Shereen: My first term at the International Study Centre

29 January 2021
Student Shereen poses with ice cream outside Joe's Ice Cream shop in Cardiff

International Study Centre student Shereen has almost completed her first term. We asked her to share her thoughts on a challenging but rewarding few months.

As the last days of my first term at Cardiff University ISC are coming near, I wanted to reflect on my experiences as an international student studying in 2020. This is what I’ve learnt so far.

Two findings helped me survive pending deadlines:

1. Joe’s Ice Cream

The first thing I’m so glad to have found during my stay in Cardiff is an ice cream shop called Joe’s Ice Cream. I’ve never heard of this place before and recently found out that it’s only found in Wales. Their Signature Vanilla ice cream is the best ever! And that’s coming from someone who’s a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to eating ice cream. The ice cream I ordered had a chocolate in it, which made it look pretty, and the taste was heavenly. They also have lots of other delicious flavours like Coffee Crunch, Mint Choc Chip and Chocolate Brownie for the chocolate lovers. What I also really loved was that they had a range of dairy-free options too! And of course, their ice creams make for lovely photos which you can send to make your family back home jealous.

2. Welsh cakes

The second thing that served as a motivation for me to complete my assignments were Welsh Cakes. They are also known as griddle cakes or bakestones because they’re traditionally cooked on a bakestone. The best way that I can describe them is that they’re like a sweet flattened pancake with dried fruit. You can enjoy them as they are, or spread them with butter or jam. I would say that Welsh cakes are one of the must-have traditional foods to have if you’re in Wales.

Learning how to travel on my own

As this was my first time studying abroad as an international student, one thing I learnt how to do is make use of public transport. With the blended learning approach at the International Study Centre, I had to go into the Centre for some of my classes. To do this, I learnt how to travel to and from the International Study Centre using Cardiff’s bus services. This was a very interesting experience! I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but I realised that it was so easy to use the bus to travel around Cardiff. All I had to do was download the Cardiff Bus app on my phone and the rest was very easy. Everyone on the bus is so friendly too.

Meeting new people

At the International Study Centre, I was able to meet so many other international students, both online and in person. Everyone at the ISC is so friendly and in class everyone is there to support each other. A really memorable experience for me was when I had to prepare for a group presentation with my classmates and we would meet up at a coffee shop every week to catch up and discuss our progress. It’s great to learn how to work with others and make new friends.

My final thoughts

Although this year has been very different, looking back I realise that I have come a long way and learnt so much. Joining Cardiff University International Study Centre has been better than I have ever imagined. I can’t wait to continue my study journey.