Study Abroad: A Ram’s European Escape

Michael Marquardt, Photographer

The view from the top of the London Eye
The view from the top of the London Eye March 14. The London Eye was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel when it opened in 2000 and is the United Kingdom’s most popular paid tourist attraction. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt) (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)

Studying abroad has been the most incredible adventure of my life. I naively thought I knew what to expect in Swansea, Wales, having previously visited London and several other cities, towns and villages in southern England.

However, there is a noticeable culture shift when you cross the Welsh border — Wales is a country of quaint villages, castles, rolling hills, lush valleys and stunning natural beaches. It has a unique national culture and heritage that its people are fiercely proud of.

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While life moves much slower here than it does in English cities, I was quickly won over by the infamous warmth and kindness of the Welsh people, and I have felt incredibly welcome since the second I arrived on campus.

To anyone considering studying abroad, my advice is to take the opportunity while you can. Keep an open mind, and throw yourself into experiencing the culture of your host city. You won’t regret it, and you’ll come back with so many stories to tell.

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  • The Canal Quarter in Birmingham, England June 8. Birmingham is the second most populous city in England and has more miles of canals than Venice.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt

  • The Eiffel Tower and the skyline of La Défense April 22. Opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has become an iconic symbol of Paris, while La Défense is located approximately two miles outside of Paris and is the largest purpose-built business district in Europe.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt

  • All Souls College at the University of Oxford Feb 12. Founded in 1438, the College has no undergraduate members and all members are automatically made fellows.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt

  • Sunset over Swansea Promenade June 3. The promade stretches five miles along the coast of Swansea Bay and forms part of the United Kingdom’s National Cycle Network and the Wales Coast Path.

    Collegian | Michael Marquardt

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Sunset on a beach
The sun sets on Bay Campus Beach in Swansea, Wales March 4. The Swansea University Bay Campus opened in September 2015 and has direct access to the beach. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero Fountains April 22. Opened in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has become an iconic symbol of Paris. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
The London Eye at sunset
The London Eye at sunset March 14. The London Eye was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel when it opened in 2000 and is the United Kingdom’s most popular paid tourist attraction. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
A stone castle on top of a hill
Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock June 16. Built on top of an extinct volcano overlooking Edinburgh, Scotland, the castle is Scotland’s most-visited paid tourist attraction. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
Radcliffe Camera at the University of Oxford
The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England Feb. 12. Built from 1737 to 1749, the Camera now houses a reading room for the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
The London Eye
The London Eye March 14. The London Eye was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel when it opened in 2000 and is the United Kingdom’s most popular paid tourist attraction. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
An English street with Union Jack flags
Cannon Street in Birmingham, England June 8. Birmingham is the United Kindgom’s second-largest city by population and the largest city in England’s West Midlands. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)
A road leads to a white building
The Northern Irish Parliament Building in Belfast June 16. (Collegian | Michael Marquardt)

Reach Michael Marquardt at photo@collegian.com.