Student Testimonail – Umit Sahin

In this student testimonial, Masters student Umit highlights the key aspects and advantages of student living in Ireland as an international student. From the immaculate reputation of UL to life experiences in a new country, Umit details it all.

I found UL through my program, I’m in a joint-degree master’s program called the “Master’s of Erasmus Mundus in Psychology of Global Mobility, Inclusion and Diversity in Society” in short Global MINDS. I know it sounds a bit fancy but we’re just studying social and cultural psychology. This program is offered by four different universities in four different countries (Ireland, Portugal, Norway, Poland). There are three paths one can do and I chose to do Portugal and Ireland. I started my master’s in Lisbon five months ago, and here I am happily in Limerick now.

I decided on doing Portugal and Ireland since the courses that are being offered in this path suited me better than the others. Also, as a non-European student, knowing the fact of getting a post-graduate work permit visa once I finish this program was one of the contributors too and it gave me a secure feeling. I wanted to feel integrated in a country where I was doing my masters, and Ireland gave me that. Perhaps it might be that there isn’t much of a language barrier for me here since I am comfortable in my English skills, whereas I have no Portuguese knowledge. So, overall speaking Ireland seemed like a good option both career wise and living wise.

UL is a high ranked university and it’s ranked higher than all of the Turkish universities out there. This also makes me feel very accomplished and academically satisfied.

While applying for the program, I didn’t have any support from an agency. I did everything by myself, gathered the correct information and provided the expected documents etc. So, it was kind of hard to do it while finishing my bachelor’s, but it wasn’t something not manageable. I survived and I’m glad I did everything to be here.

I like the academic life here, I finally feel like a master’s student. I even chose Limerick over Lisbon to finish my master’s because academically speaking I feel better here. I feel like the student support is a high priority in UL which shows in every step I’m taking here and I really appreciate it. They are very solution-oriented and you can get support in anything you need.

Housing in Ireland can be expensive but I have the feeling supermarkets here are cheaper than the supermarkets in Turkey. Overall, Ireland is relatively expensive but compared to Turkey, everywhere is expensive now. I’m very privileged in this sense and I cannot take that for granted. However, despite the economic aspect of it, the outcome will be worth it for sure! An amazing welcoming country with beautiful landscapes combined with good quality education, what more could you ask for?

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