A Warm Welsh Welcome…

We can imagine that traveling to a different country to stay for six weeks and complete an important clinical placement is a daunting prospect for anyone.

So SALTsoc would like to create a place for those of you who are coming to Cardiff from America. You can use it to post any questions or thoughts you might have and the students here will reply. These can be about the course itself, about the students (getting to know us), Cardiff -where to go and where not to go, anything really. You can just stop by and say hello and make yourself known if you like 🙂

We’ve been asking around all years for the student’s views and opinions about the course and Cardiff and this is what we’ve been told……

“Cardiff is a really fun and friendly city and the course gives you lots of opportunities to apply theory to case studies/ real cases “ Laura Sansom, 2nd year.

“I’ve lived in Cardiff all my life and decided to stay here to study because I like it so much” Amanda Evans, 2nd year.

“Take time out to explore Cardiff: check out Roath Park, Cardiff Bay, coffee shops on Albany Road. Also, take a train from Cardiff central to Lisvane station and walk up Cearphilly mountain – it’s lovely, and take a train to Penarth and go to the beach” Phoebe Prior, 2nd year.

“All of the lecturers are really friendly, supportive and approachable and the clinical tutorials allow you to share valuable placement experiences and learn from others” Laura Hinder, 2nd year.

“My favourite part of the course is definitely the placements. I’ve really liked the fact that I’ve had a good mix of client groups, both general and more specialist in a few different settings. The most valuable thing has been the support offered from placement educators, CMU tutors and the rest of my year group. My placement educators have really supported me in realising my areas of strength and weaknesses and have been great in designing the placement around these. The year group are always great if I’ve been stuck for ideas as everyone has really different experiences and ideas. Finally, the tutors have always been really approachable when I’ve had any problems. Although placements seem a bit scary at first, I’ve had a lot of positive experiences that I think will really help me in the future”          Jenna Adams, 3rd Year.


Where are we?

You can see Cardiff right at the bottom……

Click Here to have a look at where our university is based in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

You will be staying in the Cyncoed campus halls of residence. Here, you will have access to an on-site canteen so you don’t have to worry about cooking! You can find lots of information about this accommodation here.

Click here to have a look at where your accommodation is on google maps.


Where to go…

So that you’re aware of what is around you and how to get to some places from your accommodation, here is another map (sorry!)

On this map are four routes. The first takes you to a lovely park with a lake which is very close to Cyncoed Campus. It’s beautiful in the Summer!

Photo by Will McGree

Photo by Andy Cardiff

There are a further two parks which are connected to the beginning of Roath Park Lake (the side with the lighthouse on). These other parks are called the flower gardens, and Roath Recreational Ground. Roath Recreational ground corresponds to pin C on the google map (the blank/grey space).

You can also have a walk to Wellfield Road and Albany Road where there are lovely coffee shops, cafes and pretty shops to have a look in (pins D and E on the map)

Photo by The Local Data Company

You will have to visit Cardiff city centre (we just call it town) as there is a big shopping centre (St David’s 2) and Cardiff Castle. There are also huge fields behind the castle which are brilliant for picnics and sunbathing on a warm day. Details of what bus to catch to get into town are below….

Photo by Andrew*Evans

Photo by EG Focus

And the Millennium Stadium is located in town…so if you’re in to British sport then you may want to have a look….

Photo by Mye Butler

If you quite fancy a day trip then you should check out Cardiff Bay. It is lovely in the summer with loads of restaurants, bars, pretty shops, boat trips and is home to the Millennium Centre (the big grey building with all the welsh writing on in the picture). The Millennium Centre is an arts centre where such things as musicals, comedy acts and plays are performed. You can get a water bus from Cardiff Castle to the bay….find out more below.

Photo by TFDuesing

Photo by National Assembly for Wales

If you’d like to know more about what types of bars/restaurants/shops are in the bay then click here.

There are lots of places to visit in Cardiff. To find out more click on the links menu at the top of this page and then click on Cardiff.

dividerHow to pronounce local place names

We have some place names which can be a bit difficult to pronounce (you may have noticed on the maps) so here are some transcriptions….

Cyncoed – kɪŋˈkɔɪd

Roath – ɹəʊθ

Llandaff – ˈɬandaf

Pontcanna -ˈpɒntkanə

Cathays – kaˈteɪz

Llandough – ɬanˈdɒk

Pontypridd -ˈpɒntipɹið

Caerphilly – kəˈfɪli


Finding your way around: public transport


Photo by didbygraham

You can catch a number 52 or 52a bus from Cyncoed Campus which will take you into town. The bus stop is actually on Cyncoed Campus itself so you can’t miss it.

cardiffcitycentre – click here for a map of where you catch your bus from town back to Cyncoed campus (the bus stops you can use have been circled).

networkmap – and here is a more general map of all of the bus routes in Cardiff. Cyncoed campus has been circled for you again so you know where to start from.

Click here to see the route of the 52 and 52a buses and how often they run. You can see the Cyncoed campus stop just before the line branches into two labelled UWIC Cyncoed (We’ve changed our name to Cardiff Met but they haven’t changed it yet…).

Cardiff Water Bus

Our newest method of transport allows us to travel between the Castle Grounds (town) and Mermaid Quay (Cardiff Bay) quickly and cheaply! You can also catch the boat back to town when you’ve finished at the bay. Click here to see the waterbus timetable. All you’d need to do is catch a bus to town and get off at either points G or M ( check back on buses – the link to the map of cardiff city centre bus stops) and then walk to the castle.  Note: the service finishes quite early so not suitable if you were planning a night out at the bay.

Photo by the aquabus

Click here to see how to get to the water bus stop from outside Cardiff castle.


So, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us…we are a friendly bunch and hope you have a lovely time when you’re here 😀



9 responses to “A Warm Welsh Welcome…

  1. Hey girls, a few of us thought it may be a nice idea to invite you out for some drinks or something – possibly on the 8th June so you have a few days before placement starts 🙂 Let us know if you’d be up for this and then we can have a think about where to go etc….

    • That sounds perfect I am always up for some drinks 🙂 I can’t wait to meet everyone!

      • Hey again 🙂 Just seeing how you both are feeling now it’s so close to arriving here…hope you’re not too nervous? I’m in the process of arranging something for the night of the 8th – as lots of people have gone home etc there won’t be loads of us out but hopefully a good few.
        Looking forward to meeting you 😀

        Saltsoc girls

  2. Hello all,
    Glad to hear the site is being of use! You’ll really like Cardiff – I moved down here two years ago and I still enjoy finding new places to go. I was amazed at how friendly everyone is. I recommend exploring all the little shopping arcades in the town centre – although it can get a wee bit annoying when you find a shop you like then forget where it is!!
    As everyone else has said, do ask questions – no matter how small! I’ve been a kind of tour guide for a few groups of younger American students and was amazed at the variety they came up with 🙂
    Louise Allen x x

  3. Hello everyone,
    I am the other student coming from the United States. My name is Cassie Henry. I can’t believe how helpful this site is! It is so stressful not knowing what I am getting into, but even more exciting and this definitely relieves some of my stress! It still has not sunk in yet that I get to study in Cardiff. I am so excited to meet everyone. And to the girls that are coming here feel free to ask us any questions and hopefully we will set something like this up for you soon!.

    Cassie Henry

  4. Hi Jamie 🙂

    I’m one of the students coming over in the summer and I absolutely cannot wait!!! I’m not sure I can add any suggestions to the list of places to visit but if you want to ask me any questions or just have a chat my email address is jennalouise27691@hotmail.co.uk or again i’m on facebook. I can’t wait to meet you all!!!!! 🙂 Jenna Adams xxx

  5. Tabitha Thomas

    Hi Jamie! I would also recommend a trip to see the lovely beaches we have in Wales. I won’t be in Cardiff when you are here for your placement (as I am hoping to have a block placement at home in Pembrokeshire), however if you ever fancy a visit to Pembrokeshire to see some more rural areas of Wales/beaches then feel free to contact me (like Holley, you can find me on facebook!) It takes around 2 to 2 and a half hours by train but you would be more than welcome to stay over! I spent my last summer in Dubuque, Iowa, working at a summer camp so I am sort of missing Americans in my life 😛 ! xx

  6. Hi Jamie,
    I’m in year three and really excited about my block placement – so I can’t imagine how excited you are about doing yours in a different country! I can’t wait to find out where mine is. My friend Jenna is coming to your uni in America so I’m looking forward to hearing about it when she comes back.
    Just wanted to say that I live in Cardiff so if you need anything when you’re here let me know and hopefully I can help you out. I’m on Facebook if you want to get in touch 🙂 I also strongly recommend a train trip to my lovely home town of Bristol (about 45 minutes on the train) for some shopping or a wander round the harbourside,
    Holley Jukes xx

  7. Hello All!

    My name is Jamie Monier. I am one of the students from the United States taking part in the exchange! We are beyond excited to meet everyone in the program and live in Cardiff! We are also overwhelmed by this website!! It is so detailed and informative. (We are now that much more excited to arrive.) Thank you for putting up the links for the dormitories, traveling in Cardiff, pronounciations of certain places and the sights to see while there. We will be getting information to you about Western Illinois University as well. We look forward to beginning the exchange and meeting everyone!

    Thanks again,
    Jamie Monier

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