By UL international Erasmus student Ivo Petro,
One year ago I decided that it was about time to make an important decision. I had to come to a decision as to whether to continue on the easy and known path and study all four years at my home university, or to take part in the Erasmus program and dive into the unknown. One year later, I am in Limerick enjoying my first week at UL. There was quite a lot of excitement prior to my arrival. I was looking forward to the journey, reading all the information I could possibly get my hands on. My journey began on the 18th of January and after 24 hours of travelling I finally arrived. I was tired and I knew no one. I felt lonely when I realized that I have to deal with everything on my own without the help of my family who have supported me throughout my academic carrier so far. I was anxious as to whether I would be able to successfully adapt to my new environment
Throughout my first week at UL I found that the best way to combat homesickness and to explore the new environment more effectively was to make new friends. A week after my arrival I already felt my stay in limerick was going to be awesome! It took me a couple of days to realise this, but now feel I am in the right place.
Winter Sunset on UL Campus
The first three days were probably the hardest, because everything was new to me. They were also the most tiring since there was a lot that I had to take care of and I didn’t know where to start from. The orientation sessions were very useful but they took a big part of my day and I was feeling exhausted after them. The reason for this lies in part in my long journey from Bulgaria, after which I needed a couple of days to recover. However I appreciate the events that were organized by the University and ware focused on entertaining us.
I found the movie in the evening of my first day here, the traditional Irish music session on the second day and the welcome dinner on the third day thoroughly enjoyable. They helped me to get to know my flatmates and other international students. I found them particularly interesting, because they introduced us to Irish culture. The University also organized a bus ride to the city and I got to see the St Mary’s Cathedral and the Milk market. Both places were very interesting to visit. In the cathedral I spoke to an elderly person who was looking after it and it was a pleasure to chat with him about the history of Ireland. At the milk market I bought handmade Irish chocolate and it was delicious. I’d love to visit the milk market again and try out more of what it has to offer.
The Milk Market, Limerick City
Probably the most interesting part of my stay here until this moment was the trip to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. The sights we got to see were some of the most beautiful I have seen in my life. The dark sky, the harsh wind, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, and the steep cliffs themselves are a sight that cannot be described with words.
Some UL International Students by the Cliffs of Moher
It has only been one week but there is much more to be seen and experienced. There are many clubs and societies that I want to join. I am sure it is going to be very interesting to be part of them! To conclude my story I would like to share that in my opinion the best cure for homesickness is to socialize, to experiment with new things and to make new friends. And in the UL you can do all of this!