I have just completed my second year as a Bachelor of Arts student and was lucky enough to spend my last semester studying at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland. At UCD I was an Arts and Celtic Studies student and took the opportunity to learn a little bit more about Ireland and its history. Two courses I would definitely recommend to all art students with some spare electives are; Introduction to Irish Folklore (IRFL10010) and Pagan Celts and their Insular Inheritance (CCIV10010). Not only were they truly interesting but they also gave me a great insight into the Irish people and their history, beliefs and values. Although 6 courses in a semester was a bit of work, with organisation and a little effort during the week, there were still plenty of weekends free to travel especially given the Irish only require 40% to pass.

My semester exchange was a truly amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone I came across. UCD has a fantastic internationals program to help you meet new people and explore Ireland. The friends I made through the many events and trips as well as courses and residences are truly unforgettable and I’m already planning trips to visit them when I have money again. The Erasmus and International Students societies held very affordable trips to Galway, Kilkenny, the Wicklow Mountains, the Aran Islands, Cork and Derry among other places. Despite being a very small country, Ireland has many beautiful sights. The Cliffs of Moher and the Dingle peninsular are among the places that simply must be visited.

Travelling outside of Ireland you’ll appreciate the cheap fares and excellent deals that take you to another country for less than it takes to get to Sydney. I’d recommend a tour prior to the exchange as a great way to see Europe and meet new people. Sharing a room, or in my case, a tent, with someone every night is great way to get to know people quickly. If you decide to go on a tour leaving from London I recommend Big Yellow as an affordable, secure storage company for laptops and other items you don’t want to take.

  • Whilst at UCD I strongly recommend joining as many societies and clubs as possible as they are a great way to meet not only fellow internationals but Irish students too.
  • If you’re in Dublin during the September to December Semester I strongly recommend making the most of the annual Culture Night. On the 20th of September 2013 entrance to the numerous historical sites, museums and galleries will be completely free. On this day bookstores hold readings and theatres have some free shows. It’s a great opportunity to get to know Dublin on a budget. For more info visit http://www.visitdublin.com/events/Festivals/
  • Other recommendations would be the Porterhouse pub which has good music, a great atmosphere and a vast array of different flavoured beers including my favourite strawberry. As far as groceries go, the cheapest by far is the Lidl store in Dundrum which you can get to on bus #17.


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