I didn’t have any connections to Wales when I applied to Swansea University. I’d been out of academia for about five years after doing my undergraduate degree at North Carolina Central University. My sister was working at the Belizean Embassy in Brussels, and my father suggested I should think about finding a school on this side of the continent.
I looked into Clinical Psychology courses at several British universities. Swansea was the one that appealed to me – none of the others took the same holistic perspective on the subject. It was only when I’d applied that I found out that I had some very distant family in Swansea, which was interesting!
One thing that’s special about the university is the availability of staff, and their willingness to help students. They make it known that they’re there for support, and that they’re around during office hours. They post extra readings and resources that you can take up if you want to. I think this shows their dedication to wanting students to pursue more knowledge and get as much as they can, and I like that a lot.
Swansea is close to the beach, which is great. Coming from the Caribbean, it makes me feel a little bit at home. The way that I walk in to class, through Singleton Park, is really, really beautiful. It’s a nice way to clear my head before going into class.
I’ve met so many people from so many different places. In my flat, I have neighbours from Zimbabwe, Turkey, Italy and China – it’s pretty diverse. To have all these international students in one place, I think there has to be something appealing and welcoming about the university. International students at Swansea are so friendly, inviting and informed. They’re like ambassadors of their countries, showing that a lot of the things we separate ourselves over are trivial, and we have a lot more in common than we like to think.
The international students are so friendly, inviting and informed
I’ve been discovering Swansea as a city. I recently found Swansea Market, and I feel like it’s just the coolest place ever. I love how it’s set up, and that you can get fresh produce, fish and meat. I’m always avid for supporting local businesses, because you know exactly where the money is going. I always feel like I could walk around and look at the stalls and what they’re selling for a couple of hours.
There’s a big emphasis on mental health right now. I would like to be a part of that movement, using whatever platform I can to educate people about trauma – how it affects our development in childhood and continues to affect us as we age. If there are opportunities to further my education in Wales, I’d love to do that. Am I open to the idea of doing a doctorate here? Absolutely. In 10 to 15 years time, I hope to have published some research and worked alongside professors who have shared interests.