Isa Hiemstra in Ireland

Study period exchange: 10/01/2019 until 15/05/2019
Country (exchange): Ireland
City (exchange): Limerick
University (exchange): University of Limerick Faculty (exchange): Faculty of Science and Engineering

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I was really interested in going abroad, experience a different country, a different culture and meet people from many different places.

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

I wanted to go to an English-speaking country, and I really like the country Ireland. I have been there before my Erasmus-exchange, so this motivated me to go. I chose this university because they had many interesting courses.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

Take a flight to Dublin Airport. Then you can take the bus (Dublin Coach) that goes directly from the airport to the campus of the university. This is way cheaper than flying to Shannon Airport, which is located in Limerick.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

This differs per course, however, most courses consist of several lectures per week, tutorials and labs. Besides that, every module has some sort of assignment where one has to write academically and use resources, or make reports from field trips or labs.
One also has to prepare for the tutorials and make assignments for this.

What is the culture of the university?

Lecturers are very approachable. They are very kind and always likely to help when you actively engage in the tutorials, lectures and labs. They are easy in changing due dates and students can most of the time discuss when it is most convenient for them to hand assignments in. All my lecturers knew me by name, which gave it a more personal approach. This is the main difference with the WUR. Most international students stick with other internationals, however, Irish students are also very friendly as well.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

At the university campus, there are many different clubs and societies. You can play any sport you want. The university also has several pubs on campus. The international society organises many trips during weekends, which are not that expensive and very much fun. There are many catering facilities, one can buy a meal plan.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

Most internationals had a room on campus. Most rooms are private rooms, but there are also shared rooms which are cheaper. You can also rent a room in the city. The rents for private rooms are much more expensive that in Wageningen (~600 Euro/month at least).

What is the culture of the country like?

The Irish are very nice people. They are very laid-back and easy to talk to. They are very friendly and open towards people from different countries. Many times, people have told me that I am very welcome in their country, which made me feel at home.

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

My residence in Limerick was around 600 Euro per month, which is around 300 Euro more expensive than Wageningen.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

You can take buses to the campus or to the city. One can buy a leap card, which makes travelling less expensive. The bus is not that expensive, however, it is always late. Taxi rides are also really not that expensive.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Dublin, Cork and the Aran Islands. I mainly used the trips organised by the university or the international society.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

I think most spots appeared in the travel guide. The Aran Islands were in my opinion beautiful.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

In the city, there are many places where you can go out. Also on campus there are some pubs. I would strongly recommend joining the international society since they organise many fun activities.

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

I most of the time really enjoyed my stay. I found it hard sometimes that lecturers were not always that structured compared to WUR.

What was your best memory abroad?

Spending time with my friends from all over Europe and the US, going to many different places all over Ireland together and enjoying all the fun parties. The lecturers were also really nice and interested in you.

8. Contact details

Would you like to ask Isa more questions about her exchange?

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