Are you interested in studying at the University of Limerick as an international student? Diego, our Brazilian Ambassador, is part of the Science Without Borders programme and in this blog he tells us why UL is a fantastic place to study…
Dia duit, fáilte roimh!
My name is Diego Batista, I am from Brazil and am studying Civil Engineering at University of Limerick. I’m 24 years old and this is my first experience abroad. I hope that I can show to the international students how amazing is studying here in Ireland and share my experiences with you.
When I first came to study in Ireland, I had many questions in my head. Was it the right choice? What will the people be like? Will I fit in? Will I be wasting one year of college back in Brazil? I guess nobody is sure what the future will be when moving to a different country like Ireland, everything is different and you are far from your parents and friends, but the thing is you have to take risks to get the best returns. And this is what is going on with me right now!
Since 2013, when I and two friends started thinking about whether we should create a Facebook group for the next admission call for the Science Without Borders Program, we were sure that would be hard, but also that it would be worth it. Science Without Borders is a Brazilian and Irish Government scholarship programme which aims to send 101,000 Brazilian students on undergraduate sandwich courses, PhD sandwich courses and full PhDs to study in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and creative industries at top universities around the world. And I choose Ireland! Every day here in the University of Limerick we is a special day, and I have had the chance to meet so many people who have become an important part of my life while living and studying here.
So what about Irish people? They are amazing, and having the opportunity to learn about their culture and live together in student accommodation certainly makes a difference to my life here in UL. Irish people are very similar to Brazilians in terms of welcoming and warmness, they also enjoy a good party like us and they are always there to help you!
Here in Ireland and at the University of Limerick everyone treats you as an equal. Can you believe that? They are all so willing to hear your opinions and very open to individual suggestions, regardless the fact you are a student. That’s the point! Here we have the opportunity to help each other, to improve our knowledge and contribute to our university, community and environment. Limerick is a great city too – I wish everybody could know Limerick as I do now!
When it comes to accessibility, it is the European way! Here in the University of Limerick everything is very accessible, including travel to Dublin on weekends. We also have Shannon Airport nearby, making travel to other European countries easy. That’s crazy! Although the cities here are comparatively small to our cities in Brazil, I’m from São Paulo (we have a population of 11,895,893). The nights here are also really exciting, there’s always something to do, from Monday to Sunday. And if I want to relax, I have a lot options like visiting the amazing Cliffs of Moher and other beautiful places around the country.
Here we have the traditional Irish music on Wednesday at The Scholars’ Club or the International Night at Stables Club – during these nights we enjoy pints and fun with Brazilian and international friends. At University of Limerick we are close to almost everything by public transport here in the University of Limerick, including bigger cities around Ireland.
Well, I could never have imagined a year ago back in Brazil that in 2014 I’d be living in a typical Irish city, taking in amazing landscapes (and feeling like I am in a movie EVERYDAY!), studying at a place with an infrastructure that would make a lot of Brazilian universities jealous. If I had known what studying abroad in Ireland was like, I think I would have gone after it a lot earlier!
If you have any queries about studying at University of Limerick or about the Science Without Borders Program, please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will try my best to answer your questions!
Slán Leat, see you in my next post here for the International Student Ambassador Blog!