|View of Liffey River on O’Connell Street|
It is good to be back home in Namma Ooru Bengaluru, but the last 2 years in Ireland, especially Dublin will always be special in my life.
“A place is only as good as the people you know in it. It's the people that make the place.” ― Pittacus Lore
The above saying holds true to Ireland. This was perhaps the top most deciding factor for me when I decided to leave a thriving career with HP and move to a place where I did not know a soul. Studying in an international environment is something that I will recommend to everyone; not just for the experience and exposure it offers, but also for the development of your overall personality.
Though I was initially looking at Europe and was offered admission in couple of Universities in UK, I finally chose Ireland after talking to a friend who had been working in UK for really long time. While discussing with her about studying in EU, it was the friendlier nature of Irish is what caught my attention and that was the deciding factor for me finally ending up in Dublin. Though I have traveled before, but I’ve never lived in another place other than Bangalore. It was quite challenging for me to transition from a sheltered Indian family setting to an unknown place I had to stumble and figure my way out. That is when I decided that I will try and put all those information together more from an international student perspective, so other students might be better prepared and have an easier time than me. So here are all the information I have put together a page for potential students interested to Study in Ireland and facebook group to answer queries. My time in Dublin of course was not a cake walk like any other part of life, but I believe those experiences is what makes it special.
Based on my experience here are the Top 5 things you need to keep in mind while planning to study in Ireland:
|My University UCD Michael Smurfit College|
Think long term before you decide on any Masters or specialization after their undergrad. I get asked the same kind of questions from students on Quora all the time about studying & career. It is important to think through your long term goals before you invest in any area of specialization. Speak to career counselors, analyse your personality, Volunteer/intern to gain additional skills, work in the area that interests you, gain couple of years' experience before you embark on any Masters course. One of the top most reasons for many students to study abroad is to gain working experience in that region. If that is your top most reason, research on the job market - do you find enough opportunities for internationals in that area? Connect with University alumni or student groups. This is an investment that you are making that will set you up in a specific career path, therefore it is important to spend time talking to former students and also professionals in that area.
Being part of HR, one thing that I would like to stress on is that, if you can afford it study in highly ranked and accredited Universities, Do it! It is worth the investment personally and professionally as it will be well recognized by global companies wherever you go.
Prepare to weather the Irish weather:
Ireland has the awesome summers! Winters are the hardest when it is grey and it becomes dark by 3PM. Someone coming from India where you take the sun for granted, you will end up craving for some Vitamin D in that season. Until Ireland, I had never heard about 'cold beaches', the view of the sea is wonderful, but just don't dare step in it other than summers! Your legs will freeze! It can also get quite windy there! You will find out the true meaning of resistance walking or resistance biking in the windy season. The heavens may also open up and pour on you anytime of the year! You need to be constantly prepared with a jacket that can protect you from wind, cold and rain (Oh if you are lucky light snow too)! I gave up on buying new umbrellas as any of the strong one does not seem to hold against the strong winds. With all that, I can say one thing! Ireland is beautiful! Over a period, rain will not stop you from looking forward to taking those walks around town to explore and start clicking photos of the lovely landscape.
Get your living arrangements sorted early:
Getting accommodation during the University starting season can be really challenging. Campus accommodation is limited and expensive, so only a few can manage to get them. Arrive early or make connections who can help you with the finding an accommodation. Connect with your other students who are perhaps in the same batch or from the same University to tentatively get a place together as housemates or roommates; It is easier to decide on a 2 or 3 BHK's sharing when you know how many are going to be sharing with you. Never book long term accommodation without arriving and actually looking at the house as there number of scam that happens at that time. It is recommended to arrive in Ireland before the semester starts to find a place off campus. The places get filled pretty quickly during the viewings set up by the landlords. So it is best to decide and book as soon as you find an appropriate place. The intensity of the race to find rented places perhaps is a little lesser in smaller towns than in Dublin.
Gain skills outside your academic life:
Unlike in India preference is not just given to topping academics alone, but an overall personality development in Universities abroad. So while you are thinking of studying in Ireland, acquire some skills through volunteering, sports, arts, leading programs alongside your academics or through some internships. Not only will these things add value when you apply for the courses and for scholarships/bursaries, but continuing to participate in the various societies arts or sports during your Education in Ireland will help you stand apart; with your job applications to employers in Ireland. Being an active participant in-class and outside leading programs during your course here will help you teach many dynamics of working in a team, leading an initiative and giving you confidence while you begin your career.
|The Irish Pub|
Get out of your comfort zone:
Here is an opportunity for you to live in a different country & experience their culture, so don’t waste it. Ireland is part of the EU, so you will find a number of mainland Europeans visiting or studying in Ireland. Get out from your comfort group mingle with other international students. It is easier to get tied to familiar nationalities due to the comfort of knowing them. While you tend to be fonder of your own nationalities particularly away from home, don’t lose the opportunity to learn about other nationalities. You can learn a lot about each other’s cultures, values and enjoy diverse opinions. I have made some really close friends from France to New Zealand during my time in Ireland. Irish are friendly people; you will find them returning your smiles or chatting up randomly on the bus. There are a number of times I have got lost and have had someone walk with me half way as I did not know which direction I was heading. Good and evil acts exists everywhere, one warning to students visiting Dublin city centre – Mobile/bicycle thefts are rampant; do not wave around your phone to click your picture while you are in the city.
|Wicklow, Ireland – The county famous for movie PS, I love you.|
When you have an opportunity of living and studying in a beautiful scenic country, make the most of it. Walk or Bike and explore places around Ireland whenever you can, you will learn a lot of its ancient history. Share the enthusiasm of the locals and it will be returned. Irish are friendlier :) when they are especially high on life, beer and Gaelic football. You might still never get used to some of the accents from other counties, but before long I am sure you will not mind the ‘Shite’ or perhaps join in on their ‘Craic’ slangs!
|The famous Temple Bar Area|
If you have any questions about Studying in Ireland, connect with me on this fb group and me or the former students will try and answer them.
About the author: Rebecca is a good friend and she just got back from Ireland where she graduated in International business. I caught her to get this post. Hope it helps you if you are looking do study in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world. Born among the hills of Coorg, a true Bangalorean by heart, Rebecca loves all things Arts and likes to keep up with the pulse of Business & Brands. After spending more than a decade of working in corporates in the field of Marcom and Branding, she decided to take a sabbatical to pursue a Masters in Dublin, Ireland. Her love for writing finally took shape during this break through www.bizlifebytes.com.
Being alone in a different country and trying to figure things out can be quite difficult as she found out. So to help students, she has put together information to help students who are looking forward to study in Ireland.