Almost three years ago I was studying an undergraduate degree in Political Science, although I figured out it was not for me I continued with it, all I knew is I wanted to study abroad. I failed to complete my first Erasmus application and therefore did not get a spot at my first choice University in Sweden. In hindsight, nothing better could have happened to me because I had to wait another year and got the chance to look further into all my options – which led me to select the University of Limerick.
My main reason for choosing UL was that the University was situated within a campus- not spread throughout the city and that they offered an incredible amount of clubs and societies, in particular a skydive club. Even though these reasons seem very superficial now, I’m glad I made such an impulsive decision because it was the best one I’ve made so far in my life. Living on campus, within an incredible Irish and International community has been incredible but not just the overwhelming amount of activities and events but also the academic system blew me away. It was the first time I actually spoke with a lecturer face to face which took a while for me to get used to, but made my time studying so much more enjoyable and profitable. Just the way classes are set up, with fewer people, more interactive and I didn’t even have to sit on the floor once because there were too many people in a lecture, I actually enjoyed going to classes in UL.
What made my experience even better was the amount of activities available to get involved in, I started volunteering, became involved in the International Student Ambassador Programme, the Buddy Programme and several clubs and societies. You can absolutely try everything from Archery to Skydiving to the International Society, who organises the best trips, there is something for everyone.
Looking at all this, the decision to want to come back for a Master’s Degree was not a hard one to make. Justifying it back home on the other hand was. The first and main question I always got, was why would you leave your home where you can study and live for free to go to a different country where you have to pay tuition and rent?
The answer – easy, all of what I have mentioned before, have made me learn so much more not just about Ireland or the English language but also about myself, than I ever would anywhere else. I wouldn’t have finally found a degree I’m extremely passionate about (I’m doing the MA in Applied Linguistics) if it weren’t for the postgraduate fair in UL, a course which I never even considered doing before. I spend the year following my Erasmus finishing my undergraduate degree as well as trying to earn as much money as I could to be able to afford the tuition. The almost 20 different jobs I had last year, from opening doors at a mall to working with the EU, were absolutely worth the effort because it meant I got to go back to UL. So when the day came I got my acceptance letter I couldn’t have been prouder or happier.
At the moment I’m in the second semester of my masters, I absolutely love my course, I’ve started writing my dissertation, I know I definitely want to stay in this field in my future career, I have started searching for jobs, I am involved in the International Society and Buddy programme and essentially have a much clearer picture of what I want to do with my life – all this is thanks to UL!