Students from three Texas universities are spending four months studying at Swansea, as part of an undergraduate exchange programme which has grown out of a wider partnership between Swansea University and Texas.
The students are from Texas A&M, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Houston. All three are top-ranked universities.
Picture: the students on the steps of the Abbey Building at Swansea University (names below: also in picture, Christine Voneiff)
The Swansea-Texas A&M student exchange scheme has been running since 2012, with students from Medical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Swansea spending their autumn term studying in Texas, with students from Texas A&M coming to Swansea in the spring.
The exchange forms part of a burgeoning partnership between Swansea and Texas which also includes research collaboration, knowledge transfer, sharing of infrastructure and the exchange of academic staff.
Pictures – Swansea research on show in Texas
Dr Caroline Coleman-Davies, who manages the University’s strategic partnership with Texas, said:
“I often meet prospective exchange students back at their home university when they are considering studying at Swansea. It's a real pleasure therefore to meet them once they have arrived in Swansea and to hear how much they are enjoying their time here.
It is especially pleasing that this is the largest group of exchange students from Texas to come to Swansea so far and we are looking forward to growing the number of students undertaking exchange between Swansea and Texas."
Picture: Hector De La Miyar and Justice Caldwell fly the flag at Swansea for the University of Houston
Dr Raoul van Loon, who manages the exchange programme in the College of Engineering, said:
“I have been delighted to welcome these students to Swansea. Students who participate in the exchange programme benefit from the academic expertise of two outstanding academic institutions and get to experience life in another country.
Students who have been on the programme tell us what a fantastic experience it has been and one even returned to Swansea after they graduated to pursue a postgraduate degree with us. I hope that our current group of students is enjoying all that Swansea and the University has to offer.
This year’s group of students have already begun to attend classes at Swansea, but are also making the most of the opportunities that the exchange offers outside the classroom.“
Picture: Texas A&M students, nicknamed Aggies, doing the traditional Aggie thumbs-up
What the Texas students say:
For some of the students this is their first trip outside the USA. Some of them gave their reactions to living and studying in Swansea, 5000 miles from home:
Justice Caldwell, University of Houston: "I assumed I would get very homesick, but I've found Swansea to be very welcoming, friendly, and kind. I've dreamed of living abroad since I was a small child, but Swansea has been more wonderful than my books, movies, and imagination could predict. I miss Houston, but I am happy to call Wales my second home!"
Maddie Johnson, A&M: "I’m having lots of wonderful beach walks and I really loved the Gower - I couldn’t believe there were cows wandering around on the road! I’m hoping to go to the Brecon Beacons soon."
Kendel Lipe, A&M: "Many people say I’m the first person they’ve met from the USA! The trip is a good opportunity to travel: I’ve been to places like Canterbury and Cambridge, and I even got caught up in a hunt with hundreds of horses."
Hector De La Miyar, University of Houston: "Having 10 people in your class, rather than 200, is a big difference, and it means you get more attention from the tutor. I’m looking forward to going to big cities like Liverpool and Manchester."
Marie Evans, A&M: "It’s fantastic that so many people here are interested in you and where you come from! That’s very different to being at home."
Jessica Hanson, A&M: "A lot of people know about the famous Southern hospitality in the US, but I’ve found the people here are really nice too."
Erin Livermore, A&M: "I’m already starting to pick up the way people speak here: I didn’t realise but I’ve started saying 'it tastes nice' rather than 'it tastes good'!"
Picture: Wales and Texas: the students in the grounds of Swansea University, across the road from the beach
Swansea University encourages students to study abroad for part of their degree. Swansea students wishing to study for a year or a semester outside Europe can now benefit from a £1000 travel bursary from the University’s International Development Office.
- Tuesday 22 March 2016 12.43 GMT
- Tuesday 22 March 2016 12.40 GMT
- Public Relations Office