Bachelor of Commerce/Economics
Bachelor of Commerce/Economics

My name is Thomas O'Connor and at the time of this exchange I was at the end of my third year in a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Economics. Firstly and academically, University College Dublin (UCD) has a noticeably different system to UQ. The full-time subject load at UCD is 30ECTS or six subjects. This was something I was feeling apprehensive about in the beginning, for the nature of my course usually sees me with heavily weighted finals and the thought of having six of these instead of four was more than worrying. This sentiment faded soon enough, thankfully. Whether it is that UQ demands more of students or UCD less, the subject load at the Irish university balances out to a point that is probably less intense than back home. At UCD I studied four Level Three and two Level Two economics subjects.

Before even looking in to the candidate destinations for UQ Abroad exchanges I knew I wanted to go to Ireland, as it is a place that much of my ancestry can be traced to. The pursuit of securing some grade of cultural immersion there wasn't a question of if, but simply when; living in Ireland for any amount of time was something of great importance to me. Having said that, my first priority was and still is my studies. So once I learned of the opportunities to marry my love for travel with my academic goals, well, I contacted UQ Abroad almost immediately desperate to bring everything to fruition. It is without doubt I can say that these past months have been as liberating as they have been humbling, this much seems to be completely unavoidable when embarking upon any kind of exchange. When reminiscing now, of the new places and faces, too many to mention, I can't help but feel that sharp nostalgic twinge.

Now lastly, I will share some of the more specific bits of information I gained from my personal experience during an exchange at UCD. I lived at Muckross Halls and i highly recommend it; it is a five minute bike ride from uni, and less than ten to the city centre, catered with glorious food, and run by really fun/fair student leaders. Staying somewhere catered freed me up from the mundanities of constant culinary obligations and too saw me spend very little on food, which is normally my biggest expense. To have an overly good time, being to be able to say resounding yeses to spontaneous weekend trips and nights out I wouldn't take less than 5000AUD spending money. But don't get me wrong, it is totally possible to get by on a third of that, I've seen it done.

The obligatory 5-Top-Tips!!

  • BUY A BIKE. This is a must, pick one up for 60 Euro off Gumtree or any other secondhand sale sites. (One month bus passes are 90ish Euro)
  • Join the International Students' Society. They have great trips and even better parties.
  • For international galavanting head to skyscanner.net  
  • Spa and Tesco, the main convenience store chains, have meal deals (sub+drink etc.) that are delicious, healthy and 3 Euro.
  • Purchase a bicycle.  

 

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