Exchange in Ireland

Field of study in Wageningen: Nutrition and Health
Study period exchange: 10/01/2019 until 10/05/2019
Country (exchange): Ireland
City (exchange): Cork
University (exchange): University College Cork

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I chose to go on study exchange, because I really wanted to have a new experience and I wanted to improve my English. Moreover I am almost sure that I want to stay in the Netherlands for my master, so this felt like the perfect moment to go abroad.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

I liked the courses in Cork and I wanted to go to an English speaking country.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

I took the airplane to Cork and form there you can take the bus to the city centre (or a taxi). Another possibility is to fly to Dublin and take from there the bus (about 3-4 hours). Sometimes this can be cheaper, but is less convenient.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

The workload really depends on the courses you take. Some courses only take 6 weeks and are finished after that, other courses can take 12 weeks. All the exams are after 12 weeks. For some courses it is possible that you only need to write an essay or do other assignments, but other courses only have examinations. I had 6 exams in the end. For some courses I got some grades during the 12 weeks, so the exam in the end only partially determined my end grade.
For some courses I had to work in the lab a few times, also interesting!

What is the culture of the university?

The Irish people are really friendly and willing to talk with you. Also the teachers are very approachable and willing to help.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

The sport facilities are for free, so that is amazing! The gym is close to the university. There are multiple small restaurants in the university or places to go for a coffee.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

You may get a room via the University, but then you have to respond very quickly when you receive an e-mail about this. I got a very expensive offer and I did not want that. In the end I arranged a room via EazyCity, a private company in Cork. My room was located in the city centre, so that was great.

What is the culture of the country like?

The culture does not differ that much. However, there are a lot of pubs and the ambiance is great here.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

Residence is expensive. Often you pay about 500-700€ for a room. Sometimes you can choose the share a room, which is cheaper. Residence is thus expensive, but other prices are comparable to the Netherlands (groceries for example). Public transport is expensive though.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

If you are used to bike, then I would recommend to buy a bike. The biking facilities are not as good as in the Netherlands, but in the city centre it is nice to bike. This is way cheaper than using public transport. Moreover, a lot of people just walk everywhere. Walking is more common than biking.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

I really recommend to go to Ballycotton (by bus on Saturday) (this is a beautiful coast walk), to Blarney Castle, to Kinsale, the Cliffs of Moher, to Dublin, to Killarney National Park and Gap of Dunloe. Traveling by car is convenient, or book a tour via travel agencies. Some places you can visit by bus or train.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?Ballycotton, a beautiful coast walk, is really amazing. Also it is worth to go on a whale and dolphin watching tour! This is fantastic!

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

Go to some pubs! The pub An Spailpin Fanach is fantastic to go for some life music. Moreover in Cork there is a nice park (Filtgerald Park) and a small castle (Blackrock castle). Moreover, you should have dinner in The Oliver Plunkett! They have live music and great food! If you like hot chocolate, than you should go to O’Connails (chocolate bar).

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

Missing home can be difficult. If you are home sick, try to plan a lot of nice things to do. When you are having fun, you miss home less! Moreover, talk with other people about it, because then you will feel way better.

What was your best memory abroad?

The friends that I made and the beautiful places I visited!