ERASMUS students reflect on their year at Cardiff Met

The Department of Applied Psychology has the pleasure of working with students from various countries under the ERASMUS programme (a scheme which allows individuals to complete part of their degree in a university in a different country). Typically they study with us for either one or two terms. Having to study in a second language is challenging, and can involve adapting to different methods of teaching and assessment too.

This year we have welcomed students from Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey. Below is a photo of Juan Jose Macias Moron (University of Almeria, Spain) and Marta Blazejewska (University of Wroclaw, Poland) receiving their certificates from Dr. Jenny Mercer (Psychology ERASMUS co-ordinator). Erasmus Students with Jenny Mercer

Jenny asked this year’s cohort to reflect on their year by answering a few questions about studying and living in Cardiff. What follows is selection of their responses.

How  have you found Cardiff as a place to live?

“Cardiff is a nice city. I liked its size as it is neither to small (and boring) nor to big (and stressing). The atmosphere in Cardiff is great with very friendly people. However it is not really a ‘typical Welsh’ city but rather a metropolitan one.” Lisan, Germany

“Cardiff is a lively student city, a real melting pot where you can meet people from basically all parts of the world. What I particularly like about the city is its multiculturalism – as I come from a country that is still quite homogeneous it was really cool to experience all of this diversity on a daily basis. As a place to live, Cardiff has a lot to offer – apart from the bustling city centre (and its ‘inglorious’ night life) there are plenty of quiet, leafy areas where you can chill out if you’re tired of “student life” . Also, I think that it’s quite a good base for exploring other areas of Wales and more, with good (and cheap) bus connections to Bristol and London for example.” Marta, Poland

“After more than 9 months spent in this city I perceive Cardiff as very friendly and interesting city. It is not too small and not too big, so I am (happily, I will spent three more months here working and doing internship) able to get everywhere on bicycle, which is my favourite method of transportation.” Arek, Poland

How  have you found studying in the Department of Applied Psychology at Cardiff Met

“I have learned many new skills. Because the theory in Spain is quite different. So far I have undoubtedly enriched my knowledge as complementary. Psychology in Cardiff Met is more scientific character and continues the tradition American. Our training is applied and we focus in the intervention or treatment and clinical psychology. I had never written an essay, the evaluation method is exams in my country and I learned a lot of new things with the essays because you have to read a lot of information and papers, and the topics are very interesting. The point of view of making essays is very useful, at the beginning was hard to do in a different language but finally you want to write more. It provides a critical thinking which is very important in the life, and lots of variety of knowledge and references that you can use for your future.”  Juan, Spain

 “ There is a difference both in topic areas and the way of teaching. There is more theoretical subjects (like logic, philosophy, sociology, genetics etc.) in Poland, whereas there is more applied subjects at Cardiff Met. Also in UK there is a big emphasis on current issues in Psychology, whereas in Poland there is a little bit more studying historical issues.” Piotr, Poland

A final word from Jenny

As these extracts highlight, studying in a different country offers not only the opportunity to widen you horizons academically but socially and culturally too. I would like the final word to go to Juan whose quote captures the wide reaching impact ERASMUS can have on individuals:

“Today many of us are inseparable and we have created a group for life. This does not have words. We have enriched each other. Moreover, each had a different perspective of psychology and we have talked during hours between us. The difference between: Poland, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Italy, rather than differentiate it has brought us closer as a family and we all brought something new between us. We have organized several international dinners, where each of us has cooked something typical of their country, I recommend it to everyone. You know a new culture, new language knowledge in psychology and you get another lifelong friends. It’s wonderful.”