Things that surprised me coming to Ireland as an international student from Germany.

By Anna Sophie Nowatski

In this blog, German Erasmus student Anna talks about getting used to the Irish way of doing things – the relaxed attitude to time, the amount of walking on campus, and how we like to show endearment.

 Moving to an unfamiliar country can be challenging and full of surprising situations. Of course, this is completely independent from how comfortable you are during your stay. That was the case for me, I was very well welcomed and quickly felt at home in Ireland. Nevertheless, I can still notice differences that surprise me in comparison to my German habits. So, if you come to Ireland as a German student, be prepared for:

  1. Delays,

Regardless of if it is public transportation or meetings. If you want to go somewhere by bus, do not freak out if they do not arrive on time. This applies to the Dublin coach, national buses, and especially for the city buses in Limerick, the scheduled times change often. From time to time, these bus rides also don’t take place at all. The Irish are a relaxed people where it comes to time, they don’t generally stress as much as other Europeans about punctuality. the Same applies for meetings with friends or work groups. If you get a text from an Irish person, saying they will be 10 minutes late, they will probably be there 20 minutes afterwards. So, don’t assume German over-punctuality and don’t get stressed if you are running late yourself sometimes. People are remarkably understanding and relaxed but as said, also very flexible looking at the time.

  1. Walking.

For most students studying at UL, unless you want to buy a car for your here in Limerick, you will collect many steps during your stay. The campus is very well connected, and you will quickly find your way around here. Besides walking, you can also buy a bike, but it is not a requirement. You can reach everything by foot within 20 minutes on campus and since there are also paths with stairs and shortcuts included, biking is not always noticeably faster. There are many beautiful places to explore on campus and you will pass them while walking. Enjoy the view on your strolls, you can see some of them on the pictures. Just sometimes take an umbrella with you.

(Editors note: Always bring an umbrella!)

  1. Honeys and Sweeties (and not in terms of candy)

Whether it is talking to Irish waiters, the village receptionists or kind, local baristas at the milk market, for a hello or a goodbye, a term of endearment is often used here. So don’t be confused if you are greeted with “Hi Love “, or “Hello Sweetie!”, no flirting is implied.

P.S you can also expect a lot of irony and sarcasm from the Irish. Thus, do not take everything serious and face the people with good humour. The Irish love to make fun – It’s something you will realize very quickly!

 As you can see, nothing serious to worry about an no insurmountable problems. Just little things and a few facts that cause less wonder or confusion if you know about them beforehand!


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