Life in Aberystwyth through the eyes of foreign students

Nazatul Syazwani (Interview by Rebecca Jones)

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What are you studying at Aberystwyth University?

I’m doing an Undergraduate Psychology Degree.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from a small country called Brunei Darussalam, in South-East Asia.

What similarities or differences are there between the Universities in Brunei and the UK?

I actually don’t know many of the differences or similarities between the Universities back home and here.  Although the only thing I could think of is that the campus is much bigger, because I used to complain about walking in the heat to one place from another.

 What do you think of Aberystwyth? Is there anything you particularly love about it?

I like Aber! My favorite things about this place are of course, the scenery— I love how sometimes when I’m on the bus or just walking by the sea, I can appreciate how beautiful it is— and also the people here! I’ve had good experience with everyone I’ve met, so that’s a great thing.

 Would you ever like to come back to Aberystwyth once you leave?

Yes, I’d definitely come back to Aberystwyth if I could.

Why did you choose to come study in Aberystwyth?

I chose Aberystwyth because it was far from everything else I knew, and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it became a home to me.


mariaMaria Skatvedt Oftedal (Interview by Jenny Case)

What course are you doing? 

I’m doing Criminology with Applied Psychology.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Norway. My hometown is a little place up north called Andenes.

What are the similarities and differences between going to university at home and here?

I’ve only visited some universities in Norway, and I’ve never studied at a Norwegian university. However, I know that in Norway you have to do a module called Ex.Phil in your first semester, which is a philosophy thing. All my friends back at home are complaining about it, so that’s one of the reasons I like studying here. In Norway, it’s also very expensive being a student, but the tuition fee for one semester is around £75, and here it’s a lot more. A similarity is the experience of going to uni. Having lots of responsibility (for many, me including, moving away from home for the first time) is one of them, and meeting lots of new people.

What do you like best about Aberystwyth?

Yeah, I’m so happy that I chose Aber. I think one of my favourite thing is how polite people are here, compared to Norway. (However, I can’t say that I’m complaining about the amounts of bars.)

Would you come back?
I’m doing a bachelors degree, so I’ll be here for a while. I’m sure I’ll return when I’m done with my education, too.

What made you choose Aber?
In Norway, we have an organisation called “Across the Pond”. They help Norwegian students with applying for universities in the UK. When I was 16/17 (I’m now 19) Across the Pond visited my school, and after that I really wanted to at least try to apply, I just didn’t know what I wanted to study. When I was 18, Across the Pond and a professor (I think) from Computer Science visited my boyfriend’s class too, and he told me he wanted to study in Aber because of a course they had here. I looked into the university and found something that was perfect for me. In Norway, we only have one university that offers straight criminology, so you can imagine how hard it is getting in there. We applied, and we both got in.

Magda Kaźmierczak (Interview by Will Salmon) 


Where are you originally from?


What course are you doing?

 International Politics and Intelligence Studies.

What are the similarities between uni in Poland and here?

In Poland, students have to go to university for six or seven hours a day, five days a week.  Often classes will start at 7.30am and sometimes there are tests in each seminar.  The courses tend to be more theory based and the relationship with the staff doesn’t tend to be as good.  Overall, university there is more difficult but the degree you get in the end is worth less.

What made you choose Aber?

I didn’t want to study in Poland, so I chose to go abroad.  My classmates told me about Aber and convinced me to come here – I was really impressed with the choice of modules.

Do you like it in Aber?  What’s your favourite thing about it?

I do like it here.  I really like the location and being close to the coast and the hills.

Would you come back to Aber?

Sure – Aberystwyth is much better than Poland and I like the staff here.  The modules are interesting, too.