Jack Yip Wing Hang
As an exchange student, I was thrilled when I arrived Swansea — gorgeous beaches, breath-taking scenery, and a wide variety of shops. After exploring Swansea for almost a month, I would like to share my experience with other exchange students.
I would like to recommend free cultural activities in the city centre. Free workshops are available in the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. For example, I joined a free movement and a mark-making workshop. I learnt how to use our imagination in choreography, and we also made embodies to present our creative thoughts. The information of the free workshop are posted on the Swansea government website, but participants have to book online in advance. Apart from the gallery, the National Waterfront Museum is bound to dazzle history lovers. The museum abounds in exhibitions of the history of Swansea. You can enjoy the panoramic view of Swansea and the Marina. Sometimes, there will be special events. For example, there was a Chinese New Year Celebration in January. There were many performances like a face-changing performance and a lion dance.
The second advice is to join as the student societies at Swansea University. By joining these societies, you can meet students from different countries and majors. You can interact with the student members and hone your language ability. For example, I joined the film society. They organise movie night every week. Most of the films are a pleasure to watch. I also joined the Aarti festival celebration organised by the Indian Society. Devout believers offer lamps to deities and sang songs to praise them. The festival was informative and entertaining. I also joined the History Society and will go to Berlin with the student members. I met many local students and chatted with them in the orientation night. The student society usually posts the information of new activities on their Facebook Group.
Apart from joining student societies, you may visit natural landscapes and historical sites in the weekends. There are many natural landscapes in Swansea. For example, the Carswell bay is famous for its cliff and beach. The green grassland there shimmered with a velvet-green haze, and the sand is as soft as marshmallows. In the evening, the whole landscape is bathed in a golden hue. Apart from natural landscape, there are many historical sites. I have visited the Saint Mary’s Church in the city centre. It is a Gothic-style church in which tall pointed towers rose from the gabled roof. I have joined a trip organised by the student union. The destination is Bristol. The ticket for the tour is 2 pounds only. My first stop is Saint Nicholas Market, where a variety of products are sold there. It is packed with camera-wielding tourists. We have also visited Bristol Cathedral, which was opened in 1141. The nave was still well-preserved. We were also stunned by the choir performance of the children there.
As the saying goes, “Exchange isn’t a year in your life, but it’s a life in a year”. Try a range of activities that I have mentioned above and explore the vibrant Swansea in the weekends. I am sure you will find that Swansea is a treasure chest!