Going on exchange to Dublin has been the greatest experience I’ve had since starting my degree at UQ. I was in the 3rd year of my BEcon/LLB degree and going on exchange definitely made my study far more interesting and exciting.

At UCD I wasn’t allowed to study across faculties so I stuck to economics subjects, which come under the arts faculty. Although you have to study 6 subjects instead of four it’s not as bad as it sounds. None of my courses had tutorials so I had the same number of contact hours as I normally do at UQ. Also I lived on campus and didn’t have a part time job so that helped increase my spare time. Overall you end up having plenty of spare time to explore Dublin and to travel elsewhere if you wish. If you are studying economics, UCD has a great range of subjects to choose from and it was really interesting studying economics from an Irish point of view, especially given their current economic situation.


The international student society and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) both put on different social events and weekend trips that visit different places in Ireland. These are great because you get to meet heaps of other international students that come from all over the world who are also keen to travel and meet new people. It also means that all the organizing is done for you! But everything in Ireland is really close and it can be just as easy to jump on a bus and do some exploring of your own.

When I was at UCD I lived on campus in the student residences. These are really convenient because the university it about a 20min bus ride from the city centre. This means you don’t have to consider public transport when you are planning what time you need to get up the next morning to get to class! One of the best things about living on campus though is that you get to meet both Irish and other international students as the accommodation is the same for all students.

Unfortunately the student bar was closed while I was at UCD, which was a bit disappointing. However, I don’t think it was detrimental to my exchange experience at all. Dublin has great nightlife every night of the week so you never lack somewhere to go. There are also buses running into the city from UCD until about 11pm and a taxi fare from the clubs back to uni is never too expensive.

A lot of people worry about budgets and how much money they should have before they leave. My only advice for this would be to save as much as you possibly can! There is nothing worse than having to miss out on an experience because you’re running out of money.

Top 5 Tips:

  • Join both the ISS and ESN (then you can pick and chose what events you really want to go to)
  • Every weeknight is student night at one of the clubs so take advantage of the cheap drinks during the week
  • Don’t be stingy!
  • Travel as much as you can (Ryan air has cheap flights but check Aer Lingus first because they often have good deals and you get a slightly larger carry-on allowance)
  • If you do fly Ryan air don’t forget to get your visa check before going through security otherwise you’ll get to the gate and they wont let you on your flight!  

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