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Wales Study Abroad Program at Cardiff University

About Cardiff University

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: April 15 for fall (Sept-Dec) or full year (Sept-June)
    October 15 for spring (Jan-June)
  • Program advisor: Michelle Mannweiler

Program Snapshot


Sut Mae! We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen Cardiff University as your destination. You will find Cardiff to be a vibrant capital with plenty of entertainment and some of the friendliest people in the United Kingdom. We're sure you're going to love studying there!

What Cardiff has to offer

  • A truly Welsh experience at one of the U.K.'s leading research universities
  • Outstanding faculty, many prominent in their fields
  • A member of Britain's Russell Group of universities, similar to the Ivy League
  • A campus-based institution located in the heart of a city, unusual by U.K. standards
  • One of the most current library and computing systems in the U.K.
  • Excellent sporting facilities
  • An active student union with more than 100 student clubs and societies
  • Easy access to big-city amenities


  • Housing is with Welsh students and other international students in a wide range of residence types, from traditional halls with meal plans to modern flats in which students purchase or prepare their own meals
  • Nearly all offer housing has single study-bedrooms, and most have private showers


Academic Structure

Cardiff University is a semester or yearlong study abroad program. Students take a varied number of courses depending on course weight. Courses at Cardiff are worth 10, 20 or 30 credits; the U.S. equivalents can be found on the "Credits" tab. Students can take 60 Cardiff credits per semester or 120 Cardiff credits dring the academic year.

Cardiff courses (modules) are divided into levels; undergraduates take levels 4 (L4), 5 (L5) and 6 (L6). Due to the differences in academic structure from U.S. universities, please follow the guidelines below:

L4 - courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience
L5 - courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses
L6 - courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses and require three to four previous course completed in the subject area 


Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?

  1. Open the Cardiff University online course catalog.
  2. In the middle of the page, click the "Online Course Catalog" link
  3. Click on the blue heading "Study Abroad Module Catalogue"

What departments can I study in?

As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course. You must take all courses for academic credit, and must complete all coursework and exams in order to obtain credit on the Butler University transcript.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the Welsh academic system is an intensive, three-year program.
    • First-year (L4) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
    • Second-year (L5) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
    • Third-year (L6) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
  • Please note that students wishing to study law must attend the university for the full academic year.

Course Registration

You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid. 


IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select. For information on the credit weight, please consult see below.

10 module credits at Cardiff = 2.5 U.S. semester credit hours
20 module credits at Cardiff = 5 U.S. semester credit hours
30 module credits at Cardiff = 7.5 U.S. semester credit hours


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar (located online at to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record appeal for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at the Cardiff University. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur. Your housing fee includes the cost of accommodation during university breaks.

What are my housing options?

The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad. Semester students are placed in one of the three following options:

  • Talybont North
    • Talybont North is a self-catered complex that consists of 15 residential houses that are divided up into six-person flats. Each study bedroom is a single room with en-suite (private bathroom) facilities. Each flat has a communal kitchen/dining and a seating area. It is about a 20-minute walk to the main campus area.
  • Talybont South
    • Talybont South is a self-catered complex that consists of 27 houses that are divided up into flats for four, six or eight students. Each student has a single bedroom with en-suite (private bathroom) facilities. Each flat has a communal kitchen/dining room that are shared with the other students living in the flat. It is about a 20-minute walk to the main campus area.
  • University Hall
    • University Hall is a self-catered facility that offers single-study bedrooms that are ensuite and have a communal kitchen/dining room shared between six and 15 students. University Hall is less than two miles from the main campus area, and the university has a bus service operating between the complex. This service operates throughout the day Monday to Friday.

The residences available for year students include those listed above, as well as the options below:

  • Aberconway Hall
    • Aberconway Hall is a self-catered hall that consists of flats that accommodate between three and six students in single-study bedrooms. There is a shared bathroom between each pair of single-study bedrooms in most flats. All flats have kitchen/dining room that is shared between the occupants. Aberconway Hall is within walking distance of the main campus area.
  • Aberdare Hall
    • Aberdare Hall provides both catered and self-catered single-study bedrooms and is located on the main campus at Cardiff University. During term-time, the catered option provides breakfast and an evening meal daily, with some variation on weekends. Students share bathrooms and there is a common room for hall residents. Aberdare Hall is located on the main campus of Cardiff University.
  • Allensbank House
    • Allensbank House is a self-catered hall and consists of single-study bedrooms. The single bedrooms are en-suite (private bathroom) and grouped together in flats of four to seven students with a shared kitchen/dining/living area. Allensbank House is within walking distance of the main campus area.
  • Cartwright Court
    • Cartwright Court is a self-catered and consists of single rooms and share a bathroom with an adjoining room. The rooms are grouped together in flats of six students and share a kitchen/dining room in each flat. Cartwright Court is one mile from the main campus area.
  • Colum Hall
    • Colum Hall is a self-catered hall divided into 14 flats, each of which accommodates eight students in single-study, en-suite bedrooms. Each flat has a kitchen and dining room. Colum Hall is within walking distance to the main campus.


You will be responsible for the cost of your meals, whether a meal plan or self-catered.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur. Your housing fee includes the cost of accommodation during university breaks.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info


Population: 250,000
Location: Southern coast of Wales

City features

  • Capital of Wales and its commercial and political center
  • One of Britain's six "cities of elegance"
  • Offers a cosmopolitan setting with great nature and adventure activities close by
  • Theatres, cultural offerings, concert venues and sporting events are all plentiful
  • Plenty of pubs, student-friendly cafes and restaurants and great clubs
  • One of the lowest costs of living in the U.K.

Do more!

  • Explore the beauty of Wales and some of the world's best preserved history (including 400 castles!)
  • Cruise or sail on Cardiff Bay, a mile from the city center
  • Travel to London, just two hours away by high-speed train
  • Take advantage of Cardiff's international airport and budget airlines offering flights to mainland Europe


Experience Cardiff
Cardiff City Bluebirds football team
Cardiff Bay
Southern Wales
Visit Wales
Welsh Assembly Government
Castles of Wales


Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the “Program ends” date.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Wales, exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Wales program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

**Travel to Wales: Students must arrange travel to London for the IFSA-Butler orientation before the start of the semester. IFSA-Butler will arrange transportation from orientation to Cardiff, but students are responsible for arranging their own return flight home from Cardiff.

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.

They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

*Student Visa: U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) do not need to apply for a visa, but can instead enter the country as a student visitor at no cost. Student visitors are allowed to remain in the U.K. for up to six months but are not allowed to undertake any paid work or unpaid volunteer activities. Citizens of some countries may be required to obtain a student visa. If this applies to you, your IFSA-Butler program advisor will notify you. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Wales:

michelleProgram Advisor Michelle Mannweiler prepares students to study abroad by assisting them with the application process and answering program, cultural and academic questions. Michelle is a Butler University graduate and majored in both middle/secondary education and Spanish. Michelle also studied for a semester in Costa Rica through IFSA-Butler. She joined the IFSA-Butler team in order to assist students in achieving their goals in new and interesting places. Michelle currently advises students planning to study in England and Wales. Michelle can be reached at the email link provided above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4267.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.





altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident director. Click here to read more about Resident Director Andrew Williams.

altUpon return from your study abroad program, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs Rhonda Hinkle processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record appeals. Rhonda completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Evansville and received her master's degree from Bowling Green State University. She also has taken doctoral courses at Ball State University. For Rhonda, study abroad not only increased her awareness of the world around her but also ignited her passion for travel and education. Rhonda can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4259.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students


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