Going on exchange was the absolute best experience of my time at uni and a great opportunity to live overseas and travel. The only downfall was that it did not last long enough!!

Ireland is an amazing country with a rich history, picturesque scenery and the friendliest people. There is so much to see at every end of the country and due to its size it is easy enough to get away to most places for a weekend. I recommend seeing as much of Ireland as you can and don’t let the rain stop you! Even seeing the same place in a different season can be a totally new experience. It is also easy and cheap enough to travel to Europe for a weekend or longer. Ryan Air and Aer Lingus offer cheap flights. One of my highlights was going to Munich, Germany, for the opening weekend of Oktoberfest.

Dublin was a great city to live in. I recommend getting there a bit before uni starts so you can get to know the city and see some of the tourist sites. The Dublin hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to start if you are willing to spend money on the slightly overpriced ticket. The cost of living in Dublin is similar to Brisbane. However, drinks can be quite expensive when going out so source out the places with student nights. Dublin’s bus system is average compared to Brisbane but good enough if you want to go to/from the city. Note that buses don’t give change so a bus card is a great idea.

I lived on campus in Glenomena residence. Living on campus was a new experience for me and I loved it. It was a great way to make friends with Irish and international students, and the 5-10 minute walk to class was so much better than my usual 45 minute trip to UQ. Glenomena is non-catered. I found cooking for myself easy and fairly cheap (cheaper than what I would have spent on a catered residence). Tesco has cheap groceries and there are two a short walk/bus ride from campus. There is also a Centra on campus which is a bit more expensive but great for convenience.
I went to UCD in my fourth year of Business Management/Arts. I chose to use all my Arts elective credits on exchange which allowed me to take an interesting mix of subjects I would never be able to study at UQ, such as Irish history and Celtic studies. If you are able to, I really recommend taking IRST30150 (Ireland Uncovered), which is a subject for international students from all disciplines to learn about Irish history and culture. The subject is a lot of fun, not too hard and includes a field trip around Dublin.
Top 5 tips:
- Join the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and/or the International Student Society (ISS). Both these groups organise great social events and weekend trips around Ireland for international students. It’s a great way to meet people from all over the world.

  • Get a student bus card – you don’t have to worry about having the correct change and the fare ends up being cheaper
  • The National Leprechaun Museum – my favourite attraction in Dublin. It is a great laugh and you get to learn about the darker sides of Irish folklore.
  • When you get homesick visit the Woolshed Bar and Grill, an Australian pub. One of the only places I found selling Bundy rum (and for a reasonable price) and other Aussie drinks. Karaoke on Thursday nights is particularly good fun!
  • Visit as many places as you can!!! Time will go by so fast so don’t put anything off!

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