“To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed.” – Brian Harris
If you’re considering studying abroad, there’s bound to be a number of global locations that have crossed your mind: the USA – consistently named the world’s most popular study abroad destination; Canada – the warm, welcoming and refreshingly beautiful seat of global higher education; or maybe even Australia – the giant sunshine haven that boasts world-class universities and a loveable, laid-back vibe.
But what about Wales, renowned for its rugged, stirring coasts, rustic and expansive national parks, unique national language, and vivid Celtic past? The quality of the Wales education is too often overlooked. Most people are unaware that this gorgeous country is home to some of the most lucrative institutions in the academic world. Wales may be small in size, but its ability to inspire, invigorate, educate and enrich is undeniably mighty, and it’s time for the world to stop underestimating the awesomeness of this little country.
So without further ado, here are 5 things that make Wales a truly awesome study abroad destination…
1. Students get to experience the best of its epic, 1,200km coastline
While we’re all aware that the weather in Wales can be somewhat unpredictable, there really is no better place to be in the heat of summer sun. And with 746 miles of glorious coastline to explore, there’s never a lack of mystical, magical places to delve into. And hey, don’t you think a little rain makes the adventure more exciting?!
As a region that’s consistently underrated, it might surprise you to discover that Rhossili Bay – a picturesque community on the southwestern tip of Swansea’s Gower Peninsula – made the top four of TripAdvisor’s Britain’s Best Beach four years in a row, and was also the first beach to be named Britain’s Best Beach two years in succession. And with other hidden treasures like Port Eynon, Tenby and Llangrannog, just to name a few, Wales’s precious seaside assets are both abundant and unparalleled.
2. Wales has created some mouth-watering national dishes
If you consider yourself a global foodie, it’s unlikely that Wales would have sprung to mind as you envisioned the world’s full-flavoured treats. But as the proud creators of Welsh Rarebit, Bara Brith, Welsh Cakes, Caerphilly Cheese, Cawl and the Glamorgan Sausage, you can’t deny that the country’s traditional grub has it going on! And if you’re yet to try these tasty Welsh delicacies, that’s all the more reason to start planning your study abroad journey right NOW! Because our tummies and taste buds are positively tingling and we’re not gonna lie – you’re really missing out…
3. Students get INSPIRED by this magnificent region; from its hills, to its mountains, to its scenic valleys
With its three national parks – the Snowdonia National Park, the Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast – paired with its five popular areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Anglesey’s South Stack Lighthouse and Cliffs, Snowdonia’s Clwydian Mountain Range, Porthdinllaen in Snowdonia’s Llŷn Peninsula, Swansea’s Gower Peninsula and Monmouthshire’s Wye Valley (check them out on Google search and your mind is sure to be blown) – the Welsh landscape is so unbelievably stunning that at times, it doesn’t seem real. But raise the Welsh flag and thank Saint David that it is, for this country is nothing if not inspiriting and inspiring.
And by God, does it have the VIEWS!
4. Wales’s national teams are global sporting legends
As a country, Wales is incredibly passionate about sports; from traditional team sports like football and rugby, to thrilling outdoor ventures such as white water rafting and coasteering – which, we bet you didn’t know, the Welsh actually invented – Wales is well-known and highly-respected as the UK’s sporting centre. And with the friendly, electric enthusiasm displayed at sporting events, attending a Welsh national game is an unforgettable imperative for all its willing visitors.
5. Wales is the UK’s historical and cultural hub
Home to no less than 641 castles – including Chepstow Castle, Britain’s oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification, dating all the way back to 1067 – Wales’s rich and abundant history forms the backbone of this great nation. From Celtic roots, to bloodstained battles, to a deeply ingrained cultural heritage, Wales is a country with a story to tell – and boy, have you GOT to listen…
Speaking of cultural heritage, another thing people tend to overlook is love for festivals.
From the literary haven of Hay Festival, to the musical magic of Festival No.6, to the artisan wonders of Greenman and beyond, Wales boasts a festival buzz that’s hearty and contagious – now if that’s enough to satisfy your smart student mind, it’s time to reconsider those steep unattainable standards…
Now we’re packing up shop and heading straight for Cymru – there’s plenty of room for more should you care to join!
This article is sponsored by the Neath Port Talbot College Group, one of the largest further education providers in Wales, consistently outperforming some of the UK’s better known institutions and earning a reputation as the leading college in Wales. When it comes to A Level success, NPTC is second to none, with figures released by the Welsh Government reporting NPTC’s A Level pass rate as an impressive 99.2 percent. NPTC provides a variety of full-time A-level programmes, as well as a broad range in higher education. This means there is really something for every kind of student, as well as skill and interest level. Courses are offered in schools such as Engineering, Tourism and Management, Hospitality and Agriculture, IT, Construction, Sport and Public Services, Hairdressing, Health, Social and Childcare and Visual and Performing Arts