Students smiling and walking down high street

Living in Cardiff as an international student

For a truly unforgettable student experience, there is no place quite like Cardiff. There is so much to see and do in this friendly city, and the Students’ Union offers endless opportunities to meet people who share your interests.

Live in Wales’s buzzing capital city

Cardiff is a thriving modern city with a brilliant arts and music scene, as well as plenty of international restaurants and all the major high street shops. It is a compact city, and most students live only a 10-minute walk away from town. You’ll quickly be able to find your way around and feel at home here.

The city centre has some beautiful architecture, dating as far back as the twelfth century. Cardiff’s famous old arcades have a great selection of independent shops and cafés.

Explore Welsh culture at the National Museum Cardiff or nearby St Fagans National Museum of History, where you can go back in time and see buildings from the last 800 years of Welsh history.

Parks are also a big feature in Cardiff. The beautiful Bute Park is a 5-minute walk from the University and is a peaceful place for running, reading or chilling out with friends. Cardiff Bay is a five-minute train ride from the city centre and is a great place to go on a sunny day for food at one of the waterfront restaurants, or you can walk over the barrage to the town of Penarth.

Life on Campus

Cardiff University’s facilities are constantly developing to ensure an unforgettable student experience.

The Students’ Union, libraries, and majority of university buildings are all in the city centre, so you will always have everything close by. The new £50m Centre for Student Life opened in 2021 and encompasses improved student support services and social spaces. As an International Study Centre student, you will have access to university facilities and be part of the community from day one.

Students laughing and drinking coffee in student union cafe

The main International Study Centre building is in the Students' Union building, widely regarded as one of the best in the country. It has been awarded 3rd place in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023 - the largest annual university awards in the UK voted for exclusively by students. It offers an amazing student experience, with a huge number of spaces to meet friends, as well as everything else you need for a successful and rewarding student life.


  • Education Book shop
  • Barbers
  • Hairdresser
  • Food outlets
  • IT repair
  • Bank
  • Prayer room
  • IT clinic
  • Letting agency owned and run by the Student Union
  • The Jobshop, where you can find part time work
  • Y Plas nightclub
  • The Taf pub

Cardiff University has great sports facilities, all affordable to use and open to everyone.

Facilities include:

  • 33-acre sports fields
  • Sports training village – includes tennis courts, indoor pitches, cricket nets, and more.
  • The recently refurbished Fitness and Conditioning Centre offers three floors of strength, resistance and cardiovascular training equipment.
  • Studio 49, offering dance and fitness classes.

Cardiff is the 2nd most affordable UK city for students*

NatWest Student Living Index 2023

*Affordability is calculated by dividing students’ average monthly accommodation, activities and item costs by their average monthly income.

Sara from Bahrain

My favourite part about the city is Bute Park is there and it's just really nice to be able to unplug and to forget about everything and just be out in nature. I feel it's such a privilege.

Sara from Bahrain
Studying BEng Medical Engineering

Two students taking a photo of Cardiff cityscape

Explore Wales in the Metaverse

Take an immersive trip around the must-visit sites in the beautiful country of Wales.

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Find out what makes Cardiff a great place to live and study.

Become a Student Ambassador

We have an exciting opportunity available at the International Study Centre to develop your social media skills and contribute to our social channels!

Get involved in taking over our social media, writing fun blogs, hosting Q&A sessions, shining bright at events, starring in our marketing materials, sharing your daily activities, and creating engaging content through photos and videos.

Of course, this would also be an impressive experience worth adding to your CV. Once your Student Ambassador role comes to a finish, you will receive a LinkedIn recommendation from us based on your performance.

“Choosing to apply to the student ambassador position was way out of my comfort zone, I can just be honest about that. But I'm grateful for the opportunity and it made me get more skills and apply them in my daily life. It made me more open to speaking to different people and getting different perspectives from other ambassadors” – Awrad, a previous Student Ambassador

Join us today

We're here to support you throughout the application process. Use our online application form and our student enrolment advisors will be available to answer your questions.