Reagan Villet 5/24/16
Before this study abroad experience, I had heard the phrase “American arrogance“, but I didn’t believe in it. However, after these past two-ish weeks, I can definitely see what it means. This was especially prevalent to me during these last couple of days in Cardiff, Wales. I had heard of Wales before, but had really never thought much of it. It was not a place that stuck out to me like Ireland or England, and Cardiff was never a place I had on my list of dream travel locations like Dublin or London were. Despite these previous thoughts, Cardiff was absolutely astounding; beautiful scenery, kind people, and GREAT FOOD!
I have never really seen Wales in media, which again may be my “American ignorance” coming to light. While Europe, and specifically the countries of the U.K. are fairly often portrayed in media, Cardiff is not one that I hear of or see often on the big or small screen. Little did I know, Cardiff is home to the cult series “Doctor Who“, and we were fortunate enough to visit the Dr. Who Experience and Museum. Although I have never seen the show, the tour was really cool! Many people have told us that Dr. Who is not just a show in the U.K., but it is in fact a lifestyle.
The tour was located near Cardiff Bay, again, an area so beautiful that I am surprised it is not shown more in popular media. Movie and television makers, you are really missing out on an exquisite location. Not only was there the natural beauty of the bright blue ocean water, but the town itself is thriving; pubs full of friendly people line the streets, begging you to come in and join them.
My favorite part of the day, and educationally my favorite part of the trip, was our presentation at Golley Slater, an advertising agency that I had never heard of before, but that does absolutely phenomenal work. The presentation was both very informative and relaxed, and the information was not only beneficial to my future, but also comforting to hear. Both of the presenters are very successful in their field, contributing to advertisements for the government and numerous large companies (such as Mitsubishi), and neither of them went to a university. They said that one of the most important things they had learned while in the workplace is that you can’t focus on and learn just one thing, because the advertising/media/communications world is constantly changing and evolving. Our trip gave me a new outlook on possibilities for my future, and I am excited to see what is in store for me.
I was really impressed with my experience in Cardiff. Initially, I went in with low expectations, because I had not seen the same media attention in Wales that I do with England, Ireland, and Scotland. However, the city was pulsing with a heartbeat that matched mine; everything in sync, pulling me in and giving me a fantastic experience in just one and a half short days.