Its been nearly 6 months for me in Ireland and it seems like it has been just yesterday. I still remember the day when I arrived at Dublin Airport (and getting drenched in rain) In this blog post, I describe my time in Ireland and University College Dublin, meeting wonderful people along the way, having craic (pronounced as crack). Also, there’s a bit of advice for prospective students, who wish to come to UCD.
Why Ireland? I decided to study abroad in my sophomore, but Education in Ireland fairs in Delhi, India made a mark on me and I decided to study in Ireland! There are multiple reasons to choose Ireland as a study destination, the foremost being the friendliest country in the world and one of the safest. Ireland boasts of being the only English speaking country in Eurozone and has beautiful landscapes. Look out for Tourism Ireland gallery website for stunning pictures.
Cliffs of Moher, Co.Clare
University College Dublin I decided to pursue a Masters in Computer Science at UCD School of Computer Science & Informatics. I chose this program due to its innovative approach and great flexibility, as I’ve over 100 modules to choose from and design my own coursework. UCD is Ireland’s global university and has over 5000 students from 120+ countries around the world. The university has a great campus, sports facilities, research opportunities and much more.
My day 1 at University College Dublin
Early Days in Dublin, Ireland. During my first week in Ireland, I stayed with a kind Irish lady at her house in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Unfortunately, I have to leave the place after a week since the room was booked by another person. But the lady took great care of me and even invited me for dinner later. I’m indebted for her help and support she gave me during my initial days in Ireland.
As there is a huge shortage of student accommodation in Dublin, I decided to stay with an Irish family in Dublin for my duration of course so as to learn more about their culture and I think I made the best decision of my life. I feel like a part of the family and its great fun! They make healthy food for me, taking special care of my dietary requirements. We also celebrated Christmas together, had great food all day long. I was given fantastic Christmas gifts (shown in the picture). I feel so special with my host family. My landlady treats me like her own son, gives valuable advice (across a wide range of topics), cooks delicious meals for me. They’re one of the nicest people I’ve met ever!
Dublin, the capital city, is a vibrant city. It has a mix of both world- rich culture and history, along with modern facilities. The top IT companies have set up their European headquarters in Dublin. You’ll never find bored in this city, it has a lot for everyone, from traditional Irish music in bars, to great shopping areas of Henry Street and Grafton Street. The transport is pretty good consisting of Dublin Bus, DART (trains) and Luas (tram) service.
Meeting People. Making Friends. Irish people are known for their friendliness. That’s true. You’ll hear strangers smiling and waving at you on the streets. You can have a quick chat on the bus, in a pub, waiting at train stations. They’ve got a positive attitude towards life. The bus drivers, the lady at the supermarkets, people in shops will smile and greet you.
For instance, during my early days, I lost my way back home, I was panicked. I didn’t remember the address, my phone was switched off. I asked a lady about directions. She walked a mile along with me to my house, gave me her number and later, send me a message not to feel alone in the strange country and asked me to call/ text in case of any problems. I was overwhelmed by her response.
I’d advise new students to join student societies and clubs at UCD. You’ll meet people with a common interest and they’ll make out your best times in UCD. Personally, as an international student, I’d suggest joining societies like International Student Society (Best to explore Ireland), your country’s society (to celebrate festivals and have native food), Sports clubs, FilmSoc (free weekly movies +popcorn and coke!).
I’ve met a lot of like-minded people during trips with International Student Society to Galway, Wicklow, Donegal and other places in Ireland. You get experience to a lot of new things and its really fun to meet people from everywhere.
I’m really thankful to these guys (Gokul, Tanvi, Preet, Sreekanth)
They’re the first people from India I met in Computer Science class. They are the people who I can call and share happenings in my life.
They are the ones who let me feel at home. Occasionally, we make Indian food and plan outdoor activities. Also, keep an eye on the Indian Youth Ireland page, they have a pretty good following.
Also, I thank UCD IndSoc and UCD International for organizing festivals away from home.
Advice to new students. For future students, I’d suggest you be in touch with UCD International. They’re a bunch of nice and friendly people and will be happy to help you out. Never be afraid to ask for help, people here are more than ready to help you. Read this post for more tips on new to UCD. Enjoy your time in UCD by taking part in various festivals and events like Welfare Crew events across campus, its really good fun and keeps stress out of you. The best part, they’re free and you’ll meet a lot of nice people. Make the best use of your time on campus. Don’t just confine yourself to your dorm room, time flies like an arrow!
I’d like to thank all the beautiful and lovely people of Ireland, UCD Students Union, UCD Staff, my Indian friends, international friends for making my time worthwhile.
Go raibh maith agat :-)
Love from Dublin