Experience 8 – From Australia to Ireland with Erasmus+ KA107
Posted: 27 June, 2017
Hi, I am Alanna Bowman, a third-year advertising and marketing student from Bathurst in Australia. I have just started my semester at Limerick in Ireland. Limerick was one of the many partner universities of my home school, Charles Sturt University. The reason I wanted to come to Limerick is that I have always thought Ireland was a beautiful place but I had never been. I also wanted to be in Europe because I wanted to travel. However, since arriving in Ireland I have realised that my main goal is to see as many parts of this country as I can. I also took comfort in the fact that UL has such a good reputation, in particular in regards to international students. When I learned I had received the Credit Mobility Grant, I was excited because it gave me the opportunity to experience more of Ireland and to become more independent by funding my own learning. For example, the grant has allowed me to live on campus, meaning I am closer to my classes and the other facilities at UL. It has meant that rather than my parents having to assist me with accommodation fees, that I have been able to be more independent. It has also given me the opportunity to spend my savings on other things, such as seeing more of Ireland.
Being in Ireland is going to enrich my understanding in the field of marketing in particular. This is because classes are offered at UL that my university does not offer. For example, my applied marketing class requires us to perform market research with a real client. Because I am a practical learner, I am excited to get some life experience about the marketing industry. Two of the required classes included the concepts of culture and international studies. I feel as though I will have a better understanding of these two concepts because I get to experience them first hand, rather than studying them in a classroom at home. My time in Ireland will influence my future career because I want to come back and visit or live in Ireland one day. This will definitely be an influence when I’m looking for a job. Having completed study overseas is well respected amongst employers. By performing this semester studying in Ireland I will display to future employers that I am independent, diverse and culturally aware.
An important piece of information to understand when coming to Limerick University is that the university is well equipped for international students. There are many programs at UL to help students settle into life overseas. Although arriving on the first day at such a big campus can be intimidating, all questions are resolved in the first week. Before you arrive at UL, I would recommend that you know what subjects you want to take and have them signed off by your course co-ordinator at home. I also recommend you look into what classes you can take specific to UL such as Irish Folklore. Although they do have timetabling question and answer sessions in the first week, it is helpful to have at least looked at how your timetable might work before you arrive. This saves hassle when everyone else is trying to sort out his or her classes. It will also save you a lot of stress as you will not have to contact your home university as much in the first week. Whilst at UL I would definitely recommend joining a few clubs and societies. UL has a wide range of clubs and societies to suit a range of different interests; it is a good way to make friends. I also recommend that international students see as much of Ireland as possible. Many of the clubs and private organisations offer weekend trips and I recommend doing as many of these as possible to explore what Ireland has to offer. Finally, three pieces of advice I would give to students coming to study at UL would be to first think about where you are going to live carefully. The campus is very large so by looking at a map you can try to live somewhere that is near the buildings that you need. For example, you might want to live closer to the business school or near the gym. Secondly, if you are coming for the first semester, although it is still summer, the weather is not particularly warm. It is also a good idea to pack something waterproof. I have a few friends who brought many summer dresses with them and have not had the chance to wear them. Although it is good to have something in case it is warmer, most of the days will be cooler. My final piece of advice would be to get excited. It is easy to fit in and have a fantastic time at UL. Although everyone is nervous when they first arrive, there is not really a need to be.