LIFE IN SWANSEA
When I first got to Swansea I was getting around in shorts with an occasional jumper at night. Before getting to Swansea everyone kept telling me to bring two things, a coat and an umbrella… My first couple of weeks these two ‘essentials’ were gathering dust in my room so I was under the impression that everyone was just pulling my leg. All the locals kept reminding me that this is abnormally warm and dry for this time of year. The nights felt like a warm winter’s evening so it wasn’t a shock by any stretch. Swansea is one of the UK’s wettest places and I soon found out although it was raining often it was never to the extent of a Queensland afternoon thunderstorm despite the claims of ‘heavy rain’.
After the initial craziness that was fresher’s week classes started and the reality of being over here to actually study set in. It was the first time living out of home and the idea of cooking for myself in a kitchen that also housed 10 hungry males. Often the kitchen would be clean throughout the week but after the weekend the kitchen tended be a lot worse for wear. We did encounter a couple of strongly worded letters from the cleaning staff to get our kitchen up to standard but we were fortunate enough to avoid paying for professional cleaners.
Swansea University offered a day trip to the Gower Peninsula for exchange students. With Rhossili bay being constantly ranked in the top beaches of the UK it has been listed as one of the must sees of Wales. Thankfully Mother Nature was kind to us on this day and provided us with an absolutely amazing day to see the sights.
STUDYING IN SWANSEA
Swansea University is a small campus with some older style buildings which was easy to navigate around despite some of the buildings named in Welsh. The bus from the student village to campus was quick and left regularly. The classes were small with 2 of my 4 subjects having class sizes of around 20, the two others were a bit larger but nothing compared to some of the big classes at uni. This allowed for a lot of one on one learning with the teaching staff. The campus is one of the closest university campuses to the beach in the world so there were a couple of study breaks spent on the beach (weather permitting).
The subject structure was a little different to QUT with all of my subjects having 75% exams at the end of semester with only small pieces of assessment throughout the semester either in the form of test, assignment or presentation. I had a couple of subjects with group work which was interesting but it was good to get to meet some new people.
For more on my exchange to Swansea see the following links: