Environmental Management
Environmental Management

The luck of the Irish…

Lauren UCD Ireland

I have recently been overseas in Dublin, Ireland for an academic student exchange at University College Dublin. And my first point to note is that I would recommend an exchange to anyone! I have not only been able to learn things in a different context towards my degree that potential employers will look favourably upon, I have made connections, I have made new friends from around the globe and I have learnt a lot about myself. I know everyone who you talk to from exchange says these things, but it is true. I’ve fallen in love with this little country and it has provided me with so many opportunities to be self-sufficient.

Geography is surprisingly very popular to study in UCD and well that is why I chose it, but I didn’t fully recognise the extent of its popularity. Fieldtrips took up a lot of my weekends, but that meant I got to see more of Ireland than a lot of people and that I was learning out in the field also! At UQ I have met a total of 5 people doing exactly what I am doing, but here, I have entire modules with hundreds of other students attending lectures on what I am studying. This being said, UCD offered a range of modules that I wouldn’t have been able to take at UQ such as a geographic globalisation course. It’s these little differences that make you realise that not everywhere is the same as home.

Throughout studying, I of course have made time to explore this wonderful green country that I now call home (despite my parents dislike). I joined two international societies (ISS and ESN), a few clubs and netball whilst away – to fully maximise my ‘spare’ time….I now have no spare time, but it’s been worth it! I’ve made Irish, German, Finnish, Dutch and Australian friends that I see on a regular basis. I have also managed to travel a little outside of Ireland, including to Scotland and Copenhagen! I advise anyone who goes on exchange to set up coffee or dinner meetings with groups of friends in and around Dublin, so you can get out of the house and explore the small, but quaint city of Dublin (To the coffee addicts, I advise Brother Hubbard, 3FE and Kaph for coffee).

I can safely say that I will go home with no regrets – do everything you want to do over here, make the most of it, because six months goes way too fast!

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