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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Cardiff, Wales
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BDF LogoCardiff University

Cardiff University is one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group. From its outstanding central location amidst the parks, Portland-stone buildings and tree-lined avenues that form the city's elegant civic center, the University's 30,000+ students are drawn from throughout the world. Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is among the top 5 of UK communications programs.
For additional information, visit the Cardiff University website, and the School of Journalism, Media, and Cultural Studies website
The City of Cardiff

Cardiff, "the perfect student city", is a small city with a population of about 320,000 people. Approximately 20% of the population is students, which makes it safe, friendly and affordable. Cardiff is also a capital city with all the culture, sports, shops, entertainment, work opportunities and atmosphere you would expect of a modern European metropolis. This means you get a small cheap city you can easily walk around, but also an exciting city where there is always something to do.
Did you know…?

Cardiff has more than 330 parks and gardens. Bute Park is next to the university and features waterways, ornamental gardens, sports fields and an arboretum.

Cardiff has a 75,000 seated stadium, and an international sports village. It was European City of Sport in 2009.



The program at Cardiff University is for College students majoring in Communications.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Other Requirements: Communications majors only.


Language of Instruction



A full course load at Cardiff University consists of at least 4 courses per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Courses are confirmed upon arrival.

Cardiff University Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies Course Catalog. It may be possible to take courses from other faculties, as well.
Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
Cardiff University Academic Calendar
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on the Cardiff University scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
Cardiff Grade Penn Grade
70-100 A
65-69 A-
60-64 B+
50-59 B
45-49 C+
40-44 C
0-39 F

Special Features

BDF Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Cardiff University prior to the start of each semester.  More information will be distributed upon acceptance, though general information about orientation activities can be found here.

Personal Tutor

All students are allocated a personal tutor. Your tutor will be an academic member of staff who will check your progress and can assist you with any academic or personal problems.

Student Support Centre

The Student Support Centre is based on campus and is dedicated to the welfare of all students. They have specialist advisors who can help with visas and international specific issues, in addition to other confidential counselling services. More information can be found here. Information about international student support services can be found here.

BDF Special FeaturesStudent Associations

Penn students studying at Cardiff University have access to more than 200 student activities and associations, in addition to 60 sports club. More information can be found here.

Group Excursions

Student associations at Cardiff organize excursions to local and regional destinations.

Other excursions and activities are organized by the Cornell Brown Penn UK Centre.


BDF Campus
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Incoming exchange students are guaranteed a single-occupancy room in university residences. In self-catered accommodation, students share a kitchen with 4 to 8 other students and they are able to cook for themselves using facilities provided. Catered accommodation rooms share small kitchens where hot drinks and snacks can be made. Most of the university's student residential accommodation is within easy walking distance of lecture theaters, libraries and the students' union, saving our students time and money.

Information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.

BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Cardiff, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.