St. David’s Day!

I remember when I was looking through study abroad programs and came upon Wales. It was the first time I’ve heard about the country and I knew that before I headed to the unknown I had to research it. Just from reading on the place, I was excited. Now that I’m here, two months later, I’m glad I made the right decision!

Wales is filled with nice weather, people, and places to see. Cardiff reminds me of a smaller version of New York City. Although there are differences, I feel comfortable and safe here. I have become accustom to my surroundings and cemented daily routines.

Recently, I headed down to the City Center to see their annual St. David’s Day parade, a celebration for the patron saint of Wales. I brought the Wales’ mascot hat (a red dragon) and joined the mixture of Welsh and tourists that came together for the celebration. While I walked through the streets I can see flags, flower pins, and hats everywhere I turned. In that moment,  I felt like part of the community.




As I continued to walk the streets, I stopped for a moment to capture a duo dancing to music, while street vendors sold Wales merch. The street vendors always come out for special events like this. The only times I see them is during the Rugby matches that I had the pleasure of going to watch a game in one of the pubs for fun.


I didn’t know what to expect of the parade. I was so use to the ones at home that I just assumed it’ll be the same. But then I realize there were no barricades or security insight. Their parades were a bit smaller and intimate. Overall, it was a fun experience, seeing the people in the parades, the music playing, and the smiles on everyone’s faces around me.

Once the parade was done, there was free access into Cardiff Castle. Cardiff Castle is one of the key places to visit while you’re in Cardiff. I haven’t went inside before, so I was happy to had a chance to. Once I was inside, my jaw dropped at how beautiful it was. I felt like I was in a whole new place as I looked around at the many people crowding around the grass. Although many things were restricted (just an excuse to come back) I managed to go up to a part of the castle and look down at the sight. For a moment, I felt like I was in an episode of Game of Thrones.


It was a great to celebrate Wales! Events like this makes me appreciate picking such an interesting, historical and exciting place to study abroad. I can’t wait to plan travels to explore outside of Cardiff and love Wale even more!

Academic Adjustment: Cardiff Style

I can’t believe I’m in my 8th week of classes! I only have three more weeks left until my classes are officially over and finals kick in. I remember how intimated I was on the first day. I didn’t know what to expect because I was so accustomed to classes in SUNY New Paltz.

In the beginning of the semester, I can already tell the difference between SUNY New Paltz and Cardiff University. I was only taking three classes (each count as 20 credits), Tuesdays became my off days, and the earliest class for me was 9 a.m. It’s also tough getting to classes each day, especially on Fridays. I’m so use to all the academic buildings being so close to each other that when I came here, I was in for a total workout!

It was beneficial to take courses that will count towards both my major and minor. So I decided to take two English courses called Graphic Memoir and Reading Old English. I’m also taking a Journalism course called The Making & Shaping of the News.


This where I have Reading Old English. I’m always the first one in the classroom :p

I decided to take Reading Old English, knowing it was a challenge. I like to say it’s the most challenging class I’ve ever taken in my three years of college. I’m basically learning a whole new language that I didn’t know existed. The first time I saw the text, I already had a feeling that this wasn’t going to be an easy A.

I felt at ease knowing the people around me didn’t have a clue on  how to translate Old English. Without the guidance of my professor and the glossary provided in our textbooks, I would be lost. Thankfully I’ve been doing the coursework and taking my time to understand for the upcoming exam.


Long hours translating Old English!



Bute Building – This is where my journalism class is held.

When it came to The Making & Shaping of the News, I was learning about UK news, something I’ve never learned before. I was learning concepts that some students were use to since their freshmen year of university. It’s also cringe worthy to watch examples of ‘bad news’ coming from America. It doesn’t help that the professor looks my way every time America is even mentioned.

But overall it’s interesting to learn about UK news and the background information I wasn’t aware of with news in general. Although this class wasn’t my first choice, I’m glad I had a chance to take it.


Tons of reading for class!

By the end of my week, I have Graphic Memoir. I wasn’t expecting to analyze graphic memoirs! All this time, I viewed them as comic books, but there’s so much more to these work of arts. It feels similar to the English classes in SUNY New Paltz when it came to analyzing literature. However, in this case, we’re taking a closer look on concepts we learn each week on books like Maus and Fun Home.


This where I take my English classes!

Out of all my classes though, it’s weird to have Graphic Memoir on the same day at three different times. It’s different from SUNY New Paltz because Cardiff University breaks up their week by lectures and seminars. My lectures are in medium-size lecture halls, where we are taught in great detail the topic of the week. But, the seminars are small and intimate. Just like SUNY New Paltz, all three of my professors know who I am and it gives me a chance to interact with other students during the seminar time.

Overall, my classes have been great! It’s been informative, interesting, and overall fun! Although it’s weird being the foreigner in most of my classes, it’s great to interact with people from around the world.

Now final essays and exams are another thing…

Adjusting My (Budgeting) Life


Roath Park

I can’t believe it’s been over a month and a half! I’ve been settling in Wales nicely with juggling personal responsibilities, academics, and a social life.  Although I feel like time is moving fast, my life has been at a steady pace. It took a while to adjust to the calm atmosphere that Wales brings me.

I always considered myself an independent person. However, I realized I wasn’t as independent as I thought. It was a new challenge for me to start budgeting my life when it came to food, travels, and social events.

Although it’s fun to spend money on traveling and social events, it’s also important to budget money for eating. When I first came to Wales, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know how I was going to use my money wisely. How was I going to eat and have fun at the same time? I realized I relied so much on a meal plan, that I forgot how to step out of it.


First real cooked meal at Wales!


By the next week, I was getting better at budgeting. I began writing my expenses down and focusing on what’s important. I only cashed out money once (even twice) a month. I used the cash when I really needed it or my purchases were less than twenty pounds.

When it came to food shopping, I began comparing prices. There are three (sometimes four) supermarkets I look into. By comparing prices of the items I buy, I’m cutting cost and getting an abundance of items that can hold me for a month or two. Before coming to Wales, I was afraid I wasn’t going to find anything I like. But that fear slowly faded with the variety of choices I was familiar with when I walk the aisle of the supermarkets. Oh poptarts, how I missed you!

With a focus on what I’m buying and how much I’m spending, I have enough money left over for fun stuff like trips, social events with friends, and delicious traditional Welsh food!


Traditional Welsh Breakfast


Welsh Rarebit & Earl Grey Tea


I always relied on the advice of my mother or on SUNY New Paltz for so many of things. It’s weird not being able to pick up the phone and call my mother (with the rates for international calling and the five hours difference it’s difficult). It’s also weird that my student id is nothing more than just identification. I never use my id except to let people know I go to Cardiff University or discounts at stores (there’s 20% discount at Krispy Kreme’s!).

From meals to printing, budgeting has become a major adjustment to my life.


My First Month At Wales!

I can’t believe I’m studying abroad in Cardiff, Wales! I’ve been wanting to do this since I was little. I always wanted to travel to Europe and my dreams finally came true.

Now that I’m settled in. I thought I give you a recap of what’s been having in the past month.

I traveled six hours from New York (with Amsterdam being a layover) to Wales. I got about four meals, two hours of sleep, and one movie in (How To Train Your Dragon 2 anyone?). Sadly, I didn’t get to explore Amsterdam, but hopefully I’ll get the chance to later on. However, at one point, I was more excited to drop off my heavy luggage, shower, and sleep than anything.

It’s weird being known as an exchange student. I’m always use to people coming to America and now I’m the foreigner. For the first week there was so many things to learn and see. I felt like a freshman all over again. I got a City Centre tour (small version of Time Square) and of campus (3x bigger than SUNY New Paltz). The real challenge for me was to learn how to go from campus or the City Centre to my flat. It took about three days to get it right. The first time it took about two hours in the pouring rain with a ripped up map.

My first month of classes went well. The courses I take are Reading Old English, Graphic Memoir, and The Making & Shaping of the News. So far, they’re interesting and small enough that my professors already know my name.

Overall,I’ve been enjoying my time at Cardiff!  I also made friends from different countries 🙂 I explored the area near my flat and found a lot of food places from around the world. There are also places to visit like Cardiff Bay (It was beautiful!), Roath Park, and the National Museum of Cardiff.

I still keep thinking that this is a dream and that I’m going to wake up any minute now. I can’t believe I’m here

Last week in Cardiff & being back in NYC…

Hey all, wow it’s been a WHILE, and so much has happened. For one I am back home from Cardiff, Wales and I’m still winding down from my trip. Yesterday, Sunday, December 28 marked my official week being back in the states, and I must say nothing has changed. I came home and everything was the same, I don’t why I thought it will be different but I did. Shortly after being home it didn’t take long for me to miss Cardiff. Being in the Cardiff for three and a half months was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was an experience that reassured my independence and self-reliance. Being in a country alone allowed me to not always depend on others and to go out and create my own adventures. So that’s exactly what I did.

 Before leaving I would feel uncomfortable being in a restaurant or coffee shop by myself, and being abroad taught me that being alone isn’t such a bad thing. But let me do say I did meet friends but they didn’t dictate my time in Cardiff. If I wanted to leave for the entire day and not come back till late then I did so, safely of course. My last week was a bit hectic because I was trying to finish three essays but it didn’t really work out that way so I just decided to enjoy my last moments in Cardiff–pictures will follow at the end of this post. 

As of Sunday, it has been a week since I have been back in the states and things are slowly coming back to normal. But there are some things that I want to incorporate into my life back in the states but I find myself slipping back into my “old” self. Being abroad has taught me how important it is to get out and see the world around you whether in your neighborhood, city, or across the Atlantic Ocean. This trip has definitely heightened my interest in traveling. 

Going abroad has made me more interested in exploring the world I live in a bit more and experiencing things I have never done before. As I let my bank account rest a bit before I start my new adventure there are some things I want to accomplish before I travel more. One of those things is getting my license and hopefully getting a car and planning my first road trip. Along with that hopefully next summer my family and I would be able to take our first trip together out of the country. My motto before leaving was ‘No regrets.’ I am proud of all the decisions I have made thus far in regards to studying abroad. This has been a learning experience that has helped me grow more as a person.


Stonehenge and Bath Trip

On Sunday, 16 November, I took a trip to Stonehenge and Bath and it was AMAZING and the views were extremely breathtaking. I left Cardiff at 9:30 am in a coach bus and arrived first at Stonehenge around 11:30ish. My first reaction when I first got off the bus was “dang it’s cold” and it got colder as the day went on. Despite the weather conditions I continued to enjoy my day. When we got to the visitor’s center, the tour guide handed us our tickets and a radio which guided us through the history of Stonehenge as we made our way around the monument. Before we got to Stonehenge, we had to take a shuttle which dropped us off at the beginning of the site, where we followed a green mat up and around  the monument (we were not allowed to go up close to Stonehenge in fear of high foot traffic will damage the monument and the surrounding areas as well). As I made my way around the monument while listening to Stonehenge facts on the radio given to me, I learned that the stones were brought one by one to that spot (using lifting and pulling equipment of course). While walking around the stones I had a chance to take some great photos because of the wonderful scenery. Here are some:


I didn’t get any pictures of them but there was also sheep, that were fenced off around the area as well. We stayed in Stonehenge until about 1:30pm and then we were on our way to Bath!! 🙂

We got to Bath around 2:30pm and the area was so beautiful. On the drive into Bath, I had a really good view of the entire city, however I was not fast enough with my camera but it’s very vivid in my mind. The houses, land, and even farm areas were beautiful, maybe it’s because I have lived in the city all my life. When I stepped off the coach the city gave me the ancient Roman feel with the cobble stone streets as well the brick lined buildings. We went to the Roman Bath, which is a preserved site for public bathing. The touring of the building start at the street level at first and then through doors and stairs you eventually will make it down near the water where you can take pictures standing or sitting next to the bath. The tour was not that long, I would say probably 20-25 minutes tops and after that I went photo crazy, taking pictures of myself and my surroundings. Here’s a tip though: watch your step. I almost had a fall that could of broken myself and my camera, but I’m all good.  Here are some photos:


After this it was time to meet our bus and head back to Cardiff but I did get to walk around town and take a few more pictures for my photo album. In the end it was a day well spent and stay tuned for more adventures. I’ll try to be more consistent, my adventures is starting to kick up now so I feel that should be no problem. Till next time, goodnight 🙂 !!


First stop in exploring Cardiff.. the National Museum Cardiff

Before I start off I want to wish everyone a Happy Halloween wherever you are and I hope you are enjoying this day whether it is trick-or-treating or just laying up watching scary movies all night; do whatever tickles your fancy and turn up!

Now.. Today was very laid back. I did not have class today and I spent most of yesterday getting so much work done because I wanted a free weekend. So today I decided to visit the National Museum Cardiff because I felt like this is a perfect way to start the exploring this city and plus FREE ADMISSION so, I had to take advantage. However, I did not vlog anything inside because I wanted to be mindful of the people around me and plus the museum attendants were around so I took pictures instead (I was allowed to do that). This was the perfect activity today because it was kind of cold in Cardiff so it’s was nice to do something without actually being outside and it was a nostalgic experience as well because I have not visited a museum in a LONG time. I’m going to stop talking now and show you some pictures that I took while in and outside the museum. Enjoy !! 😀

National Museum Cardiff

National Museum Cardiff

The curators have such skill, I thought those bugs were real! #Igotsoscared #lucklynoonewasaround

The curators have such skill, I thought those bugs were real! #Igotsoscared #lucklynoonewasaround


This is so cool yet so creepy all at once. What do you think?

This is so cool yet so creepy all at once. What do you think?


Fact about me: Bugs+Me= Kaycia running for the hills however the colors are niceeee!  

This was a solo trip that I did spontaneously, which I tend to do a lot and probably will be doing for the rest of my time here in Cardiff. I am testing myself throughout this entire semester to see how far outside of my comfort zone I can go. This is important to me because I am a creature of habit most of the time, like once I get into a certain routine of things I like to keep it like that. So by going on the adventures I have planned hopefully it will be able to allow me to see myself in a different light. Being able to look back on all the things I have done throughout this semester and think YES I DID THAT, is going to be such an awesome feeling. Going on these trips will make me so much braver when interacting with people which will bring me out of my shell so much more. I look forward to doing more of these blogs and I hope you will continue to read these posts, I’ll see you in my next post. HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!! 😀

Stayed in the museum until it closed, lols.. Who does that?

Stayed in the museum until it closed, lols.. Who does that?


National Museum Cardiff

Frontal Photo of the National Museum Cardiff


Adjusting to my new environment & everything else

So to start things off I finally made it to Cardiff, Wales and I’m still in shock that I am actually here. After running around with the UK Visa and Immigration I had some doubts that I wouldn’t be here but I’m here and ready to face any other challenges that may come up. I first arrived at London Heathrow airport, I was filled with so much excitement on the inside but I had to contain myself for the sake of the people around me, lord knows I wanted to cartwheel up and down London but I had some unfinished business, cause my trip wasn’t finished. As I made my way through customs and baggage claim the culture shock really got to me when I had to buy my coach ticket to Cardiff only because I did not want to get taken advantage of monetarily. But I was fine, I even got a discount because I told the lady I was a student, sweeeeet. I boarded the coach at 7:06am (which is 2:00am in the U.S) and began my three hour journey to Cardiff on the National Coach Express. While on the coach, I did not think I could look at grass with so much focus, maybe it’s because it is in another country but I was so mesmerized, the horses, the wide open spaces,  and the cars driving on the right side of the road. It’s such a different life here (or it seems like it).

Anyways, I got to the Cardiff bus station at 11ish (6am U.S. time) and got into a taxi and for eight pounds drove me to my on campus residence at Cardiff University. At this point, the thought of being in another country really resignated with me and I almost got a bit emotional. After going to the reception to collect my key I met one of my eight flatmate at the door as I struggled to bring my things in (who told them to put me on the top floor with no elevator lols). As you may be thinking, I was very happy to meet her at the door because she was so kind to carry one of my bags up the stairs.

After unpacking a bit, I sent myself on a wild goose chase looking for the Global Opportunity Centre to see about signing up for my classes, at that point I was upset at how far everything is from the campus. After about maybe 1.5-2hrs. I finally found the office (which I blindly passed before). So yeah, I made it and got to choose my classes as well as my ID, whoop whoop !! I also completed my first week of classes which was not too bad and my professors are really nice and helpful. I am looking forward to having so much more rewarding and fun experiences here in the UK, so I’ll talk to you all later byeeeeeeee 🙂




Introduction to the city of Cardiff

Hey guys, it’s been a while I know  but better late than never right?!? This post will be covering some trivial facts about the city I will be staying in for the next couple of months. To me it is very important to familiarize myself with these my country cause  because it can make my transition into a totally new country a lot easier, for me at least.

  1. Cardiff became a city in 1905, and later was named the capital of Wales 50 years later.
  2. Cardiff is one of the flattest cities in Britain.
  3. Cardiff hosted the very first  game of the 2012 London Olympics– two days before the opening ceremony.
  4. Rail commuters in Cardiff were named the happiest in an index published by Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) in 2012.
  5. Cardiff was named the 6th shopping area in the UK.
  6. After the Romans settled in Cardiff in 55AD, they built a military fort on Cardiff Castle.
  7. Cardiff has the world’s oldest record store, which opened n 1894.

Hope you enjoy these facts, be sure to check back for more updates from Cardiff. Ttyl byeeeeee 🙂

Nothing good comes easy

It would be easy for me to write that I have landed in Cardiff safe and sound but instead I am writing this blog from the inside of my house. The problem is with my visa, but, before you get worried I will be studying abroad, it’s just  that my departure date is lingering in the air until I get the okay from the British Consulate (pray for me.) Actually yesterday was supposed to be my departure date and thinking about it made me a bit sad but I know that soon I will be on my way so that is the upside.

However, ever since I have received the news about my visa all I have been doing is putting positive energy out into the universe and asking my friends and family to do the same for me. I have been packing, continuing my research of place that I would like to visit while in Cardiff, and just speaking my dream into existence with high hopes that everything will pull though in the end. I welcome this hardship because I know that the light at the end of the tunnel will be me flying through the air to a country that I have never been to in all my years on this earth. Since I have immigrated to the US, I have never been out of the country whether it be a vacation or family emergency. Also, I never thought I’ll be able to afford to study abroad cause it’s so EXPENSIVE! However, I am extremely blessed to have supportive parents that make it their mission to make sure their kids have the necessary tools to succeed in life.  So.. yeah not really doing much, I’m just playing the waiting game as of now and being as optimistic as I can towards this situation. If anything else arises I’ll be sure to update on this post. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time.

P.S. I will be vlogging, it will just have to wait till I get to the UK. My house has horrible lighting lols.