Extracurricular Opportunities

Expand your knowledge, networks and skills whilst you study. Step outside the classroom, and take advantage of the extra-curricular activities available on or around our campuses.

Extracurricular activities are great – but make sure the course comes first! Don’t let your extracurricular life become a time-sink affecting your studies…

Be Healthy & Active

basketball

  • USWSU Sports Teams – If you are serious about a sport, join one of the Student Union’s Sports Teams to compete against other Universities.
  • USWSU Sports Clubs – If you love a sport, but don’t necessarily want to play it professionally or competitively, join a Sports Club to play regularly.
  • Gyms and Sport Centres – Casual play sports, healthy exercise, getting fit, or classes teaching you new things: your local gym will have a variety of things on offer.
  • Adventures in South Wales – Make the most of your time as a student. Don’t be a couch potato; have a (safe) adventure or two!

Good for You:

  • Exercise is good for your physical health
  • Exercise is also good for your mental wellbeing
  • Your CV / Career can benefit if you compete nationally or internationally in a sport, get a coaching qualification, or become a committee member in a sports club (e.g. Chair, Treasurer, etc.).

Not so good:

  • Some sports can be expensive
  • Some activities can be risky – always take safety seriously!
  • Some groups may have or encourage bad habits – don’t succumb to peer pressure

Hobbies and Groups

Pirate Society

  • USWSU Societies – Students with shared (non-sporty) interests can set up societies – and students who are curious can join societies to try out new things!
  • Meetup.com groups – These groups are similar to SU societies, only they’re not rooted in universities / student life.

Good for You:

  • Some societies teach you new skills and boost your confidence
  • It’s good to have several different networks of friends at uni – e.g. your course, your accommodation, your society
  • Societies can also be good for professional networking
  • Your CV / Career can benefit if you organise events or fundraisers, learn or improve your skills (e.g. public speaking in a debating society) or become a committee member in the society (e.g. Chair, Treasurer, etc.)

Not so good:

  • Some activities can be expensive
  • Membership in a group/society is not, on its own, impressive on your CV. To reap a career benefit, you’ll have to put in time and effort, take on responsibilities, and either contribute or grow your skills measurably
  • Some groups may have or encourage bad habits – don’t succumb to peer pressure

Represent!

Welcome Week Helper or Global Assistant

  • Become a Global Assistant – As Global Assistant, you’ll help welcome international student to campus and deliver a programme of social and networking events.
  • Become a Student Mentor – As Student Mentor, you’ll answer the questions of new students and help them find their feet at uni.

Good for You:

  • These roles are rewarding & give a great sense of satisfaction when you effect change
  • Being a rep is a good way to gain soft skills businesses need (attending meetings, the right level of confidence and assertiveness, ability to work with staff at different levels of an institution, etc.)
  • Money: Student Ambassador roles are paid

Not so good:

We cannot think of any drawbacks. Can you?

Work Experience & Employability

professionals

  • Attend Employability Events – A huge calendar of employer and career related events, from Recruitment Fairs to Industry Masterclasses.
  • Earn the Grad Edge Award – USW’s employability award recognises students who have completed 70 hours of work experience and gained valuable employability skills along the way.
  • Learn How to Make It as a Freelancer – The USW Freelancers Academy takes students through the steps needed to get their business idea off the ground. Apply early: there are only 25 spaces available every year!
  • Start Your Own Business – Student Enterprise offer one-to-one support and mentoring throughout the year, as well as a range of interactive events and workshops, giving you the confidence to take the first steps into starting your own business.

Good for You:

  • Money now: paid work pays.
  • Money later: unpaid work experience can boost your employability and help you climb the career ladder more quickly
  • Most jobs will teach you soft skills businesses need (customer service, timekeeping, professionalism, etc.)
  • When applying for graduate jobs, it’ll help you to have references from previous employers

Not so good:

  • Beware of unpaid work experience that amounts to exploitation. If you do productive, unpaid work, without learning much, we recommend you at least do so through volunteering for a good cause / charity

Exercise Your Mind

Jack Straw delivering Global Choices lecture

  • Global Choices speakers series – Public lectures given by leading artists, diplomats, politicians and campaigners that address some of the most complex and pressing challenges facing the world today.
  • Try a MOOC – edX connects learners to the best universities and institutions from around the world.

Good for You:

  • Some knowledge (such as foreign languages) can be a significant boost to your employability and career
  • Having a wide pool of knowledge makes you a better conversationalist. This can help you make friends and network (so long as you don’t come across as smug).
  • Knowing about more than one subject area can help open doors to other career paths
  • Exercising the brain can help stave off some illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s

Not so good:

  • Make sure you rely on credible, trustworthy sources.
  • Don’t spend too much time on your own