Study Astrophysics abroad

Why Aber Is the Place for You

Studying abroad was not something I was seriously considering doing until I decided to pursue a career in astrophysics. The selection in my home country was rather slim, and in attempt to expand the horizon of possibilities I ventured to an academic fair hosted by Across the Pond in Oslo. Next thing I knew I had my heart set on a small, remote Welsh town that I previously had never even heard of!

Now, over a year after completing my BSc in Astrophysics at Aberystwyth University, I’ve had time to reflect on my past experiences and would like to share them with other students who are on the fence regarding where to study. 

A warm welcome

On the very first day, the physics department was having a welcome party (with free pizza!) in the lobby of the physics building. I remember being astonished at the female representation – I could spot at least as many young women as I could men, something I was not at all expecting as I walked in the door. People were cheerful and friendly, and I felt quickly at ease. That very first day I met one of my very best friends whom I’m still in daily contact with today.

Friendly and lively

Aberystwyth is a small town located on the west coast of Wales. Over half of its population is made up of students, making for a lively community with a vibrant night life. One of the most popular night clubs is called Pier and is located, as you may have guessed, on a pier! Within the same building you may also find a bowling alley, arcade hall, and pool tables. The town also has a cinema, and even an axe throwing place should you be in that kind of mood.

Many of the students originate from England, but Aberystwyth attracts many international students, too – I made friends from all over the world, including people living a mere hour away from my own hometown in Norway. This way, I found a piece of home in Aber, whilst simultaneously learning all about Welsh culture, the overall British culture, and the cultures of my fellow international students.  

… but beware of the weather

Real talk. One thing I was (stupidly) not prepared for, as someone who has grown up far away from the coast, was the severity and strength of the Welsh weather. The first day of lectures, some girls I had become acquainted with asked if I wanted to share a taxi up to the uni because it was raining a little. I scoffed and told them I was Norwegian; I could handle it. And I could. Until the winter storms arrived. I lived on the 4th floor on the seafront yet got sea spray on my window … enough said about that. (Don’t worry, there is a bus running between the University and the town centre during term. I was just stubborn enough that I only got on it once.)

A delight for your eyes

However, you can’t speak of Aber without mentioning the beauty and serenity of its location. Tightly hugged by dramatic cliffs, kissed by the waves of the open ocean, and every-so-often bathed in the most beautiful sunset light, Aber is a delight for your eyes all year round. I’m not exaggerating when I say this was one of the biggest selling points for me. Still, I cannot fathom the number of stunning sunsets I’ve witnessed, both from the window of my accommodation and whilst out on evening walks with friends (there will be many of those when you live in Aber, since everything is walking distance). It’s the sort of imagery that will be etched in your retinas forever, and that you’ll always find yourself dreaming of going back to.

Another big part of the Aber culture are the beach bonfires. When the weather is nice enough, the students migrate towards the beach, wood and tinder in their hands, and light many a bonfire on the pebbles by the foot of Constitution hill. This activity offers a cosy break from the hassles of everyday student life.

What to consider when choosing your accommodation

The University offers student accommodation both by the campus and in town, separated by about 2-3 kilometres. I spent all three years of my time in Aber located in the town centre, meaning every day was a 20-minute uphill walk towards the University buildings on top of the Penglais hill. Most days, I enjoyed the bit of fresh air and exercise in the mornings (though sometimes, I was running late, and this turned into a morning jog – those days, not so much!) If you don’t mind the extra trek in the morning, I’d recommend staying in town, so that you’re close to the beach and local shops, as well as the pubs and night clubs for those who like to go out on the weekends. This offers a very different (and superior, I’d argue) experience from choosing to stay near the University.

Getting used to the English language

In the first couple of weeks, it took a bit of effort and energy to adjust to the English language as the primary way to communicate socially and academically. I quickly learned I did not at all know how to ‘speak maths’ in English, or the typical words used for describing physics equations and systems – but this did not cause me any significant problems, and after two weeks, it was something I was completely accustomed with.

Socially, the main lingual challenges I faced came to casual phrases used for small talk, as well as British slang words that they certainly do not teach you in school. For instance, I furrowed my brows at an invitation to ‘prinks’ at a course mate’s flat as I had no idea what that entailed (pre-drinks... It means pre-drinks). Another friend said she felt like a mug, and my response was, why in the world do you feel like a cup? One time, I even wrongfully mistook the name of a bakery chain as some random slang word. While it may sound intimidating, any British illiteracy will cause nothing but funny misunderstandings – just turn to Urban dictionary in times of need.

The Welsh language is of course also heavily present in the small town. I only learnt a few words and sentences due to its complexity. The ones that stuck are diolch (thank you), bore da (welcome) and cwtch (cuddle).

Places to see in Wales

Aberystwyth is in the middle of Wales, meaning either end of Wales can be reached by car in a mere 2-2.5 hours (so definitely befriend someone with a car, or bring your own!) The town itself is small so you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to explore other places, too. Some places to visit are Gower, Tenby, Portmeirion, and the ‘sunken forest’ in Borth, a 2000-year-old forest since buried by sand and now visible during low tide. The latter is an amazingly picturesque 2-hour hike from the edge of town that is well worth enduring. Unfortunately for Aber, Borth and the Ynyslas got all the nicest sand, so it’s also a good place to go swimming in the summer for a more tropical feeling – but if you don’t mind pebbles, the beaches in Aber are wonderful for that, too.

To summarise – if you would like to be part of a closely connected community, in picturesque and tranquil surroundings, Aber is the place for you.

- Silje Kristine

Back to Student Experiences
Study International Relations in the UK

An experience unlike any other

Study International Relations in the UK

I chose to study at Aberystwyth specifically because it is the origin of the field of International Relations and maintains this reputation as the leading department of its kind.

The department truly has some of the best scholars in their field, and it is an amazing experience working with them. I have had the opportunity to learn from and talk to academics I have admired for some time. Not only do we have the ability to learn within the classroom setting, but we are exposed to a wide variety of conferences and conventions that allow us to showcase our own work.

Aberystwyth as a university is very welcoming and easy to navigate. There are various programs and services available to fulfill the needs of its students, including fitness facilities, cafes, libraries, and study spaces.

Aberystwyth is a quaint and picturesque town. It is small and safe, and you always meet someone you know around town. The surrounding landscape is beautiful and allows for amazing leisure activities on days off. I would absolutely recommend studying at Aberystwyth to anyone as I have had an amazing year thus far. I have met amazing friends from all over the world and have gained an experience unlike any other. 

Aberystwyth has far exceeded my expectations and it will be a sad day when I have to leave.

- Nicole

Back to Student Experiences
Study International Relations in Wales

A great place to live and study

Study International Relations in the UK

Settling into the university was pretty easy. I’d been to the UK a lot before I started school, and the country isn’t so different from home. My flatmates were great, too, so that helped. Aberystwyth is a small town and doesn’t take long to feel comfortable.


Aberystwyth is really a great place to live and study. Obviously, Britain’s weather has a well-earned reputation for being dark and rainy, and Aberystwyth is no exception. But aside from that, it only takes a 10-minute train ride to be in legitimate countryside here – Wales has some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Aberystwyth itself is nestled between the hills right on the coastline. The beach is a lovely place to relax, barbecue, and hang out. It’s a quick walk to some picturesque viewpoints over the bay. The town is small and welcoming with the student body making it a rather diverse, interesting, fun place. Beware, though, if you plan to do traveling either within Britain or abroad, Aberystwyth is quite isolated indeed.


The two main reasons I chose Aberystwyth were the reputation of the International Relations department and the beauty of the town/countryside.


Obviously, Britain itself is a bit more expensive because of the exchange rate, but this part of Wales is cheaper than most places in the UK. It’s really not any different than home.


I’m in university accommodation, which is fine. There’s tons of private housing around, but I didn’t feel like looking when I was trying to get everything else sorted out.


In my spare time, I read, go for walks in the hills, hang out at the beach, sample some of the locally-owned cafes, travel, try to keep up with things at home, and I also play on the basketball team and handball club.


Definitely – why would you study abroad and not do some extra traveling? I just got back from a spring break trip to Germany, Italy, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea. Last semester, I went to Poland for a bit. I’ve done a fair amount of hiking throughout Wales and England as well.


Do note how isolated Aberystwyth is - a three-hour train ride to get to any airport can be annoying sometimes. Aside from that and the occasional depression from the weather, just come. Aberystwyth is such a beautiful town, the people are great, and it’s cheaper than home.


Across the Pond was great. I wouldn’t have been able to manage going to school in Britain without them. They take the guesswork out of applications, give great advice when it comes to picking which school(s) to apply to and eventually attend, and really care – they want you to study in the UK and do a lot of hard work for you so that it’s painless and you can enjoy yourself.

- Michael

Back to Student Experiences
Study Theatre and Performance Studies abroad

Lovely town with even lovelier people

Study Theatre and Performance Studies in the UK

I chose to study at Aberystwyth University because it is a partner with my home university. Their drama program is well reputed and offers applied theatre courses which my home university did not. The classes I have taken this term are wonderful, and the department and its staff have all been welcoming and accomodating. 

The university is great, the diversity and amount of extracurricular activities are fantastic, and there is always something for everyone!  The facilities are up to date and well kept, and the faculties are always prompt to respond to any queries you have. 

Aberystwyth is a lovely town with even lovelier people. Everything is easily accessible with plenty to explore and a great nightlife.

I would absolutely recommend Aberystwyth University to anyone who is considering coming here. I would especially recommend it to my fellow theatre students at my home university to come and study abroad here.

- Emily

Back to Student Experiences
Discover UK Universities

Digital meeting with a Student Advisor

Book an online session with an advisor with Across the Pond to learn more about studying in the UK! 

  1. Make sure you book the meeting at least 2 days ahead of time
  2. If you want to talk over Skype, make sure your Skype is working as it should and that you have connected with your advisor before the meeting starts to avoid losing valuable meeting time 
  3. If you do not use Skype and prefer to talk over for instance Teams, just type that into the "Skype-ID" field and we´ll arrange to send you a meeting link via Teams (you do not need a Microsoft Teams user) 



Fill in the form below to register your interest, and your advisor (if you already have one) will contact you directly. If you do not have a Student Advisor we will of course make sure that you get to talk to an advisor who will contact you to confirm the time!
Which country are you from?

We noticed you chose the United States.

We would love to be able to help all students in all circumstances but unfortunately US federal rules prohibit third party involvement for candidates anticipating making use of federal funding.


Your advisor will contact you directly to confirm the time as soon as you have registered your interest. Please note that we can not promise that you will receive an appointment at the desired time, but will do our best to comply with your wishes. If the advisor does not have the opportunity at the desired time, the advisor will agree directly with you to find an alternative.
Dates of the event
This is a continuous 


Skype, Teams or similar depending on what you prefer. If you want to use Skype, remember to share your Skype-ID with the advisor in the form when you sign up!

Back to events
Subscribe to Aberystwyth University
Need Help?
Send us a message