Most of the Irish students at the University of Limerick leave campus on weekends to go home to their families. It’s boring to be alone and not surrounded by a group of friends at the weekends. So, how can International students keep themselves busy and socialise with others at the weekend? Read on to find out! P.S. It involves an incredible amount of pizza!
Back in 2010 when I received my scholarship to study my Bachelor Degree at the University of Limerick, I always dreamed about enjoying my social life at college. I was excited about meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds that I may not have the opportunity of meeting back home in Saudi Arabia.
In the first month after my arrival I met a lot of people in lectures, the university bar, on road trips, in the various clubs & societies and at house parties. These social activities took place during the weekdays rather than the weekends, which was the opposite of what I had expected before I arrived.
I mixed well with the Irish students who helped me to improve my English but the problem was that they left campus every Friday after their last lecture to go home to their families. I had no choice so I decided to dedicate the free time I had at the weekends to go over the material covered in classes. However, I didn’t feel that weekends were a time just solely for study and I missed socialising so it motivated me to go and get to know the International students on campus as well.
Two months later, I had met many people from a wide range of nationalities from East to West and I had successfully found a group who shared my passion and mission in life which was eating pizza! We decided to gather every weekend to eat different types and sizes of pizza from different restaurants and to collect the pizza boxes to build our tower, which we called the ‘Leaning Towers of Pizza’. It was a really fun experience which sadly ended when my friends completed their exchange period at UL.
Leaning Towers of Pizza 🙂
The year after, I met another group of exchange students from the University of Cologne in Germany. I told them about my pizza mission and they liked the idea a lot. However, instead of ordering a huge amount of pizza, we decided that each one of us could prepare a traditional dish which our friends may not have tasted before. For example, the German guys prepared dishes like potato salad and pasta salad whereas the Saudi folks prepared mix grilled kebabs and kabsa (chicken and rice) in the traditional method. The amazing thing about the dishes prepared that year is that they included both main dishes and side dishes which was a good mix of food in contrast to the year before when it was all just pizza! Nevertheless, it was a good experience in both cases because our friendship extended outside the kitchen as we hung out together in Limerick city center and explored the Irish landscape whenever it wasn’t raining!