Study Abroad students ‘left in the dark’ by Cardiff Uni

So are we going abroad or not?

Cardiff University has encouraged students planning on studying abroad in the 2020/21 academic year to continue arranging accommodation in their desired location of study, despite uncertainty as to whether the trip will be possible amongst the ongoing pandemic.

With numerous countries having closed borders for the foreseeable future, it is unclear if students will even be able to study abroad. Many have claimed the university has failed to address the issue, leaving them completely in the dark.

Pretty sure none of us are as happy as everyone in this picture…

In an email, the university has encouraged students to find accommodation where the tenancy is able to be cancelled, should the year abroad not go ahead as planned. However, some students have queried this, believing such accommodation extremely difficult to find.

Even if students can find accommodation with these clauses in place, they still risk losing hundreds of pounds in deposit fees, with an additional fear of being stuck within a tenancy agreement abroad that they may not even use (most of us know the struggle tenancy agreements can cause…).

The Tab Cardiff reached out to various students this affected.

One student talked about her experience saying “we can’t visit [the accommodation] so we can only go off photos and we cannot visit local estate agents. Obviously we don’t know the area at all and have hardly had any support with this.”  She feels “really let down by the uni” for not providing “any contingency plans, so next year is completely uncertain”.

Another student decided to drop her year abroad plans for 2020/21 over fears of “going to a new country and still having to isolate” and the activities she planned will be unmanageable or cancelled in alignment with social distancing measures in place.

She said the university “hasn’t given me any certainty that I would or wouldn’t be going”, disrupting her plans “for the coming year.”

Students want more clarity, and the university isn’t complying

A spokesperson for Cardiff Uni said: “An institutional decision regarding all placements for 2020/21 (UK and international) will be made as soon as possible so that students have time to put in place alternative plans is their placement cannot go ahead. The overriding concerns are for the health and safety of our students and we will be guided by the advice of our placement partners, and by the Welsh, UK and other governments”.

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