By Rachael Adams
Wales is an incredible country within the UK which offers international students an array of unique experiences.
Wales is becoming an increasingly popular and fashionable destination for students across the world.
The nation whose emblem is a dragon, offers both a thriving metropolitan lifestyle for keen city dwellers and also a tranquil rural retreats to suit all moods, tastes and occasions. Here is a list of great things to do in this vibrant and dynamic country:
1) Watch a match at the Millennium stadium – The sporting activities that Wales offers are immense. Wales is home to the world renowned Millennium stadium and with a 73,000 capacity stadium to fill, any sporting or music event here is sure to be memorable. In Wales, rugby union is the national sport. Catch a rugby match and get lost in the patriotic fervour.
2) Shop until you drop – Aside from the main cities that offer splendid shopping destinations, Bangor in north Wales has the longest high street in the country. Take a trip down it and get lost in the range of mainstream stores that sit comfortably alongside the independent local businesses.
3) Brave the waves on the beaches – In Wales you are spoilt for choice in terms of coastal destinations. For those who are surf savvy and don’t mind braving the weather, the surrounding areas of Cardiff and Swansea hold great destinations to get out your wetsuit and board, if the weather permits of course.
4) Visit Snowdonia National park – A haven for nature enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. Snowdonia National Park situated in the north of Wales consists of 25 miles of mountains and rivers offering plenty of opportunities to embrace nature to the fullest. While also being home to Europe’s longest zip-wire and the fastest zip-line in the world there are more conventional activities to take up such as hiking, climbing and kayaking.
5) Castles galore - If the breath-taking mountains and dramatic coastlines are not enough, the land holds precious gems too and your inner culture vulture will find Wales rich with heritage and charm. Wales is believed to have more castles per square mile than any other place in the world. Caernarfon Castle in particular is worth a visit, as one of the largest in the country and regarded by many historians to be the most impressive and best-preserved medieval fortress in Europe.
6) Immerse yourself in the night life - If day time isn’t really your thing, Cardiff and Swansea are famous for fast becoming a social and cultural hubs for young folk. Also, Cardiff is home to one of the best indie clubs in Wales called Clwb Ifor Bach (a.k.a The Welsh Club) and with such an array of entertainment venues, nights in will become a thing of the past.
7) Attend the largest literacy and arts event in Hay-on-Wye held in Wales every year – This festival celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, comedians and novelists amidst the staggering beauty of the Welsh borders. In fact some of the most renowned literary talent such as Roald Dahl and Dylan Thomas originate from Wales, paying testament to its inspirational environment.
8) Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse – On the Pembrokeshire coast surrounded by water on three sides. You’ll find everything here from historic keeps to idyllic fishing villages, but the most sought after attraction in the area is Dylan Thomas’ boathouse. As Wales’ most famous poet, the boathouse is where he spent the remainder of his life and it has since been converted into a museum dedicated to his work.
9) Cardiff – You can’t avoid the capital and Cardiff in particular voted a top travel destination in National Geographic is definitely worth a visit. It has a thriving arts scene including theatre, opera and dance and a great sporting culture with opportunities for white-water rafting and ice skating.
10) Mingle with the locals - If you are up for exploring the local area why don’t you get talking to the local people! Welsh people are known for their laid back attitude and friendly nature and will enhance your stay and understanding of the area. With these things alone, Wales is clearly calling your name, so get packing and start planning your Welsh study adventure.
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