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Shaye O'Donnell

she/they
SFU Student Undergraduate
Environment › Global Environmental Systems | Environment › Sustainable Development
Study Abroad › Exchange

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I, like most people in their 20s, always dreamed of getting to live abroad and experience another culture. This Fall 2023 I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad in one of the coolest and kindest cities that I’ve ever been to - Cardiff, Wales. I have been lucky enough to be awarded an Equity Diversity, and Inclusion International Mobility Award (EDI IMA) as well as a One World International Scholarship. Because of these, I have not had to take on any additional financial stress which has greatly helped me to focus on my studies and my daily life. Now, more about Wales.

For starters, there is no place with kinder people than Wales. Whether it is a lovely old woman at the bus stop or the members of the Cardiff Uni Plant Society, I have felt immensely welcomed by all that I have met. Before I left for Wales I was very nervous to be leaving my friends and family to move to a city I had never even visited, these fears all disappeared as soon as I attended my first day at Cardiff University. Throughout the few months that I have been living in Cardiff, I have tried to assimilate as much as possible into the culture, which includes going to some sports matches!

I also joined a few clubs as a way to make friends since I am not the young fresher I once was (I’m 22 so club nights with 18-year-olds wasn't exactly my idea of fun). These clubs, the Cardiff Uni Plant Society and the Cardiff Uni Mountaineering Club,  allowed me to make friends that I believe will be in my life forever. I even had the opportunity to go on a trip up to the Peak District in England to outdoor climb for the first time with the mountaineering club! Additionally, I have been lucky enough to travel around Europe on my long weekends visiting bucket-list destinations like Rome, London, and Dublin!

Along with all these amazing clubs and opportunities, Cardiff University has been amazing at granting me the necessary accessibility accommodations. They took the time to listen to what I needed to excel in my coursework and feel confident in my courses. I have been immensely happy with my exchange experience thus far, and I look forward to the future. 

The Mountaineering Club in the Peak District
The Mountaineering Club in the Peak District
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Shaye O'Donnell

she/they
SFU Student Undergraduate
Environment › Global Environmental Systems | Environment › Sustainable Development
Study Abroad › Exchange
visibility  136
Feb 28, 2024