Students smiling and walking down high street

Living in Cardiff as an international student

An unforgettable student experience

Cardiff is an amazing place to be a student. 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. Cardiff Castle and nearby Castell Coch are well worth a visit. 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 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 pretty town of Penarth.

Strong international community

As an international student, you will feel welcome here. Cardiff was one of the UK’s first multicultural cities and an estimated 94 languages are spoken in the city. Many faiths are represented, and there are mosques, synagogues, churches and temples across Cardiff. You will hear international languages spoken as you walk around the city. Welsh — one of Europe’s oldest living languages — is spoken by 10% of Cardiff’s population, but everyone speaks English too.

World-class sport

There is a wealth of sports events in Cardiff, and all are welcome. In 2019, Wales — a country of only 3 million people — was home to the #1 rugby team in the world. Rugby is a national obsession, and on match days you can enjoy the atmosphere around the iconic Principality Stadium in the city centre. Cardiff City Football Club attracts international football players, and Cardiff is also home to the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, which plays in the British Elite Ice Hockey League.

One of Cardiff’s high schools has produced three of the most successful sportspeople of the 21st century, ex-international footballer Gareth Bale, ex-Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton and 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.

Cardiff is the most affordable UK city for students*

(NatWest Student Living Index 2022)

*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

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