Student Life in Swansea

Swansea Overview

Swansea is the second largest city in Wales, the city was originally famed for its copper industry which started at the beginning of the 18th century. The industrial revolution made Swansea the worlds leading copper smelting area with several smelters lined along the River Tawe, the majority of the copper was brought in via boat from Cornwall, Devon, South & North America, Africa and Australia. Due to new smelting machinery, the city demanded more coal to melt the metal therefore, several coal mines opened up just outside of the town. In the late 1800s the industry declined severely which meant the existing smelters are no longer active. Due to this sudden decline in the industry, Swansea was left with a lot of industrial plants and factories that were all vacant. The Swansea council then made a scheme called, The Lower Swansea Valley Scheme which is still being used today, the aim of the scheme was to turn these derelict buildings and regenerate the area. The scheme has been working very well with Swansea becoming a vibrant bustling city with a wealth of culture and a brilliant place to live and study. Swansea has now become a service sector city which has encouraged world renowned businesses to open up offices in the city for example, DVLA head office is based in Swansea and they employ over 6000 in the city. Plenty of the business located in Swansea work closely with the university which make for great future work opportunities.

Things to do in Swansea

For those of you who enjoy the theatre then Swansea is perfect for you, with several theatres dotted around the city you will never miss a big West End production or small home-made plays. The Grand Theatre was built in a Victorian style and hosts a plethora of events as well as fortnightly tours. To learn more about the city you will be living in and how it has become the city it is today then visit the National Waterfront Museum, here you will find out about the last 300 years of the city, the ups and downs of the industrial revolution and much more. With free entry, this museum is not to be missed out on. One of the quirkier activities in Swansea is the annual beach sculpture festival, the festival runs for roughly 5 days during the summer and is located on several different beaches in the Swansea Bay area. You are able to come a long a make your own sculpture from the sand on the beach as well as witnessing some incredible sculptures that are hard to believe that they are made from sand. For well over 50 years the Swansea Market has been at the heart of the city offering local people great items for great prices. At the market you will find everything from locally sourced food to hand-made jewellery, dotted around the market are several coffee shops, pubs and restaurants so that you are able to rest your feet and grab a drink or a bite to eat whilst you shop.

Sport in Swansea

The LC Leisure Complex in the city centre is hugely popular with the local people due to the wealth of sports that are available as well as a 24-hour gym. For spectator sports, the Liberty Stadium is home to Swansea City FC who are a Premier League football team, on matchday the atmosphere around the city is fantastic. There are several Paintballing spots located on the outskirts of the city, they often have ambassadors visiting the university to offer students discounts for groups.

Escape Swansea

To the east of the city is Afan Forest Park, in this park there are several walks, mountain bike trials and a mining museum. The Afan Forest Park is a great place to escape the stresses of university life, or if you prefer to do your work in an idyllic setting it is also a great place for you due to the picturesque landscape. Roughly an hour drive along the coast will bring you to Cardiff which is the capital of Wales, the capital boasts a plethora of activities and things to do making it the perfect place to spend the day.

Transport in Swansea

The M4 runs just outside of the city and connects Swansea to the M25 in London, on the way from Swansea to the M25 you will also pass Cardiff, Bristol and Reading. Once you have reached the M25 you have access to the national motorway network which will grant you access to all the major cities in the UK. Direct trains run to Cardiff every hour or so and from Cardiff you are able to get trains to most major cities in the UK. Public transport within the city is very good and easily accessible, the nearest airport isn’t to far away either.

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