“This has been an incredible and memorable experience that I will gladly keep in my archives.”

Erasmus + ICM student, Godson Annipah, takes us through his time at UL, and explains what he is getting up to now while he remains in Ireland for the summer.

My name is Godson Annipah from University of Cape Coast, Ghana. I am an Erasmus+ ICM student studying nursing here. I was completely exhilarated to be given the opportunity to study in Ireland for a semester. I was filled with joy because it was my first time to travel outside my country, and also my first ride miles up in the air. I was welcomed with quite extreme cold weather compared to my home country in the Tropics of Africa. However, the beautiful sceneries stole my focus and compensated for the extreme temperatures. The university has grand, artistic and aesthetically pleasing buildings. One thing I love about the university is the display of brilliant artworks on campus and across the hallways.

I experienced a different academic system that embraces a self-directed approach. This involves reading articles and writing essays. It provided me the opportunity to enhance my ability to think and communicate my academic voice. Also, it fosters extensive reading which broadened my scope on the known and unknown about specific subject areas. The simple method I adopted that helped me was being attentive in class, noting relevant information, and reading more on the topic.

I really didn’t travel outside of Limerick, I planned on that during the last month of my stay. However, it was quite unfortunate I couldn’t make it happen because of the Corona Pandemic. Despite that, I visited the Limerick City Centre a couple of times. There are a lot of stores and shops to meet various needs. My favorite places I always visited were Penneys, Milk market, and African Market.

When the university went on lockdown, I wasn’t too alarmed because I had a feeling it was going to occur. However, I felt sad because I would miss so much such as friends, class engagement, physical learning environment, and the library. During the first few weeks, everything seemed to be moving fast. The university and its various bodies provided maximum support through emails to help us adapt to the situation. The lecturers also contributed immensely to making lectures convenient.

One major problem was self-motivation to carry out assignments. I was easily derailed by my social media engagement. However, I was able to survive and adapt because I constructed a time table to manage my time and activities. I always spread the assignment into parts to be completed at a specific time. I also balanced academics and play to keep my body active. As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Again “a sound mind is in a sound body”, so I do a few push-ups a day and go for a short stroll to feel the breeze of the outside.   

I had amazing roomies with whom I shared this amazing experience. We lived more like a family, sharing interesting facts about ourselves and cultures. We organized game nights, movie nights and dinners. The dinner involved cooking food from our respective cultures filling the room with the aroma of several countries.

Currently, when the semester came to an end with the possibility of no academic activities, there was likelihood of boredom. However, I have my fellow Ghanaian friends and I am working on a project with Dr Claire O’Donnell and Dr Kathleen Markey, my nursing academic coordinators which will keep me engaged while adding to my skills and knowledge. I will be spending the summer here since my flights have been cancelled and also my home country has placed all airports in lockdown due to the Corona pandemic. However, I will use this opportunity to build myself and improve my art skills, as well as working on the project with the school of nursing. This has been an incredible and memorable experience that I will gladly keep in my archives.

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