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Aberystwyth University was founded in 1872 and was the first university in Wales. Aberystwyth University is the only university in the UK to offer every student a year’s work placement as part of their degree, leading to a better than average employability level, and there are currently 9,500 students enrolled.
Aberystwyth has one of the largest graduate schools for international relations in the world, with over 150 Master’s and PhD students enrolled. The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, which is shared with Bangor University, is a world class research and education centre researching issues including sustainable land use, climate change and the security of food and water supplies. It is also home to one of the five UK copyright libraries, the National Library of Wales, and has the largest Arts Centre in Wales.
Over 170 clubs and societies offer a wide variety of things to do away from study, and there is a Sports Centre on campus offering a range of activities. Surfing and water sports are also available on the coast, while the area was awarded EU Blue Flag for its rubbish-free environment.
Aberystwyth University is home to nearly 2,000 international students. A dedicated international office is able to answer students’ questions on topics such as visas, accommodation and banking.
The Student Union runs an international buddy scheme to help international students settle in, as well as a special orientation programme in the first days of term. The University offers a wide range of international scholarships for undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students.
Aberystwyth University ranks highly for student satisfaction in the UK and was rated in the top five in the world in a recent International Student Barometer survey. The University won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology at the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards. 95% of the research activity submitted by Aberystwyth University for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework is of an internationally recognised standard or higher.
Other key Aberystwyth rankings include:
All first year students are guaranteed a place in university accommodation, while international students (not EU) are guaranteed University accommodation for the duration of their study.
The cost of living in Aberystwyth is amongst the lowest in the UK. The Accommodation Office maintains a regularly updated register of addresses, covering traditional lodgings and self-catering accommodation in a range of shared houses, flats, bedsits and single-study bedrooms. The staff is familiar with all aspects of housing in Aberystwyth and are happy to advise students on relevant issues.
International students also automatically receive the International Accommodation Award, providing free accommodation in the Cwrt Mawr self-catered campus accommodation for all academic years at Aberystwyth. If students would prefer to live in alternative student accommodation, they can instead opt to receive a £2,000 annual discount towards any other university-managed accommodation.
The main campus of Aberystwyth University is situated on Penglais Hill, overlooking the town of Aberystwyth and Cardigan Bay. The Penglais Campus is the site of 12 of the University's 17 departments, as well as most of the student halls of residence. The original Aberystwyth University building, known as "Old College", is the site of most of the University's administration as well as the Departments of Welsh and Education.
The town is dominated by the vast expanse of Cardigan Bay, and the beach is enjoyed by students as a place of relaxation in the summer, and at other times of the year the sea is ideal for surfing and sail boarding.
The nearest airports are based in Manchester and Birmingham, with a direct train connecting the latter and taking just three hours. A regular train service is also offered from London Euston, which takes around five hours.
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