Student Life in Ireland
Choosing what to study is tough, but if the option is there for you, choosing where to study can be even tougher!
Uprooting your life to broaden your horizons and avail of the highest quality of education available may be your reasons for choosing to study abroad but where you choose to do this is possibly the toughest aspect. Here’s our short Pros and Cons lists for studying in Ireland.
Ireland – The Pros & Cons
Firstly, the Pros of studying in Ireland:
The Quality of Education: Known as the land of saints and scholars, Ireland has long established itself high in the global ranks for educational excellence. The academic quality is top-notch and typically, colleges will have a variety of support systems in place to guarantee a smooth learning process for students. In addition, gaining work experience is built into the universities’ learning process, equipping students with skills and knowledge to carry through into the real world.
The Social Life: When it comes to social experience, Ireland has a unique vibe – which I doubt can be found elsewhere. Of course you are coming abroad for the sole purpose of studying, but you’ll deserve a break away from the books every now and again. There are lots of festivals all year round from St. Patrick’s Day in March to Christmas, there are numerous concerts, theatre shows, restaurants and shopping centres to visit and the list just goes on.
Food: Who doesn’t love food! Whether you’re in Dublin city centre or strolling the streets of Cork, Ireland has such a diverse food offering around (almost) every street corner, from the staple Toasted Special (toasted sandwich with ham, cheese, onion and tomato) or full Irish fried breakfast in a local pub or café to international cuisine that may just be as good as your mother’s cooking, tickle your taste buds and get out and enjoy all the cuisines Ireland has to offer. Our favourite idea is a “Food To-Do” list where you list the places you want to try, TripAdvisor is great for inspiration here.
Graduate Visa Scheme: The Irish government introduced this scheme in 2007 and it allows international students graduating from universities in Ireland to remain in the country for one year after their undergraduate studies (2 years for Masters) to seek employment.
The Irish (obviously): Modesty is something the Irish seem to lack sometimes. We are a fantastic, friendly, helpful nation that welcome people with open arms. Ireland is the land of a hundred thousand welcomes after all – “Cead Mile Failte”. Get lost on the street, ask a stranger and they will help you find where you need to go; maybe your English isn’t great, we’ll speak slowly and even pronounce our words correctly so you can understand us; not sure about something, we’ll take our time to explain it to you. We are a great nation of people to be fair.
Ok so now the cons of studying in Ireland:
Crazy weather: Expect 4 seasons in a couple of hours! One thing our international students have learned (the hard way) is to layer your clothing, prepare for a sunny, warm day and a thundery rain storm in the same day. It’s an art form that some Irish can’t even understand so the trick is to always carry your rain coat with you!
Exotic accents: For such a small nation, we have such varied accents! Honestly, it amazes the Irish, never mind our visitors. We’ve a great blog on understanding the Dublin accent which might be some help to understand! You’ll find hilarious videos on YouTube that will help you test your understanding of Irish accents.
Heavy early morning traffic: Rush hour traffic is a nightmare! I’m not sure why they call it ‘rush-hour’ because you move slower at this time of the day than at any other time of the day. Easier said than done, but my advice here is to just plan ahead. Leaving that few minutes early, driving, using public transport or cycling, can actually mean you’re about 10-15 minutes earlier than expected. You’ll get the hang of your commuter routes after a week or so and you’ll be fine!
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