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International students: General FAQ's

By bzellie 09 Jul 2021

What is the weather like in Cardiff?

In Cardiff, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy, and the winters are long, very cold, wet, windy and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 38°F to 69°F and is rarely below 29°F or above 78°F.

What is the cost of living in Cardiff?

According to 2019 Natwest Student Living Index, Cardiff is the most cost-efficient university city in the UK. Although Cardiff is one of the most affordable cities in the UK, the minimum cost of living as recommended by UKVI for studying outside London is £1,015 per month. To be eligible for a Tier 4 visa you will have to show that you have sufficient funds for the first-year tuition fee and living costs of approximately of £9,135.

What support do freshmen have?

We understand that it is a great step to settle into your new way of life in Cardiff and, hence, we try our best to take great care to help you settle as easily as possible. For this purpose, we arrange and organize a range of orientation and welcome activities for freshers. Welcome events include welcome talks, meet-ups, practical advice and information sessions, quizzes, societies and sports fairs, tours of university campus and city, etc. However, owing to the unprecedented situation of Covid-19 pandemic we are currently reviewing how we can deliver International welcome and orientation.

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How large are classes?

The university classes are of different sizes and depend on the course you are attending. In some schools, there are big lecture theatres where 220 students can be accommodated. The other classes are of medium to small sizes which can accommodate around 30 to 80 students.

Can I work part-time?

If you are an international student and you have a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you can usually work part-time during your studies. The wording on your visa, either on the Entry Clearance sticker in your passport or in the “Remarks” section on your Biometric Permit will state your work conditions. You must check carefully before committing to any paid work.

You may be eligible to work in the UK if your visa states that you can. Look out for one of the following statements which usually indicate that you are eligible to work:

  • Work (and any changes) must be authorised
  • Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State
  • Work as in Tier 4 Rules
  • Restricted Work. P/T term time. F/T vacations
  • Restricted work term time
  • Work limited to max 20 hrs per week during term-time
  • Work limited to max 10 hrs per week during term-time

You cannot work if your visa has one of these statements:

  • No work
  • Work prohibited

Depending on the wording of your Visa, you must not work more than 10 or 20 hours per week during term time. You should be able to find the official term dates on the Cardiff University Intranet.

If you work beyond your permitted hours, you may be subject to a range of consequences. The most severe of which could include dismissal from University and deportation from the UK. The University could also incur a significant fine.

As an international student, you should expect to be treated fairly within your organisation, have the right to join a Trade Union and can access support from the services below if you face any employment challenges in your place of work.

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Can international students work on campus?

Yes, they can. There are several opportunities published throughout the year by job shop. It is a platform that sends part-time jobs to students frequently through email. However, you have to register with them first before any opportunities can be forwarded to you.

How do I open a bank account?

Firstly, you must complete the online enrolment via SIMS. Secondly, you will have to collect your Student ID card before you can generate a bank letter. You can generate a bank letter from SIMS (you can find the video on how to generate a bank letter here). Then, you must make an appointment with the bank of your choice to fill in an application for a bank account.

For more information about different banks visit our Banking Hub in the Students' Union during enrolment week where numerous UK banks will be present in the Hub, allowing students to open accounts at the bank of their choice on-site or allowing you to book appointments to open accounts in their local branch.

What are the extra-curricular activities that international students can take part in?

International students can take part in a variety of extra-curricular activities that Cardiff university provides. They are open to join any general or sports society. They can also volunteer, but for paid opportunities, the international students must abide by the rules and regulations and check the Tier 4 (general) visa guidance document before proceeding

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