Overseas university spotlight: Aberystwyth University (UK)

"Aber," or Aberystwyth, is a university located in the coastal town of the same name on the west coast of Wales.


It's an easy 5-hour journey from London with only one change in Birmingham and is home to about 18,000 people during term time, half of which are students at the campus.


But despite it's small size, it's definitely a place steeped in history; the university itself was first established in 1872.

Old College, which is undergoing renovations to be transformed into a cultural and creative centre for Wales
Old College, which is undergoing renovations to be transformed into a cultural and creative centre for Wales

Since then, it is known for having started the world's first Department of International Politics, founded in 1919 as a response to World War I (during which the town was actually a major base for troop training).


Nowadays, there are about 350 undergrads and 22 academic staff in this department, which attracts students from around the world due to its 95 percent student satisfaction rate.


Awarded the Welsh University of the Year in 2020, Aber is also a bilingual institution where the Welsh language and culture thrives.


In fact, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, came to Aber to study Welsh in 1969, which is portrayed in an episode of the Netflix show "The Crown."


Here are some highlights from my visit in May 2022!

Student Welcome Centre
Student Welcome Centre
Hugh Owen Building
Hugh Owen Building

Campus

Aber's Penglais campus is located in a fantastic spot about a 20-minute walk up / 10-minute walk down to the shore.


Note the "up"; this is because the campus is quite hilly. But it's worth it for the views!

View from pedestrian bridge across to Pentre Jane Morgan (PJM), also known as 'The Student Village'
View from pedestrian bridge across to Pentre Jane Morgan (PJM), also known as 'The Student Village'

There is plenty of housing on campus, which is guaranteed for all years of the degree, and even more attractive is the international accommodation offer: international students can live in the dorms at Cwrt Mawr at no cost for the first year!

Cwrt Mawr housing
Cwrt Mawr housing
Shared kitchen in Cwrt Mawr housing
Shared kitchen in Cwrt Mawr housing
Pentre Jane Morgan (PJM), also known as 'The Student Village'
Pentre Jane Morgan (PJM), also known as 'The Student Village'

Other perks of studying at Aber include a free gym membership, internships available for all students, career service support for life, access to a business professional for entrepreneurial advice and an Aber card for easy dining on campus.