Europe to do Optometry, it has a great atmosphere with the advantage of being a city with all the benefits that a city offers, but not being cold, isolated atmosphere.

Hsin: Because of the University’s reputation as a good centre of learning. It is also one of the few Universities that offer this course. Some lecturers in my country trained in Cardiff.

Maria: The city is beautiful and on visiting the School I found the clinics and the staff the best of all – it was by far my first choice!

Bryony: I love the city. It’s big enough, but not too big. It’s also clean and friendly.

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How would rate the facilities and services offered by Cardiff in general?

Amar: Excellent, you can find anything you would ever need in this city from a huge stage, such as the Millennium Centre/Stadium, to the small little known cafes, such as Crumbs in Morgan’s Arcades.

Coraley: Coming from a small, rural town, Cardiff seems to have everything you need from a range of shops, entertainment and all in a small area.

Duone: Good, they do care about their students.

Maria: Excellent – it has everything.

Bryony: Good, I’ve never needed something and not been able to get it. Careers department is very good with helping CV and interview preparation.

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How would you describe the library facilities?

Coraley: The Optometry library has a wide range of books and up-to-date journals, so it’s really good. The computer search programme is also very useful in finding where the books are.

Maria: Good, everything is easy to find and it’s small enough that if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you can scan the whole lot.

Bryony: Very good. Plenty of books and a good number of copies. Space to work if needed. Friendly staff.

David: Excellent, there’s little shortage of books and I appreciate the quiet study areas for independent study.

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How would you describe the computer facilities?

Amar: Very accessible and readily available. It’s good to have fast up-to-date systems with all the software you require.

Coraley: It’s great having computers just for optometry students, as there is usually at least 1 computer free.

Hsin: Good. The ‘Noticeboard’ on University computers gives up-to-date news on Uni events. Blackboard is a very convenient resource. Network downtimes are minimal.

Maria: A little confusing at first, but you get everything and the Cardiff network gives you access to all necessary websites for the course.

Bryony: Fine. I don’t really use them though. I like to work at home with a nice cup of tea!

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Where do you live during term? Why?

Amar: A rented flat – easier than commuting from home and rent is low, it also allows a good social life

Coraley: I live in Cathays with friends I made in 1st year because we all get on really well. A house is so much more relaxing and cosy than halls and Cathays is close to Uni so that you don’t get too wet if it’s raining!

Duone: A rented flat close to Uni. Main reason was to live with my friends.

Hsin: In a private residence. I have found people who are comfortable to live with.

David: Student housing – live there for convenience in attending the course lectures on time.

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Describe the social life at Cardiff University and in Cardiff.

Amar: Some of the best in the country. It caters for all tastes in music and venue type. Only fault is they can get too busy – especially student-only nights.

Coraley: Only having around 80 optometry students means you know most people in your year and there’s always a party/event going on. Joining societies means that you meet a lot of other students as well, and so walking around Uni and town you keep seeing people you know.

Duone: Social life, for those who use it to their full advantage is superb. Something to offer for every taste, whether it is clubbing, eating out, theatre or ballet.

Maria: Rubber Duck at the Union is the best night there and there are so many pubs and clubs in town, there is something for everyone. Go down to the Bay for a more sophisticated night.

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Why would you recommend Cardiff to potential students?

Amar: A top-standing university, which constantly attracts leaders of their field for research and a city in which you can, in the same night, visit a heavy metal club and a slow jam r’n’b club within walking distance!

Hsin: It has a conducive atmosphere for learning and an opportunity to make friends.

Maria: It’s excellent. Everything is here, right on the doorstep. Beautiful parks, great nightlife and most importantly, excellent shopping.

Bryony: It’s a lovely city where the students are very much part of the community, which I think is really nice. Also, the staff at Uni are cool!

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What top tip would you provide for a new Cardiff student?

Coraley: Utilise societies as a way of making friends with people with the same interests as you, and also to try new things. Remember that you’re at Uni to get at degree, so also use the great Uni facilities (i.e. libraries and lectures).

Duone: Do a large range of activities before getting into a routine, because Cardiff has a lot to provide. Plus, you MUST go and see a rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, because there’s no place like Cardiff on a match day!

Hsin: Be relaxed, socialise with people. Don’t neglect your studies. Try something new if you fancy it (plenty of societies). Don’t get run over!

Maria: Get here as early as possible during Freshers week and get involved. Everyone wants to meet everyone else and this is the time to meet a whole range of different people. Live in halls – you will regret it if you don’t – at least in first year.

Bryony: Borrow books before choosing which ones to buy. Don’t buy too many books. Get involved with OPSOC!

David: Avoid commuting (even if you live near the University). Living in student accommodation all adds to the Uni experience.

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Finally, describe your Cardiff experience in four words!

Amar: Diverse, awesome, life-changing!

Coraley: Educational, rewarding, life-altering, fun!

Duone: The Best Place Ever!

Hsin: Enlightening, fun, tolerant, sociable

Maria: I will remember forever!

Bryony: Enjoyable, hard-work (counts as one word!), tiring, rewarding!

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