“Wales has a special place in my heart as I’ve learned to fall in love with the culture, the people, the beautiful nature and even the rainy weather.” – Shaun Liew, BA Sport and Health, UWTSD
Wales: Many aren’t aware that this stunning nation known for its rugged coastline is also home to universities that are world-renowned. Though somewhat small in size, the region’s ability to motivate, impress and embolden is comparatively huge, so it’s time for us to give Wales the recognition it undoubtedly deserves.
Standing among some of the best is the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), a collegiate university that’s on a mission to transform lives. Forged as a conglomerate of the University of Wales Lampeter, Trinity University College Carmarthen and Swansea Metropolitan University, the institution educates and inspires 25,000 students across 17 campus settings, drawing on the elegance and heritage of some of Wales’ most beautiful locations.
In terms of education value, you can’t get much better than UWTSD – a school that delivers real-world benefits for learners, employers and communities alike. The UK’s most recent University rankings serve as testament to the school’s success, landing a Top 25 position in Times Higher Education’s (THE) Academic Experience Survey, also ranking joint-1st in Wales for its high-quality staff and lectures, not to mention its position at Number 1 out of 45 institutions in the International Student Barometer; shining a light on its provision of elite academics and a student experience that truly is exceptional.
“This past year has been a year of opportunities for me,” says Shaun Liew, Canadian native and graduate of UWTSD’s three-year BA in Sport and Health.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to complete my degree at an institution in Wales,” he adds. “Furthermore, being able to work at the Sports Centre has given me the chance to gain more experience in the field of work that I am part of.
“On the student life point of view,” Liew explains, “the Students’ Union has many events that make it easy to meet people and develop friendships. I have built many friendships and developed memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.”
Wales is a place that’s consistently underrated, blending the very best of urban and rural life to offer an adventure that’s as unique as it is unforgettable.
“Wales has a special place in my heart,” says Liew. “It’s filled with historic castles, friendly, patriotic locals, a tremendous number of cows and sheep, and breath-taking nature – including sandy beaches and scenic mountain routes.”
With a coastline that spans a whopping 1,200km, a landscape protected by national parks, and more castles per mile than anywhere else in the world; you’ll never fall short of sites to explore in this land that oozes history and natural charm.
But let’s not forget the cosmopolitan vibe and social networks that epitomise the global student experience. Here, you can rest assured that Wales – and of course, UWTSD – will not disappoint…
“Cardiff, the largest city in Wales, and Swansea, second-largest, are full of life and surrounded by water and tourists everywhere,” the former student adds. “Additionally, the Welsh community, specifically in Carmarthen, have made me feel at home while offering traditional food such as Welsh Cawl, Bara Brith and delicious Welsh cakes.
“A cheery nation, fond of their love for football and rugby is on a whole other level when cheering their teams (especially during the world and European cup),” he states. “And the Welsh language makes it feel like you’re part of the Lord of the Rings series speaking Elvish… it’s a great language and I encourage you to learn it!”
Liew launched his global study journey understanding that the biggest challenge would be leaving home. Long-held companionships and family roots will always be hard to leave behind, but this illuminating voyage represents so much more than a specialised learning expedition, also embodying a deep cultural venture and an enlightening quest in the discovery of self.
One thing we know for certain, and something Liew too recognised as he reflected on his experience, is that you won’t leave UWTSD the same person you were when you first stepped through those campus gates.
“Overall, this year living abroad has opened up my eyes to being an independent person,” he notes.
“The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has given me an opportunity to meet my career goals through education and a means to connect with people that are like-minded. Exploring Wales has given me a greater appreciation for nature and culture as I continue to learn…
“I am grateful for the people that have helped me and continue to guide me towards the person I want to become,” the graduate concludes, “…[and] I am looking forward to exploring more of Wales, Europe and the world, and to the next step of my postgraduate studies.”