by Sandra Namirembe Nantumbwe
For many, the idea of studying abroad conjures hopes of new experiences, new memories, new friends and possibly a new language. But what is a typical day like when you get there? How much free time do you have to explore your new city? What are the classes like? Will the experience live up to expectations and be worth it?
Why I decided to study abroad in Ireland.
When I finished my undergraduate degree in Public Health in South Africa, I wanted to broaden my academic experience in a new perspective of health. After researching different countries, I fell in love with Ireland due to its academic reputation, the openness of the education system, the work opportunities after the program, research opportunities and the culture. I am now a MSc in Public Health student who absolutely loves the course for its teaching methods, diversity of colleagues and vast amount of knowledge and skills that can be applied.
What is a typical academic day and week like for you? How busy is your schedule?
My course is mostly online with physical workshop weeks every six weeks. While many may think this schedule would not be as demanding, I assure you, we are made very occupied with the daily lessons, reading materials, assignments and weekly quizzes. Despite the busy schedule, I would encourage you to make good friends to keep you motivated and focused.
Challenges of being a new international student
It always seems that postgraduate students have everything under control but trust me, I am still learning where most of the rooms and buildings are on campus, learning how to effectively use Microsoft Teams, sieving the important emails out of the thousands daily,how to use the buses, applying for part-time jobs and above all good time management. While it takes more time trying to figure everything out by yourself, it has been so helpful learning about the resources the university has on helping students’ transition and fit in. For example, LevUL-up courses, First Seven Weeks Instagram posts and the resources at the Glucksman Library. I have made the most of these and even found the time to do group aerobics sessions at the gym!
P.S. Does one really get used to the weather?