Wales is a beautiful and seriously underrated country! Read on for ATP’s top five reasons you should study in Wales.
- The natural beauty of Wales
Wales has got it all. Ocean-side beaches, sweeping green valleys, and impressive mountain ranges! There are three national parks in Wales: Snowdonia (including the mountain Snowdon itself, which is the highest mountain in Wales at 3560 feet), Brecon Beacons, and Pembrokeshire Coast. The latter even boasts its own Stonehenge, in the form of Pentre Ifan – an ancient Neolithic set of 7 principal stones. The beaches come in all forms, including crystal clear aqua waters reminiscent of the tropics as well as jagged and rocky cliff faces on the ocean. The mountains and valleys are stunning any time of year, and bear a striking resemblance to a far off and fictional lands (Middle Earth, anyone?).
- Castle capital
Staged beautifully within the natural landscape of Wales are the hundreds of castles that remain as reminders of the centuries of history the country has seen. There are about 600 castles in Wales alone, and of these 600, 100 are still visibly standing or in ruins. When you compare the size of the entire UK with Canada, you can get a sense of how impressive this is! These castles come in all shapes and sizes, from fortifications and motte-and-bailey to medieval and gothic revival. Many of them can be visited throughout the year, and allow the visitor free reign to explore the winding passageways and courtyards within.
- Legends of Wales
Wales is steeped in history, but the mythology and legends that are woven into the history is what makes the country even more unique. For example, Dinas Emrys in North West Wales was said to be there the Celtic King Vortigern tried to build his castle in the mountainside, but every night the structure would crumble and break. The wizard Merlin (yes, King Arthur’s Merlin) told Vortigern it was because there were two dragons in the mountain that were tearing it down each night. Vortigern had the mountain dug into and they were discovered: one red dragon and one white dragon. They awoke and began to fight each other. Eventually the white dragon lost and fled, and the red dragon returned to the mountain – this same red dragon can now be seen on the national flag of Wales.
- Affordable cost of living
If you have always dreamed of living and studying in the UK, but aren’t quite sure how you will plan for the financial aspect, you might consider Wales. In the NatWest Student Living Index 2017, Cardiff ranked 1st and Swansea ranked 5th for the most affordable university cities in the UK. These cities are the two biggest in Wales and are home to Swansea University and Cardiff University. With the two universities and all their students, there is a lot going on locally to offer students special discounts and student prices to save them even more money.
- Location, location, location!
The fifth and final reason to choose Wales is its location. It is at the doorstep of the rest of the UK, and has excellent transport links that will get you wherever you need to go. While we recommend seeing as much of the UK as you can see, we also recommend exploring Wales itself! There is so much to see and discover in this beautiful country.
If you would like to find out more about studying in Wales or the rest of the UK, please contact one of our Advisors.