UQ Program: Bachelor of Science

My semester abroad studying at University College Dublin (UCD) and generally travelling around Europe was one of the best experiences I have ever had. If you have the opportunity of going on exchange, take it – you will have the time of your life.

I was studying third year science at UCD and initially it seemed daunting as over there a full time load is 6 subjects per semester. But the course load wasn’t really that heavy and because you have so many subjects, it means you can choose from a wide range of programs. One thing I regret is not being able to take an elective, like many exchange students, in Irish history or language – it’s definitely something worth doing.

But really the academic side of things was rarely at the front of your mind – there’s so much you can do while in Europe that you can find yourself in a different country each weekend. I had an amazing time travelling round with people – living on campus meant that I was constantly surrounded by other international students keen on making friends and going places. I would definitely recommend staying at college – the house parties alone made it worth it, but it’s also a great atmosphere and easy to make friends from all over the world that will last you a lifetime.

While it’s really easy to go everywhere in Europe (preferably on Aer Lingus and not Ryanair) and definitely worthwhile, make sure you visit around Ireland too. Dublin has countless places to visit – the Guinness Factory is worth a visit – and there are plenty of things to see around the country. A visit to Galway is a fantastic way to pass a weekend, and it’s easy to get from there to the Cliffs of Moher or the Aran Islands. The nightlife around Dublin is also fairly good, with traditional Irish pubs on pretty much every corner. Make the trek out to the Bernard Shaw and you won’t be disappointed.

I loved my time overseas and would go back in a heartbeat. On exchange I’ve made firm friends from all over the world who I’ll stay in touch with, and probably be talking about for years to come.

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