by Christina Deias
My name is Christina, and I have just finished my second year at Swansea University, studying Public and Media Relations.
I have lived in Swansea all my life, and so deciding to go to its university, for me, was not just for convenience, but also, because I love my city. Well, I say city, but Swansea is not as urban as it may at first appear as you emerge towards its centre from Fabian Way.
I like to think of Swansea as juxtaposing sand with the city; you have the best of both worlds. Having both of these within close proximity to the university is definitely one of its main attractions, and is what draws students to Swansea from all over the country; in fact, from all over the World.
Swansea Bay is directly opposite the university, which is a pleasant surprise for campus residents who didn’t expect a room with a view! People often walk, jog and cycle along the bay’s sea front, which is a five mile stretch from Swansea, down to the quaint town of Mumbles; a popular place to pop to when the suns out for a famous Joe’s Ice Cream!
But there are so many areas to choose to visit when the sun decides to show its face. The award winning beaches of the Gower Peninsula are just a pebbles throw away.
Whether it’s camping in Three Cliffs, sunbathing in Caswell or exploring rocky Mewslade, hitting the beach can be a tough decision! For avid surfers, Llangennith is a must and is among the Guardian’s top 10 classic surfing beaches. Don’t forget to grab a bay burger at Eddie’s in Hillend after a hard day’s board riding!
For breathtaking evening sunsets though, the cliff tops of Rhossili, looking out onto Worm’s Head, is an experience every Swansea visitor should endeavour. There is nothing quite like it.
But it’s not only the sand and sea that keeps students occupied. Swansea city centre is a popular destination for students taking a break from their studies. The Quadrant Centre and Oxford Street are home to many popular retail chains and many more shops, eateries and coffee shops are within the surrounding area. Swansea market is further amongst the city. It’s the largest indoor market in Wales, and is where curious students have had their first taste of Penclawdd cockles and lava bread.
Many students take advantage of the greenery right on the university’s doorstep in Singleton Park. The wide expanses of grassy areas are used by students for a leisurely football or rugby practice, as well as for last minute picnics on a warm, sunny day. Singleton Park is also the venue for Escape into the Park, an annual music festival where the world’s greatest dance artists head to entertain over 20,000 music fans. The event is rarely missed by students!
When they’re not running along the sea front, sporty students head down to the LC, one of Wales’ biggest fitness centres. Conveniently located by the university, the leisure centre plays host to a state of the art gym, various fitness classes, a climbing wall, water park and interactive play area. The modern, versatile venue is ideal for taking the pain out of keeping fit!
As for night life; Wind Street is top of a Swansea student’s vocabulary. A buzzing street most nights, Wind Street is lined with trendy bars and clubs such as Walkabout, Revolution and Reflex, which are the focal meeting points for those looking for a great night out. Aspers Casino is another hot spot for socialising students who want to try their luck with a bit of gambling. However, dancing queens and keen clubbers head to Oceana on the Kingsway; a multi-awarded winning club boasting five themed bars, VIP areas and two lavish clubrooms.
Although, if a more sophisticated evening is on the cards, then Sulubrious Place at the bottom end of Wind Street houses numerous well known restaurants including Frankie and Benny’s, La Tasca and Nando’s. Alternatively, close by is Vue cinema, where film goers can enjoy the big screen with a big bag of popcorn.
So, there is a lot more to being a student in Swansea than one may first imagine. Luckily, I have been able to be cradled by both its buzz and beauty all my life. What can I say? I’m a Swansea girl!