By Halie Finke, University of Limerick (UL) International Student Ambassador
So you’re still planning on studying abroad and gaining an amazing experience in Ireland…Well I have more tips for you!! I have gained these tips over the past couple of months studying here and thought they’d be helpful for anyone making their way over here to the Emerald Isle!!
Depending on where you are from, public transit may or may not be a popular thing. My home university is in a small town where there is only one public bus route. Here in Limerick, public transit is very helpful in getting from UL to the city or vice versa. This tip is to always try to have change for the bus. A bus ride can cost around 2 euro, so it’s always nice for the bus driver if you have the coins or at least a fiver for the ticket, instead of handing him a tenner.
A common thing in Europe is to use military time in text and on your phone, but when speaking aloud, they say numbers of 1 through 12. There is no ‘am’ or ‘pm’ in conversation, just use the context clues! Oh, and half-8 means 8:30.
Invest in some good waterproofing. I came here with a waterproof coat, waterproof hiking boots, and quality rain boots. It’s Ireland and it rains…A LOT. If you don’t bring them, you’ll probably end up buying them!
You are probably planning on doing some trips, both inside and outside of Ireland. This is something you should be doing some planning for ahead of time. There are great ways to make sure you get the most out of your travelling, like WSA, which gives you a hostel to stay at and a flexible itinerary to intend for a fixed price. If you don’t want to go that route, you can make your own itinerary, but either way, having a plan is a great way to go.
Make a budget! There will probably be a few weeks every once and a while when the budget gets blown, but the blow is softened if you have been budgeting beforehand. If you think the price is worth the experience, then it is! Just watch your bank account!
If you’re approaching a long flight, plan on sleeping on the plane! Take it from someone who didn’t sleep on the plane. If you don’t, you will be so tired it will be impossible to focus and enjoy your arrival to Ireland!
Social Media is how everyone communicates today. You will be thousands of miles away, but all your friends and family members are only a click away! Which is tempting, and you must avoid! It’s alright to go on facebook for a little bit, share some pictures, and see what your friends are up to, but spending too much time on social media, can take away from the moment of being in another country!
Need a good place to eat but don’t know where to go? Know where you want to go but don’t know how to get there? Ask a local! They’re helpful and very friendly about 98% of the time. Some of the best restaurants I’ve ever gone to were suggestions from the locals from wherever I was.
If you need a textbook, instead of buying from the textbook store on campus, try downloading it off amazon or finding a cheaper version online or renting from a website like amazon or Chegg.
You know that thing that was popular before cell phones and email? What was it? Oh yeah! Snail mail!! Well…stamps are super affordable and so are postcards!! A great way to have souvenirs for you and your family are through postcards! Friends and family love receiving postcards from all the different places you travel to.
These are just some few travel tips I have collected in my short time here. There are many things I have yet to discover and you might come across your own tips and tricks to studying abroad. I hope you love your time abroad as much as I am loving mine. It is certainly a rewarding experience in which you are sure to have the time of your life!!! And make sure to get to Belfast (where I’m pictured below J) (All pictures and clipart pulled from google.com/images)