Probably like most students who decide to go on an exchange, the main thing I was afraid of was to feel homesick to the point that I would regret the decision to live this experience. See, I’ve never really been away from home for a long time and I live a pretty scheduled life back there; the usual job, school, family, friends and boyfriend. Right before leaving, I’d say that it was almost to the point that I couldn’t sleep at night. Boy, was I wrong to feel that way. I’ve been attending the University of Limerick for just over a month now, and these are some of the reasons why I haven’t felt homesick at all:
It’s never been easier to make friends.
On the first week of school, Orientation Week, everyone is in the same state of mind no matter where we are from; we all know that we need to make friends or we are going to miss out on a lot. Of course, the fact that most of the social life here seems to be evolving around beer and whiskey does help when it comes to meeting new people.
UL has Clubs & Societies for everyone.
Honestly, there is no way you won’t find anything in there that suits your tastes. It’s even a perfect opportunity to try something new, which brings me to the third point.
You can easily find new hobbies.
I thought that I would have way too much free time here and that I would eventually get bored. Wrong. There’s so many things to do on campus and you kind of want to try everything since, hey, you’re here to live new experiences!
You can’t forget the week-end trips.
Let’s face it; studying on week-end time has been absolutely impossible so far. Including the trips organised by the Clubs & Societies you’ve joined, you sometimes have to choose between two or three trips around Ireland and further. The problem with having so many choices; you really want to do them all to see and experience everything!
Ireland is just great.
Yes, it can be rainy and cold, but there’s so much to see and if you take time to appreciate the fact that you’re here and to grasp everything that’s different and awesome about it, you will probably feel like home in no time.
Of course, those reasons are general explanations about why I haven’t felt homesick and why the overall adaptation of an international student attending UL seems to go really well. I’m sure everyone could also add their personal reasons why this is a great place to be experiencing an exchange. After all, we are here to create new relationships, to experience new things and to open our eyes to other ways of living, aren’t we?
By UL International Student Ambassador Valérie Grignon