Benefits of living in England or Wales?

Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Benefits of living in England or Wales?

I'm trying to decide where to go for teacher's college next options are England, Wales, New Zealand, or Australia.. the problem is that I don't know much about these places, and if I'm going to be living in one of them for a year I want to choose the place I know I would like best! If anyone could help me out with advice as to how living is in any of these places (either the country of specific cities), I would greatly appreciate it!

my options are:

Exeter, England
Swansea, Wales
Carmarthen, Wales
Aberystwyth, Wales
Bangor, Wales
Cardiff, Wales
Newport, Wales
Wellington, New Zealand
Hamilton, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Queensland, Australia
Brisbane, Australia
Lismore, Australia
meliss_880 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:21 AM
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Exeter, England>>>>>>

Nice English cathedral city. Life pretty much dominated by the University. Depends if you like public school boys as it is OVER-RUN with them

Swansea, Wales>>>>>>

Nice stuff nearby - towns a tip.

Carmarthen, Wales>>>dunno

Aberystwyth, Wales>>>>likewise

Bangor, Wales>>>>>Again a small and pleasant town that is dominated by it's university. A sod to get to.

Cardiff, Wales>>>>>There are better qualified than me to answer this.
Newport, Wales>>>>Ditto
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:21 AM
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Never having been Down Under but i still think any place on your list could be the best place for you - as you give no parameters of what you are looking for.

But one thing is starkly different - the WEATHER

always sucks in England most of the school year and Welch towns, typically grim anytime of year IMO are even grimmer in winter - where the sun can set around 4pm i think.

and always sunny and bright Down Under
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:30 AM
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always sucks in England most of the school year>>>>

Complete bollocks - and most of Australasia is far too hot.

Another thing you might want to consider is where yuo can get to from each place.

From the British possibilities yuo could get on a low cost airline easily and Europe is your oyster.

In NZ you don't really have that choice as the only thing nearby is Australia - ie more of the same.

However Britain will be a LOT more expensive than NZ to live in.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 09:49 AM
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I'm Australian and live in the UK now. If you do a bit of browsing on the Australian forum on Fodors and also on the ThornTree on it may give you more of a feel for the place.

Australia is huge with not many people, they mainly live in just a few big cities that hug the coast. I notice you have put Queensland down and also Brisbane. Brisbane is actually the capital of Queensland. Lismore is in NSW.

I've never lived in Queensland but have had some great holidays there. It's incredibly popular for trips with other Australians. It doesn't have the usual 4 seasons, it has the wet and the dry. From November to April, it is hot and wet. From May to October, it's hot and dry. It gets very humid during the wet and is not pleasant.

Obviously if you live in the UK, you are on Europe's doorstep which is one of the things we love. You can be in any number of different countries in a matter of hours. To give you an idea, to get from Australia to Los Angeles is a 14 hour flight and from Australia to London takes about 24 hours.

There is a lot to see in Australia itself, and you are close to places like Bali (Indonesia), Thailand, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia etc. So you would have a different set of places to visit on holidays.

I'd be happy to help with any questions if I can.

KayF is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:13 AM
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always sucks in England most of the school year"

Ever been to Wellington, Hamilton, Dunedin or Christchurch? I mean the boring ones: not the real ones, which have relatively warm and dry weather?

As for Bloody Brisbane. Unless you're in head to toe armour, your nose falls off. And Lismore? How often does it survive the local forest fires?

There's one potentially interesting city on your list, IMHO.

Auckland. A minor world city: sort of little sister to Sydney. Nice bracing weather in winter: warm enough though for local vineyards and olive groves. By NZ standards, cosmopolitan: the metropolis of the South Pacific islands (lots of blokes in long skirts walking round the place). Spectacular sailing, and wonderful scenery.

Never actually found anything to DO there, though.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Aberystwyth is a nice enough city, on the coast, with a large, multi-national, uni population. It is south of Snowdonia, but still surrounded by great countryside.
Carmarthen is smaller, very pleasant. It is close to the Pembrokshire coast NP and Brecon Beacons NP both offering stunning scenery, plus of course the Carmarthenshire coast and more stunning scenery. Bangor is at the foot of Snowdonia, with Anglesey across the Menai straits
all three are in Welsh speaking areas, but that shouldn't put you off.
Bangor is on the train line to Holyhead and Ireland and so isn't so awful to get to. Aberystwyth is far worse as far as that goes, but probably offers a better student lifestyle.

Whilst Australia has hot weather, New Zealand I think has real seasons, and can be cold and wet.
England or Wales gives you Europe to visit, Oz and New Zealand may offer a once in a lifetime chance.

hetismij is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Meliss - take flanneruk's comments with a lump of sea salt, he never means what he says (we hope).

I saw your posts on the Frommer's site, somebody has already replied.

Just curious: How come these are your options?
DalaiLlama is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:00 AM
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DalaiLlama, thanks for letting me know about that one post!

and these are my options because I'm applying through Canteach-- a program that allows Canadian students to study abroad and those are the four places they offer to us
meliss_880 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Oh yes he does.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:17 AM
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..and Auckland DEFINITELY has the best food of this gastronomically unprepossessing list.

Unless you like laver bread, or Brisbane's retro speciality of mince on toast.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:40 AM
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I love Queensland, especially the Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane. Where is the second location in Queensland? The further north you go, the more you face the wet-dry season problem. The area around Cairns, in Far North Queensland, has wonderful winters, but very wet summers.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Flanner, quite uncharacteristically, make a good point - Down Under is very isolated - a long way from anywhere

whilst in Britain you can visit a lot of historic neat places - Wales is practically a part of Ireland - Dublin just a short boat ride away.

And with cheap air fares you can take getaways to many parts of Europe

And if you have a block of time off get a Eurail Youthpass and head for the Chunnel trains to Brussels explore places like Italy, France, Switzerland and even Amsterdamned.

I have traveled to dozens and dozens of countries but never to Down Under - mainly because i thought the culture would be about the same as at home and the towns, etc. are all rather modern and boring in my mind.

so i might suggest taking the soggy dark dank dismal depressing damned English weather and having a lot more varied places to go during your stay - heck Scotland is a veritable country all its own that is a few hours from Wales.

Plus England, Wales, etc. have lots of culture - completely lacking in Kangaroo Land (as seen on Fodor's posters)
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Looks like Bristol is only an hour away from Cardiff/ Wales. Ryanair and Easyjet seem to fly to every great European destination and usually pretty cheap.
Looks like Cardiff would be a great gateway to Europe.
StephenG is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Wellington is a wonderful city; it's a lot like San Francisco, if you've ever been there.

C_W makes a good point, though; if you go to New Zealand, it takes a good amount of time and money to travel elsewhere.

How long will you be away? If it's just for a year, I would seriously consider NZ. You'll find plenty to do in your off time.

However, if it will be longer, I would take one of the UK options, as it's easier to travel through Europe from there.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:34 PM
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A question to meliss_880:
What kind of course will you be doing?
If it's PGCE or equivalent graduate teacher training course, I tell you it doesn't really matter where you go as you'll be working your socks off with very little time left to do anything else. You'll have hours of preparation to do daily, and most of weekends as well, and you are likely to spend the good part of your holidays catching up on sleep or writing up assignments. Your only travel opportunity is after you successfully complete the course in the summer, but in that case it doesn't really matter where you are as you can travel freely then. While you are actually studying, you'll have little time to appreciate your surroundings or getting to know the area as you are up to your neck in work.

If you aren't doing PGCE or any other intensive teacher training, then the above comments don't apply.
Alec is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 01:45 PM
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While opportunities for travel might be an attractive bonus, you will be spending most (possibly all, if Alec is right) of your time in the city where you will be a student.

I cannot comment knowledgeably on most of the places you list, but would urge caution on Aberytwyth and Bangor (even though I like them both greatly as places to visit). They are relatively small, and if they are not to your taste, then you could have a miserable year. Bigger places offer a greater variety of social and recreational opportunities.
Padraig is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2008, 02:05 PM
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I am amazed at the opinions about Australia I read in this thread. Flanneruk - although he protests that he does - cannot be serious with his snarky comments. If - and it is a big if - they are based in actual personal experiences, then he must be the most unlucky person who had the most unfathomably bad and exceptional experiences while Down Under, to come away and write what he does.

I encourage the poster Meliss to look past such comments and consider the Australian options of hers as seriously as all the others. Simply put, it's a great place - I lived there for 15 years and visit often, and I have lived in a bunch of other places on other continents for many years at a time, so trust me when I say I can compare from experience.

Not putting Australia above the European options, those locations may be great in themselves, and the chance to hop around Europe (if she can do that) are great, too, but to neglect Australia and NZ just because somebody didn't like a sandwich there, or because they are a few hours further to get to - that would be silly.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Another vote for NZ. I would go for Wellington as it is near to (but not in) the South Island. Or; base yourself in the South Island ie Christchurch.

If you decide on the UK opt for Exeter. Despite my love of Wales I think you may regret basing yourself there.
stevelyon is offline  
Dec 4th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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Wellington would be an awesome place to spend a year.

And I've been there in the dead of winter, and it wasn't all that cold imho (windy, yes! but sunny while Queenstown was freezing and snowing).

I like Auckland and Christchurch too, but I'd probably choose Wellington for the same reason stevelyon points out. It's well situated to travel to both the North and South islands, and there are plenty of places to visit in NZ to keep you busy over a one-year span. It's a gorgeous country.
cheryllj is offline  

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