10 ways to survive in Swansea as a student

1. Get spotted!

Go out, meet people from your course or people with similar interests as yours and there you go – you have a friend for your term-time or maybe a friend for a lifetime…

Warning:Be aware of rainy weather…  Even though sometimes the best things happen in rainy weather, right? You might meet your future husband/wife somewhere out there seeking for someone to keep her/him under their umbrella.

The notebook

2. Have a walk by the beach side and also visit as many places as you can.

Ok, even if the weather doesn’t look good for swimming, you can still have a walk across the amazing Swansea bay and have fun with your friends or have a quiet walk on your own admiring the view.

You can also enjoy one of the free university trips to Gower (the most beautiful place in Wales) and you can book a trip to Cardiff, the capital of Wales and visit the ancient Cardiff castle and merge to Cardiff’s history.

Sunny Gower where dreams come true Photo|Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Sunny Gower where dreams come true Photo Credits | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

An extraordinary view of Cardiff city from the top of the tower of the castle | Photo: Antoniya Gerimpapazi

An extraordinary view of Cardiff city from the top of the tower of the castle. Photo Credits| Antoniya Gerimpapazi

After the tide came... Photo|Antoniya Gerimpapazi

After the tide came…
Photo Credits|Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Warning: Be aware of tides… They come when you least expect… The last thing you want to do is to be washed out by the tide and come back home like a muddy monster scaring off your neighbours and damaging the laundry.

3. Don’t be afraid to make the first step.

If you live in halls, that is a great way to meet new people and make some friends. Just go out there and simply introduce yourself. It could be as simple as: ”Hi! My name is George, I am from Greece and I really like…feta, the Greek cheese? Have you tried it?” And there you go, you’ve made the first step. The conversation can continue and extend from this point ahead.

Fresher's Fair is an amazing way to get to know many people and make friends Photo | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Fresher’s Fair is an amazing way to get to know many people and make friends Photo | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Warning: Some people may not have a good day and if you meet them at the point when their mug has broken, they’ve burnt themselves or they’ve simply had a bad day, they could be quite rude and let you down. This should not discourage you to meet other people though or even to go back to the same person, but some other time.

4. Socials are great for relaxing after a hard day and meeting with people who have similar interests to you.

Swansea University offers so many societies that you’d be surprised by their diversity – from Hogwarts, Disney and Game of Thrones society to Film Society, Music Society, Poetry society, Dance society, etc. Not only you can make friends there and meet amazing people, but you can also experience what you love doing, e.g. dancing, having Harry Potter quizzes even playing Quidditch!

Is that the next Voldemort and...hmm... Harry? Photo | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Is that the next Voldemort and…hmm… Harry? Photo Credits | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Warning: Quidditch is a full-contact game… So be aware of people trying to take you off from your broom!

Flying as a world class level Photo | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Flying on a professional quidditch level. Photo Credits | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

5. Sign up for a sport.

If you haven’t done so, I do recommend you to sign up for a sport. This is a great way of doing something you enjoy – like football, volleyball, basketball, frisbee, tennis, swimming, martial arts or try something new like lacrosse, etc. By joining a sport you are also sure to keep fit and healthy and to let the steam off after a hard day at university.

Warning: Sport may lead to addiction!

6. Go to a free counsellor session.

Did you know that Swansea University has free counsellor sessions? Well, you do now. If you ever feel sad, lonely, depressed, homesick or you simply want to have a chat with someone, get a free appointment with the counsellors. I can assure you they will make you feel better about any kind of problem and everything is kept strictly confidential, so you don’t have to worry about you secrets being revealed. So don’t leave your problems unsolved and don’t be shy to make an appointment.

Warning: Don’t fall in love with your counsellor… Well, not at least while you are a student and he is a professional!

7. Go at least to one free workshop.

Swansea University offers some free workshops. They have different types of workshops covering topics such as anxiety, exam stress, interview skills, how to write a covering letter, etc.

Warning: Weather can put you off from even bothering to go to the university. Don’t let this happen-after all the workshops aren’t in the rain… they are in a warm and nice place called a lecture room.

8. Get involved with the SU TV or The Waterfront newspaper or why not with both

Are you a budding journalist or just someone who really wants their opinion and views and stories to be seen, heard or read? Even if you aren’t but you still want to get involved in something exciting, make sure you sign up for the SU TV or the Waterfront student newspaper or why not for both? Get yourself out there and who knows maybe by participating in your university media will open your doors for your future in a way that you have never expected.

SU tv               WF-back-Custom-3

Warning: No, you can’t put down in your CV: I’ve worked for the BBC instead of the SU TV…

9. Go clubbing/pubbling, have a movie night with your neighbours, cook together or simply do something out of the university.

Ok, it’s true that you have come here to study on first place like me and everyone else but a little bit of chillaxing won’t hurt, right? Have a go – go clubbing/ pubbing somewhere in the town centre, dance all night, have a couple of drinks (not too many though) and enjoy!

Or if you are not the clubbing type why not organising an international dinner when everybody cooks a popular dish from their country – it’s a great way to have fun and at the same time learn some great recipes and surprise your mum in the future!

Alice made that smiley Italian cake with all her love Photo | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Alice made that smiley Italian cake with all her love Photo Credits | Antoniya Gerimpapazi

A simple movie night would do as well. Why not organising your flatmates, friends, teammates, etc on a movie night of a film that everybody agrees to watch? It’s a great way to laugh your heart out or cry your eyes out (depends what kind of movie you are watching) and socialize with your friends without spending much money for club entries, going out etc.

Warning: Headaches… Also, do not do any of the upper activities if you have an early lecture on the next morning.

10. Chilling out with a book and a cup of tea?

Some people are quiet. This is nothing to be scared or ashamed of. If you don’t fit into the upper stated activities why not getting a nice book, curling up under the duvet with a cup of tea and immersing yourself into the exciting world that your book characters live in. Save a kingdom with them, live a wonderful romance with them, or just think of life matters… Why not? This is a great way to relax too!

Warning: No, you are not Hermione Granger and you will never be…

This is a simple guide to ”survive” in Swansea. Readers are encouraged to contribute to adding new ways of ”surviving as a student” by emailing it to: andy92@abv.bg.


Swansea will take care!

Swansea University offers its international students a great atmosphere, warm people and  the best supporting structure for international students according to the current masters student Swapnil Mali.

Swapnil Mali, a twenty-six year old student from India dared to grab the offered opportunity and leave his country, in a return of education abroad, and more specifically in the Swansea University, United Kingdom.

Swapnil after his successful undergraduate graduation. Credits| Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Swapnil after his successful undergraduate ceremony. Photo Credits| Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Being and only child in his family and the first one to come and study abroad, Swapnil’s parents are proud of his courage and ambition but like all parents, they miss him a lot and keep in touch regularly through the social network sites.

Swapnil Mali has a unique story like everybody else. Having done his five years undergraduate degree in Engineering back in his country India, he decided to come out of his shell and face the challenge of studying abroad and living on his own. Swapnil doesn’t come from a rich family, he even described his family as a ”poor” one, so he has had a really hard childhood but that never made him give up his dreams. In fact, he shared that one of the reasons why he is here is because Swansea is known as a really good university and his Engineering department is known to be one of the best.

Swapnil’s dreams are big – having already designed and put together two of the first supersonic cars back in his country, he can’t wait to get his hands on some big project about designing cars here. What is more, his big desire is to work for cars used by the Formula One.

Swapnil has a sensitive and kind personality even if he tries to hide it between all the jokes he makes. Even with such a busy schedule like his one, he can still fit in sports, societies and he socialises and feels by his words more than ever like home thanks to his corridor mates in halls.

Being happy with his choice of university, he agreed to be interviewed and to tell us more about his student experience so far. Please follow the link below regarding the interview:

For Swapnil, Swansea University is a great experience and he seems to have all it takes to combine his studies with socializing, making new friends and taking advantage of all the help and support the university offers. He is ready to begin a new chapter of his life!

Swapnil and his friends having an international dinner together Photo| Antoniya Gerimpapazi

Swapnil and his friends having an international dinner together Photo Credits | Antoniya Gerimpapazi