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Wales Study Group

Cardiff University
Director Spring 2015: Professor Bruce W. Selleck, H. O. Whitnall Professor of Geology

The Wales Study Group is intended for majors in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who wish to live and study abroad. Although the program is designed primarily for students who will be juniors during the spring term of 2015, qualified sophomores may also be considered.

The program is hosted at Cardiff University during that college’s spring semester. The Colgate study group’s orientation will begin on Monday, 19 January 2015. The last final exam day is Friday, 12 June 2015.


As in the past, the study group will be based at Cardiff University, which, with its student body of twenty-eight thousand students, is the preeminent research university of Wales. Colgate students will register as non-matriculated students of the University of Cardiff and have access to all of the University’s academic and athletic facilities, including libraries, gymnasiums, and student union.

Wales is part of the United Kingdom and only in 1998 formed its own National Assembly. Its people consider Wales to be a separate and distinct nation; they are passionately conscious of their cultural heritage. While the dominant language of southern Wales is English, Wales is a bilingual nation. The Welsh language, a Celtic tongue, is alive and well as a second language and is strongly promoted in the Welsh educational system. Cardiff is an ideal locale for exploring this fascinating culture, serving as a center for the renaissance of Welsh language, literature, and national pride.

The city of Cardiff, the capital of Wales, has a population of approximately 330,000. The Welsh are justifiably proud of their artistic and cultural accomplishments, as exemplified by city theaters for opera, drama and ballet — the Welsh National Opera and the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra are located in Cardiff — and by the Welsh National Museum. In addition, Cardiff University, which is located near the center of Cardiff in Cathays Park, maintains a number of musical and drama theaters. The principal sport of Wales is rugby, and Millennium Park, an internationally known rugby ground, is within walking distance of the University’s campus.


Students pose as prisoners in fake stockadesAll students will enroll in two elective courses (at least one normally must be in the student’s concentration) and in two required courses, which are designed specifically to reflect the study group’s unique location.

Welsh Culture (required Cardiff course)
This course examines Welsh literature, language, and culture, and in so doing, augments the cross-cultural experience that is an integral part of any study abroad program. The specific course content varies with the instructors, all of who are Cardiff University faculty. Before the semester begins, a member of the Welsh Department provides an introduction to the Welsh language. This course has a number of required field trips, including excursions to the Welsh Folk Museum, Dylan Thomas home site, and National Assembly.

Geology 210 – Hydrology and Surficial Geology (with a special emphasis on the natural and human environment of Wales):  This course will investigate the surface geologic and environmental in Wales and adjacent areas of England.  The course will concentrate on issues related to water quality and water pollution, but we will also address governmental policies related to environmental quality, water and energy supply in Wales and the UK.  The environmental status and sustainability of heritage sites in Wales will be a special focus to provide additional relevance to our field excursions.

Elective Courses
Of the two elective courses, at least one must be in the student’s concentration. Students must have satisfied the pre-requisites for the courses in Wales before departure. Students will consult with their academic departments and the Registrar’s Office to ensure that the courses taken in Cardiff will be approved as Colgate credit.

Field Trips

Students along the shores of a lakeStudents are required to participate in all of the study group trips. There will be several day trips for the Welsh Culture course, a one-day trip to the western Welsh coast region, a three-day trip to the Brecon Beacons region of south-central Wales, and a 3-day venture to Snowdonia and the Isle of Anglesey in the culturally distinct north of Wales. These trips will visit distinctly Welsh sites.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Calendar and Deadlines

The deadline for applications to the Spring 2015 Wales Study Group is Friday November 8, 2013. Applications are on the Off-Campus Study/International Programs website and are submitted online. Only finalists in the selection process will be interviewed. Interviews will take place after that date and will be arranged by email. Student notification of selections will take place December 17-21. Written confirmation of participation is due January 13, 2014.

Passports and Visas

Two students play with local childrenYou must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2015. All students participating on the Spring 2015 Wales Study Group will be required to obtain a U.K. student visa. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with U.K. visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the visa requirements. For some students there are significant requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Wales Study Group program dates: January 19— June 12, 2015

Informational Sessions

  • Monday, October 21st at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 24th at 4:30 p.m.
Both informational sessions will be held in Room 239, Ho Science Center

More Information

For more information, contact Bruce Selleck at 315-228-7949 or