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Award-winning student photographer, Laurie Broughton, unveils city-wide welcome exhibition to celebrate students’ contribution to Cardiff – as thousands arrive to start their studies.
This year, Cardiff’s multicultural student body will be welcomed to the city with an eye-catching campaign – created by FOR Cardiff – to celebrate student culture and the welcome addition they make to Cardiff’s community.
In June this year, FOR Cardiff put out a call on social media for student artists to submit a piece of artwork expressing the spirit of welcome in Cardiff – the UK’s cheapest student city (Nation Cymru).
Over a dozen students entered the competition with exceptional pieces of art; out of which, Laurie Broughton, a recent graduate from University of South Wales, was selected.
Laurie came to Cardiff from London to study Documentary Photography after hearing about the prestigious course at USW from his HNC/HND professor. Laurie says about his passion for photography:
“I was drawn to using a camera from going on holiday around Europe and taking my camera as a way to preserve those memories to share with my family. That’s the reason why I went to university to hone my skills and turn it into a career.”
“[At University] There’s lots of like-minded people of your age, whatever age you are, out and about having a good time so making friends is no problem.”
Students at Cardiff universities and colleges now make up a fifth of the city’s population – which is equivalent to the combined population of Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly, with the numbers of international students reaching 30,000 across the three main universities in Cardiff.
Every year students contribute over £800 million to the Cardiff economy in living expenses alone. As reported in the 2011 census, there are a total of 36 languages spoken in the city, with the top five including Polish, Arabic and Bengali.
International students have described the friendly nature of the Cardiff community which made it easier for them to find their place in a new city. Tung Bui from Vietnam, described how the people of Cardiff are one of the ‘best bits’ of living in the city,“The people, they are really friendly, they welcome people from different backgrounds with open arms.”
FOR Cardiff want to extend this welcome to the incoming students of 2022. The city-wide activation sees international students captured by Laurie featured in prominent student spots in the city such as Cardiff University Student Union, Adam Street and more. The campaign also includes a short video featuring international student sharing about their experiences as students in Cardiff; which can be viewed on FOR Cardiff’s social media channels.