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Welsh Language and Culture

Learn about the language and culture in Wales. Find out how it compares to the rest of the UK and discover the local foods, community events and notable figures that make Welsh culture unique.

Feb 6, 2024
Welsh Language and Culture

Wales has two languages. English is the most widely spoken, with over 99% of people in Wales speaking it. But the Welsh language is also a part of everyday life. It’s spoken by more than half a million people, taught in schools, and celebrated at festivals. It's also seen in place names, on street signs, and heard on television as well as radio channels. It has a thriving music scene of its own, and Welsh-language films and TV programs are catching on outside of Wales. International students have the opportunity to learn Welsh whilst studying in Wales, and most universities offer free classes. 

Wales enjoys a centuries-old tradition of folklore, poetry, music, and intellectualism. The culture is quite distinct from elsewhere in the British Isles. By coming to study in Wales, students will be able to explore traditions, language, and heritage – including Wales’ famous castles, of which there are more than 600.

Find a program in Wales

Want to study abroad in Wales? Find & compare programs

Welsh culture is everywhere. It’s something that can be seen at a performance of the Welsh National Opera, during the pre-match build-up for a Six Nations rugby game at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, or at one of the vibrant music and arts festivals.

Sport is extremely important in Welsh culture, especially rugby union and football (soccer). Three football teams play in the English Football League. Cardiff FC and Swansea FC have played in the Premier League, and Wrexham FC has recently grown in popularity after being bought by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Every Spring, the International Six Nations tournament takes place across Cardiff. Up to 90,000 rugby fans attend, and, if you’re lucky enough, you can see the rivalry of Wales playing England when studying in Wales. 

Food is also an important part of Welsh culture. Traditional meals include fish and chips, Welsh rarebit (seasoned melted cheese poured over toasted bread), Laverbread (seaweed, traditionally served at breakfast with some bacon), cawl (a meat soup), Welsh cakes (a biscuit that’s like cake), bara brith (spiced fruit bread) as well as the Glamorgan sausage (a vegetarian sausage made from cheese). In modern times, these are enjoyed alongside new favorites from India, America, and China, like chicken tikka masala, hamburgers, and chow mein. 

Notable figures in Welsh culture include authors Roald Dahl and Ken Follet, actors Anthony Hopkins, Christian Bale, Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Catherine Zeta-Jones, musicians Tom Jones and Charlotte Church, and who could forget world-famous poet Dylan Thomas. Wales is also growing in popularity with Hollywood stars, like Tom Hardy, Forest Whittaker, and Lin Manuel Miranda.

Wales's national animal is the Welsh Dragon, and its national plants are the leek and the daffodil.


Learn more about studying in Wales:

Overview

Choosing Wales as your study abroad destination means more than a top-quality education. Get an overview of Wales and why you should study abroad there.

Tuition Fees in Wales

Tuition fees for higher education programs in Wales can vary. Many international and domestic students pay different tuition fees, depending on where they are from. In this section, you'll find all the information on how this works in Wales.

Housing and Living Costs in Wales

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Wales.

Entry Requirements for Welsh Universities

Learn more about the national application portal for Welsh universities. This section covers what you'll need to do when applying as an undergraduate and postgraduate.

Scholarships

Don't let international student tuition fees stop you from studying abroad in Wales. Find out more about some of the scholarships available to international students here! 

Student Visas for the UK

Do you need a visa to enter Wales to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizenship. Don't worry! We've gathered the information you'll need to make it happen.

Student Life in Wales

Wondering what it's like to study abroad in Wales? Discover what student life looks like outside of the classroom.

Programs in Wales

Ready to browse higher education courses in Wales? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Wales today!

Keystone Team

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The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.