Onyekachi Anyalechi is from Nigeria and is currently completing a Masters in Arts at the University of Limerick. Onyekachi wanted to share some of the difficulties that he experienced when first leaving home and coming to Ireland. He also shares some advise on how to settle into life at UL.
Hello there! In this blog entry, I wish to share tips for prospective international students on what to expect on the first couple of days in the University of Limerick and the city in general.
For some international students and especially first-time travelers like I was before now, leaving home can be very challenging. These challenges arise sometimes from cultural shocks. You might find it difficult!
The Irish weather is like magic, it can rain, snow and suddenly get sunny on the same day. Getting around campus and in the city can also be challenging, I remember my first day in UL, I got lost on campus and without realising it I was running around almost in circles around my destination.
Loneliness sets in when you think of home, family and friends 😊 and you get sober, it is common for freshers, don’t worry! Perhaps certain individuals from Africa and Asia think of recipes they were used to in their home countries. 😊 For some, adjusting to a new learning culture might prove to be an issue and the whole excitement suddenly turns sour. All the above-listed issues are some of the few skirmishes you might encounter during your first time in UL or Ireland in general but there is always a brighter side of it!
At the University of Limerick, you are never alone no matter anywhere you are. You just can’t help but fall in love with the new environment. I think Irish air must be the cleanest ever! I have made a lot of friends in Ireland willing to help in almost every moment. A couple of times that I lost my way in the city or campus, there were always people willing to help and walked with me to my destination. However, ability to read maps can sort you out quick enough. As of the weather, an umbrella is very handy including; gloves, scarfs, suits, etc.
At UL, there are many societies where you can be able to socialize and make new friends depending on your interests. There is the International society and of course a strong African society. UL has a great mixture of internationals from all over the world united under one common goal through education and I never feel lonely in my new home.
For food lovers, there is an African shop, Chinese shops, Afro-Caribbean shops, restaurants and of course, big shops where you can easily shop at affordable prices. They include; Tesco stores, Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes stores, Euro Dealz shops, etc all in the city centre.
Academically, UL assigns student advisers to students who need a listening ear. Our lecturers are also very helpful, and they ensure no one feels left out. We also have peer writing advisers who can help put you through the rigors of academic writing. Finally, I won’t forget to mention the careers office, they help construct your curriculum vitae and Resumes. They also conduct mock job interviews for job seekers and update weekly job vacancies for job seekers.
Pardon my long write up, in the coming weeks, I hope to put you through what life is like in the University of Limerick and Ireland in general, hugs 😊
For further information visit the University of Limerick