Life Across the Shannon – Life in UL Accomadation

Before coming to UL, I had never lived in a dorm or an apartment.  At my home university, I am a commuter student, so I still live at home.  I wasn’t really sure what I expected the apartment to be like, but I actually find it to be quite lovely.  UL has quickly become my home away from home (literally and figuratively) and can soon be yours.

Location:

Thomond Village is located across the Shannon River in county Clare.  It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to class.  The UL Sport Arena is about a 15-20 minute walk if you like to work out.  There is also a trail along the Shannon that will take you into the city center.  For food shopping, there is Spar in Dromroe and near the student union.  Aldi is about a 30-minute walk and Dunnes is about 45 minutes.  Reception does have bicycles that you can rent throughout the week (reception has tea, coffee, and hot chocolate if you ever want it and you can also pick up your packages there).  You can also get the bus into town from Stables.

Bedroom:

My room has a private bathroom, which not all villages have.  It is a fairly basic room with a double bed, desk, and wardrobe.  There are plenty of shelves above the desk to store any school supplies, toiletries, snacks, etc.  Sheets and a duvet cover were provided to me, but I had brought some with me.  I also brought my own bath towels with me.  Sheets and towels can both be purchased at Dunnes or Penneys. I suggest bringing some pictures to hang up to personalize your room.  The room is quite boring otherwise and pictures don’t take up too much space in your luggage.

For each village, you can choose to live with 2, 4, 6, or 8 people.  The village you choose will determine whether you have an ensuite bathroom or not.  All of the villages have the perks depending on who you are.  For example, if you like to workout, Kilmurry is right next to the Sport Arena.

Kitchen and Living Room:

The kitchen is fairly small, which I quickly learned when three of us all tried to cook dinner at the same time.  With that being said, it has the basic necessities: stove, oven, utensils, dishes, etc.  The one thing that is not included is a microwave.  One of my Irish roommates ended up bringing one, but it’s not too hard to survive without one.  Bags for the trash and recycling are available at reception.  The fridge and freezer are also small for six of us to share, so I find myself trying to buy pantry items and saving fridge space for produce.  I do recommend getting a sharp knife or two as we did not have one and an extra frying pan is always helpful.  I have also found that a roll of tin foil has helped me save time on clean up when cooking.

The living room has two sofas, a giant bean bag, and a dining room table.  There is a television, but there are not many channels to choose from.  One of my roommates actually brought a PS4 so we use that to stream Netflix.  It is a lovely space to hang out with your roommates and friends.

Roommates:

I live in a six-person apartment.  Three of us are from the United States and the other three are Irish.  I live in a coed apartment (2 guys and 4 girls), but you can choose whether you want to be in a mixed-gender or single-gender apartment.  Having Irish roommates are great when you have any questions or need recommendations of places to eat or shop.  I have become pretty good friends with all of my roommates.  I am even travelling with the other two US guys.

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