UQ Program: Bachelors of Commerce/Law

Whenever I mentioned to my friends that I was going on exchange to Dublin, they would immediately say “oh – are you going to Trinity?” Let me assure you, Trinity is not the only university in Ireland! There are numerous universities. University College Dublin (UCD) is Trinity’s rival university. Trinity was founded by the Protestants, whereas UCD was founded by the Catholics. UCD is the largest university in Ireland and has had its fair share of well-known graduates, including James Joyce and Brian O’Driscoll. The campus is situated twenty minutes from the city centre and is easily accessible. There are several residential colleges (catered and non-catered) on campus and these are ideal for those seeking accommodation for one semester. I stayed in Roebuck Hall, which was a five-minute walk to the Law School.

Cliffs of Moher

In regards to choosing the semester in which to undertake an exchange, it is important to check and re-check the availability of subjects that will give you credit for your university degree. It was easier to undertake an exchange at UCD as a law student in semester 2. Furthermore, this is the beginning of the academic year for UCD students (lectures begin in September) so there is the added benefit of meeting people at O-Week events and being welcomed at university events with all the Freshers. The one disadvantage (if you can call it that) of studying at UCD is that you have to take six subjects. Most of the exchange universities in the UK and Europe only expect students to take three subjects. This certainly required me to do more work, however, the Law School allowed exchange students to write an essay in lieu of an exam at the end of term for two subjects so that exchange students were not bogged down with six end-of-semester law exams.

Whilst at UCD, I enrolled in six law subjects, including Public International Law, Private International Law, Consumer Law, Medical Law, Environmental Law and Employment Law. Some of these subjects obviously have an EU-focus but this has been interesting as I hope to work in Europe in the future. The UCD staff welcomed all exchange students at a number of events at the start of semester, and the Law School staff were readily available to help with any queries. During ‘Freshers’ Week’, the university invites all students to join the student societies and sign-up for a sports team. The Law Society holds a debate every week and these are certainly entertaining. I joined the UCD Netball Club, which allowed me to socialise with many UCD students as well as exchange students.

Dublin itself is a beautiful city! The nightlife is grand, the people are very friendly and the travel opportunities are abundant. I made it my mission to explore Ireland during my semester, and I managed to get away to a different place almost every weekend. I had plenty of amazing experiences. The highlights include running the Dublin Marathon, witnessing Dublin’s best snowfall in forty years, attending a Wallabies game in Limerick and participating in a student protest with 30,000 Irish students. As the Irish say, I had some ‘gas craic’ (very good times)!

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