Settling into the university was pretty easy. I’d been to the UK a lot before I started school, and the country isn’t so different from home. My flatmates were great, too, so that helped. Aberystwyth is a small town and doesn’t take long to feel comfortable.
Aberystwyth is really a great place to live and study. Obviously, Britain’s weather has a well-earned reputation for being dark and rainy, and Aberystwyth is no exception. But aside from that, it only takes a 10-minute train ride to be in legitimate countryside here – Wales has some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Aberystwyth itself is nestled between the hills right on the coastline. The beach is a lovely place to relax, barbecue, and hang out. It’s a quick walk to some picturesque viewpoints over the bay. The town is small and welcoming with the student body making it a rather diverse, interesting, fun place. Beware, though, if you plan to do traveling either within Britain or abroad, Aberystwyth is quite isolated indeed.
The two main reasons I chose Aberystwyth were the reputation of the International Relations department and the beauty of the town/countryside.
Obviously, Britain itself is a bit more expensive because of the exchange rate, but this part of Wales is cheaper than most places in the UK. It’s really not any different than home.
I’m in university accommodation, which is fine. There’s tons of private housing around, but I didn’t feel like looking when I was trying to get everything else sorted out.
In my spare time, I read, go for walks in the hills, hang out at the beach, sample some of the locally-owned cafes, travel, try to keep up with things at home, and I also play on the basketball team and handball club.
Definitely – why would you study abroad and not do some extra traveling? I just got back from a spring break trip to Germany, Italy, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea. Last semester, I went to Poland for a bit. I’ve done a fair amount of hiking throughout Wales and England as well.
Do note how isolated Aberystwyth is - a three-hour train ride to get to any airport can be annoying sometimes. Aside from that and the occasional depression from the weather, just come. Aberystwyth is such a beautiful town, the people are great, and it’s cheaper than home.
Across the Pond was great. I wouldn’t have been able to manage going to school in Britain without them. They take the guesswork out of applications, give great advice when it comes to picking which school(s) to apply to and eventually attend, and really care – they want you to study in the UK and do a lot of hard work for you so that it’s painless and you can enjoy yourself.