If you are reading this, you are more likely thinking about going on exchange to UCD. Let me answer your quandary. Do it.

Going on exchange in Ireland has been one of the best experiences of my life. Yes, I know, you’ve heard a lot of students say the same, but that is because it is so very true.

I was so very nervous before leaving to go exchange, but almost immediately I felt at home there. Staying in Belgrove Residences is great (soon to be even better with the new renovated apartments), my two flatmates – a Dane and a German - became my ‘Ireland family’ and we did everything together. We were each other’s shoulders to cry on when any of us felt homesick, drinking buddies, and travelling mates across Ireland. To say I’m missing my ‘Ireland’ family would be an understatement!

Word of warning about on-campus accommodation though, there’s not much in the apartments to start with (no sheets, no pillow case, no doona cover, not much kitchen wear or cutlery). UCD supplies a free trip to IKEA to stock your apartment up (make sure to talk to your flatmates about splitting costs on general apartment stuff). The social life is mainly planned through the Eramus Social Network (not just for European students!) and the International Student Society, and there are some great pub crawls, trips and nights out organised! Make it your first thing to do – join these clubs! There are other clubs too – sporting for those inclined, but personally I ended up being too busy with planned trips with my new neighbourhoods to participate.

Some tips about Dublin, UCD is a bit out of the city centre, it cost 2 Euro 40 cents to get into town one way, but it's an easy and lovely walk (just maybe not when raining!), and there is a nearby super cheap grocery store in Dundrum (Lidl) that’s worth the trip once or twice a fortnight to save on money. Best pub in town is easily the Porterhouse (try the Strawberry beer), try out the glory that is the Queen of Tarts (best tarts ever), and taste the best brownie in the world at the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Temple Bar. The locals are a curious mix, and when you’re in a pub (and you will be) you will meet characters from all over Ireland and the world that’ll have you in stitches for hours.

If you end up heading off to UCD, I promise you the time of your life!

Bon Vogage!

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