Away from home for the first time? Do you think you will be subjected to a nerve-wracking ordeal on your first day of orientation, with no familiar faces around, hearing exotic languages unbeknownst to you before, and feeling out of place and utterly disoriented? Already missing home?
Well, been there, done that. And after 6 months, it seems agesssss ago! Yes, I finally got over the infinite butterflies in my stomach that I had when I first landed in UL, and you will too!
It wouldn’t be that difficult, and in fact you will start having fun once you step out of your comfort zone and start exploring on your own. I was worried about the culture shock that I might face inside as well as outside campus, as I hail from India where I was brought up with a completely different set of cultural norms. Clothes, food, weather, transport, language…how do I go about figuring out things on my own? To be honest, give it time and it will eventually grow on you.
Please do dress up according to the weather! Weather forecasts are pretty accurate, so you get ample time to decide on whether to wear your fleece jacket or get your raincoat out. Owning a pair of runners, along with a pair of stunning boots is worth filling your wardrobe with.
Heaven for meat lovers! In-campus restaurants like Stables, Scholars, Paddocks and Pavilion offer mouth-watering scrumptious dishes, and healthy, but tasty options for vegetarians as well. There are several other eat-outs as well such as Eden Restaurant, River Bistro, University Arena Sports Club, Café Noir, Plaza Café, Red Raisin, Café Allegro, Cube Café, Café Verde, Café Aroma, Spar and Costa. My favorite is the Tuesday’s Farmer’s Market offering variety of cuisines to tickle your taste buds.
Limerick definitely has bipolar weather! But you will get to enjoy pure moments of joy in any weather, be it the little bit of sunshine, the racy winds, the light pitter-patter of rain, the chills or the epic awesomeness of seeing a rainbow painted across the sky! Be prepared for all facets of nature!
There are majorly eight transport modes in Limerick, with buses being the most preferred mode of transport, much much cheaper than cabs!
The buses that are widely used are Dublin coach and Bus Eireann. Hop on 304 or 304A which stops at Stables and takes you directly to the City, or even 307 or 308, which will stop at City albeit through a longer route. One of the firsts to do in Ireland is to get your Student Leap Card done which will help you in traveling at a discounted price.
But don’t be afraid to explore the other options as well:
1) Cycling can help you reach faster for those early morning classes, or even keep you fit. There are a couple of stores in the City selling second-hand or brand new bikes, like Halfords’s near City East Plaza.
2) Trains, though slower, offer you slightly cheaper tickets as compared to buses, along with breathtaking view of Ireland’s countryside.
3) Walking! As frustrating as it might sound, it’s a pleasure at times to walk around Limerick, especially along the meandering Shannon River. With footpaths and walking trails sprawled all over the City, it’s safe to walk on them and you will always have a chance to run into quite a few furry friends!
And the most important advice
Be yourself and try engaging with everyone around you!
UL is a huge assemblage of people from different cultures, ethnicity, background, race etc etc, and all under one roof!
Talk to different people, learn about countries you would rather not get a chance to visit than never heard before, try eating food that might look different but fascinating, learn different languages, and celebrate unusual festivals. Because if not UL, then where else 😊