Leaving UL

I am writing this blog, knowing that I am going to leave UL and Ireland soon. The past two semesters were the best time of my life. In honor of this amazing experience and my time in UL, I want to give you a recap of my Erasmus journey and the time I spend in Ireland.

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University of Limerick – UL

UL was the most welcoming place I have ever been to. The international office did an amazing job to make sure that we have all the information and support needed to study at UL. After this introduction I had an amazing time at UL. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect about studying in another country, but all the lecturers, tutors, and the fellow students were really nice and helpful if I had questions. The campus is so beautiful and everything is on one place, which makes it easy to walk to lecture halls, get lunch or just hang out with friends.

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Friends

During the whole time at UL I met a lot of Irish and international friends. It really helped with making my whole experience even better. Also it is nice to know that there are similar students who are studying in another country away from home. In addition being part of a club or societies was the best thing ever. At my home university we don’t have things like Clubs & Societies. It is a simple way to meet new people and have a lot of craic. Thanks to my Erasmus experience I now have connections all around the world and many new friends for life.

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Life in Ireland

Ireland is an open and warmhearted country. Of course there are some differences to Germany, but it is also a good way to learn something new about another country and its culture. For example the Irish weather, a good Irish breakfast on a Saturday morning or that the stores are open on a Sunday. My favorite part is that everybody is so polite and helpful and always apologize for everything.

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Adventure – travel

Generally people come to Ireland to travel around and see all the beautiful places. And even though I was here to study I had enough time to travel around a little bit. Also the International Society organized some fun adventures with trips all over Ireland. I enjoyed the wild nature and the beautiful places I’ve been to in Ireland. My favorite trip was the Ring of Kerry. And I know that I have to come back sometime, because there will always be a spot that wants to be discovered.

All in all it was an experience which I will never forget. I learned so much about myself, life and that sometimes you just have to be spontaneous to enjoy the special things in life. Before I say my final goodbye I want to thank all the people I met during my time at UL, the UL Basketball Team, the Trampoline Club, the AHSS Ambassador Program and the International Office for everything they have done for me during this journey. I know that I will miss UL and all my friends. I definitely leave UL with mixed feelings. But I know you always meet twice and I will definitely come back!

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Things I wasn’t expecting about being a student

Being a student I think is a really amazing, exciting and adventurous time. Before I was a student at a university I had pictures in my head of how it might be. Since I’m in university for my second year now, I can tell you that there are things I wasn’t expecting about being a student. I don’t mean something bad with it. There were and are good and bad unexpected things.

Freedom

You can do whatever you want. You are responsible for your time at university and the rest of your life. This is so awesome. It gives you the freedom to plan your day, activities and more.

Learning a lot

You learn so much while being a student. Not only have I learned something about my studies, but more importantly about life and myself. Every day shows me what I am capable of and what my strengths are. This is a really great time to figure out what you can do and what you can work on. Maybe you are thinking that you could never live alone and work the whole household. Let’s see, you might be really impressed what you are capable of.

Going grocery shopping

Going grocery shopping is harder than it sounds. Before I was a student I could always ask my parents if I could take their car. Now that I don’t have a car, I have to walk and carry everything with me. Sounds like I’m weakly, but carrying around a backpack with all your groceries plus a six-pack of 1.5l water, is like working out at a gym. So sometimes I wish that it would be easier to go grocery shopping.

Living away from home/family/friends

Moving into a new city (or sometimes country) is a big challenge. Some people really miss their family and others miss hanging out with friends. I think this depends on your personality. I’m fine with living away from home, because I know that it is a great opportunity to meet new friends. But I am also really excited to go home on some weekends and see family and friends.

 

All in all being a student is an amazing experience you wouldn’t want to miss. And I think a big part of being a student is to cope with all these new situations. So don’t freak out and just try your best! There are other students with similar uncertainties and it is up to you how you cope with it.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

Tips and advice for new students at UL

By Nadine Kimak

Sometimes your life can be a lot easier if you get a tip or advice from someone. Especially as a new student at UL. That’s why I thought about a couple of tips and advice and maybe I can help you solve a problem or answer a question.

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  1. Just ask!

If you are not sure where to go, where your room is located, where the next restaurant is or anything else. Just ask!

People at UL are mostly really nice and helpful. They will tell you where to go or help you use the printer. If you just ask a student or person you see on campus, they will probably help you. And most of the time there will always be someone around campus. So don’t be shy.

  1. Look at the website

If you have specific question you can try the UL website or the website for the Students Union.

On these websites you will find details about your studies, Clubs & Societies and so much more. Just open the website and have a look. It might be really helpful.

  1. Join a Club or Society

You are new on campus and you want to find some other students with similar interests?

Just join a Club or Society. There are over 70 active Clubs & Societies at UL such as Athletics, Basketball, Krav Maga, Rowing, WindSports, Anime and Manga, Dance UL, Games, International Society and many more.

When you join a Club or Society it is guaranteed that you will meet new people and have a lot of fun.

  1. Find your balance

I know that your studies always have priority and that’s right. But in my opinion a good balance between studying and having fun is important, too. Enjoy your life as a student at UL. Go out, meet friends or join a club or society. It is important to sometimes get you mind off of your studies and assignments. This balance will get you a good break and afterwards you can focus even more. But always take a break.

  1. Don’t be frustrated.

I know that UL has a big campus and a lot of different buildings. And especially at the beginning it takes a little bit of time to get used to it. But don’t be too frustrated. With a little bit of practice or guidance in the first couple of weeks you will get the hang of it. Also in the orientation week you will get a campus tour and they tell you about the structure and systems of the buildings.

 

All in all, just enjoy the time at UL. And somehow you will figure everything, with some help or without, doesn’t matter.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

VIDEO: Day in the life of a student at UL

By Nadine Kimak

I have been studying at the University of Limerick for almost one semester now and I wanted to give you a little sneak peak in how a day in the life of a student looks like.

Before you watch it, I just wanted to say that not every day looks like the day I will show you in the video. There will be days, where you have more or less lectures and the same with your free time.

So enjoy the video and I hope you get a great taste of how a day in the life of a student looks like.

Tips on organising assignments and mid-term stress

By Nadine Kimak

During your study period at the University of Limerick you will have to do several assignments, presentations, tests and exams. They are all spread out during your semester. In my case I have to write blogs every second week, three group projects and some essays and exams. Unfortunately a lot of these assignments were scheduled in the mid-term. Last week. That means a lot of stress because you have to go to your lectures, meet with your groups and then work on your essays. But don’t worry, somehow you make everything work.

So I have some tips and advice, which helped me organizing my assignments and getting everything ready on time.

  1. Start early enough.

I know that’s hard and I always have to remind me on that. But it will make your life so much easier. If you have a break between lectures and you don’t know what to do, just sit down and start researching for some assignments.

  1. nadineWrite an assignment plan.

For example, the plan to the left. You can see in which week you have to submit an assignment. The best thing about this plan is that you can cross out the things you already finished. So little by little there will be less assignments on your plan.

  1. Ask for help.

Don’t be scared to ask questions. The lecturers don’t expect you to be perfect and know everything. If you are not sure just ask them. You don’t want to ask them in person? Nor problem, just write an email.

And you can also talk to other students in your module or study program.

  1. Get out of your room.

I know that when you start writing an essay the time flies by and you sit on your laptop for hours. Get out of your room. Walk around your neighborhood, do some sports or just do anything. Because your brain sometimes needs a little break.

 

Ok I don’t want to scare you. It sometimes just sounds a lot. If you start early and take your time, you will not have any stress with your assignments. Just believe in yourself and not put so much pressure on yourself. I had a rough week but I did it. And when I submitted my essays today, I was really proud of myself. And you can do that, too.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

My Erasmus journey at the University of Limerick

By Nadine Kimak

nadineHi my name is Nadine and I’m from Germany. I am studying Social Science and right now I’m doing my 3rd and 4th semester at the University of Limerick.

Every time I meet new people they are really interested in why I chose Ireland and what it is like to be an Erasmus student. Therefore I want to share my story and journey with you.

Let’s start at the beginning. According to my academic studies in Germany I didn’t have to do an Erasmus year. But I could choose to do it. I talked to a lot of people who did an Erasmus and also to a boy who went to the University of Limerick. At the beginning I wasn’t quite sure if I could handle two semesters in another country, with another language in the lectures and a new culture. But I also knew that this was a lifetime opportunity and I didn’t want to blow it. I looked at the website of my home university to find out on which partner universities I could go. When I saw Ireland I knew that this is the one I wanted to go to. I heard so many things about the beautiful Islands, so I applied for the Erasmus spot. Luckily I got the spot and so I packed everything together and came to Ireland.

Landing at the Shannon Airport my first impression was that this is the nicest country I’ve ever been to. Everybody is so polite and offers you help. The orientation week and the first couple weeks just kept getting better and better. And you get to know so many people that it is really easy to fit in. Besides I really enjoy the different lecture and grading system. At first doing everything on English seemed complicated to me. But right now it is harder for me to switch back in German when I am writing an email back home ;).

The best about being a student in Ireland is that you can travel around the island. I know that studying here my priority is on my studies. But joining Clubs and Societies, having fun and going on trips should in my opinion also be a part of the time here at the University of Ireland. Because through that you will meet new people, get to know their culture and make lifelong friends.

So far I enjoyed every second of my journey here in Ireland and I hope that it’s continuing to be GRAND! I wish everybody who wants or has to do an Erasmus semester the best time of their lives.

Here is a short video of my Erasmus journey so fare. I hope you like it.

 

Nadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

Hangry in UL!

By Nadine Kimak

Hangry ??? hangry = a state of anger caused by lack of food; hunger causing a negative change in emotional state

Being hangry is never a good emotional state. But I found it quite funny that there is an actual entry in some dictionaries existing.

Ok a hangry student isn’t good for our environment. And I know that you all have to go to a big change. In school you may had a cafeteria or your parents were cooking for you. Now you are on your own. And I know that this could be a hard time. There are young people who love to cook. That’s grand. And there are some who are not interested or experienced in cooking. Fortunately I love to cook. However I want to help you not to starve or get hangry.

So first of all on the campus you have a lot of places to eat. There are some different types of places for example cafés, pubs or restaurants. So just go there, read the menu and pick your favorite. Because when it comes to food everybody has their own taste. If you just want to have a quick snack or a drink. Fine. You can get that to. Or you can just go to the spar on campus. It will provide you with a ton of groceries and a lot more.

Personally throughout the week my schedule is different on each and every day. So sometimes I have a nice lunch break. But at times I don’t. So what I like to do is bring me a sandwich or snack from home. It is really easy and helps me to survive the day ;).

Another great thing is the Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Tuesday from around 12pm to 5pm in the Students Union Courtyard. There you can find different local food, snacks and so much more. You really have to check that out.

I hope you are not starving right now. If so find yourself around campus and try the amount of possibilities.

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Nadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.

Joining the University of Limerick Wolf Pack

By Nadine Kimak

wolves_1When you are at University your major priorities are your academic studies. But you will not have to invest 24 hours 7 days a week. You will have plenty of time to do whatever you want. Because this is my first year at UL I am so glad that they have a range of Clubs & Societies to choose from. For me the Clubs & Societies are a good way to get to know other students who enjoy the same things as me. You find friends, do things you like and just have a good time.

The only problem for me was the big selection you can choose from. To give you a little insight the UL has about 70 Clubs & Societies (https://ulsu.ie/clubssocs). They have a lot of sports, for example basketball, rugby, karate, athletics, surfing and a lot more. If you are not into sports or workout don’t worry. I know there will be a society that suits you. UL offers drama, dance, tea appreciation, debating, film making and some more.

And now I had to choose the right ones for me. But I can tell you there is now wrong and no right. I looked at some Clubs & Societies which sounded really interesting to me and I just joined them. Because you can quit or even join during the Clubs & Societies during the whole semester. After a little bit of debating with myself I decided to join basketball, surfing and trampoline and I was really excited for the first meetings and training sessions. But I was also a little bit nervous, because I wasn’t sure how intensive and hard the training sessions going to be. Actually all my concerns were for nothing. The coaches are really nice and the training is either on a level everybody can participate or split up in different groups.

I am really thankful for the opportunity to be able to join that many different Clubs & Societies. I get to know really amazing people, learn new sports and qualities and spend my free time in a wise way. But I think the most important thing is that I get to learn about myself and about hidden talents, by trying something new and getting out of my comfort zone.

I recommend you to enjoy your free time while you’re in UL and join a Club or Society. I love it.

There are lots of photos of Clubs and Societies at UL at this link.

nadineNadine is an Erasmus student from Germany. She is studying Social Science in Limerick for two semesters. She loves to work with people, do sports and explore Ireland.