Having Survived two Natural Calamities

By Simran Kapur, MA in Journalism, University of Limerick


When I initially packed up my bags for Ireland my mother was extremely worried about the possible weather conditions and kept stuffing my bag with every possible jacket she found lying around.

In the end as you all must have guessed my luggage went leaps and bounds over limit, so I had to sacrifice on a few pairs of jeans but my mum won’t budge about the sweaters, they had to go in regardless. After a few tense moments at the boarding section of the airport, my luggage a few kilos over went in without any difficulty. I’m pretty sure they understood my plight.

However when I landed in the extremely moody weather of Limerick it came as a shock to me at first, cause it was raining in September, quite an odd sight back at home. Of the humid weather and horrible traffic that I hated back home, I at least appreciated our weather being demarcated by seasons throughout the year.

However a few days into my cross-country adventure I realized I should have bought more jackets. Never had I seen the sun out, the winds blowing my head off and sudden drizzles of rain all at once. The weather here had more mood swings than I ever did.

Very soon I’d realize what I had signed up for. With winter almost round the corner we received our first code red weather warning. Now we’ve faced storms as crazy as Aila in Calcutta, but somehow everything becomes extremely scary when the term ‘code red’ is used. So after several concerned texts from my family in London and back home I prepared myself for Ophelia. It started early in the morning, ever so often jolting me awake from sleep. After finally giving on sleep altogether I, like any other student my age, put a few Snapchat updates and glued myself to the telly about the story updates. It turned out to be rather normal, with my flat mates and our frequent movie nights we forgot about the whole thing very soon. The next day updates about the lives lost, really gutted me and made me feel extremely thankful for being sheltered and protected in my student accommodation.

I managed to survive the extended winter spell and was glad for the vacations we had. Stacked up with every possible warm piece of clothing I was rather content with myself.

Very soon, news of storm Emma, ‘The beast from the East’ came knocking on our doors. I had never before seen snow, as you might have read in my previous post so for me it was rather exciting than scary. The university sent out several emails and Facebook reminders and with the store out of bread and milk it was indeed a big deal in Ireland.


For me and my housemates it was an excuse to sneak up behind each other and throw snowballs. To waking each other up with a snowball on the face, we celebrated the festival of colours, Holi in a rather unique fashion. I made my very first snowman, took us two hours but our snowman was a monstrosity at 12 ft high, we were rather proud of that. We broke into snow fights every so often and it was indeed the best four day vacation I had.

The two biggest calamities in Ireland in decades and I was there to witness it, now that is special. My experiences in this country are getting more unique by the day.




My first snowfall

By Simran Kapur


They say experiences build a man’s (in my case a woman’s) personality. When it comes to my adventures in Ireland, I’ve had plenty to keep my family entertained back at home. Although, there was one experience in particular that left me mesmerized.

I come from a very humid and particularly warm part of India. Temperatures from where I come from have barely ever gone down to a single digit. So you can imagine the soaring winds and the ever surprising weather in Ireland made my teeth chatter on more than one occasion.

Walking down the street I’ve seen several women out and about looking extremely pretty in a dress or the occasional skirt. I would however never find the courage to do the same. I feel vulnerable stepping out in just a single layer of clothing, it needs me two pants and three tops to just walk up till Aldi.

One such extremely nail biting teeth chattering morning I heard a persistent knock on my door. I thought if I stayed quiet for long enough, whoever it was would go away. Student life urges you to value the little sleep that you get and I wasn’t going to step out of bed this early on a Saturday morning.

Like I’d hoped, the knocking stopped and whoever that was, left. My inner demon danced to this victory and I turned to check my phone. I was about to check how many likes my new Instagram post had, when a Whatsapp message popped up on my screen: “Wake up you idiot, it’s snowing”.

At that very moment, I instantaneously forgot how cold it was out there. Wearing only the cotton shirt and tracks that I wear to bed, I put on my slippers and nearly fell over twice while running down the stairs. I opened the main door and stepped out to the beautiful snow clad front door. Just to clarify, it wasn’t all white and thick but it was snow nonetheless. Snow that I had never before that very moment seen in my life.


In the most stereotypical way, I put my hand forward to touch the snowflakes. They melted as soon as they touched my warm palm. I cannot describe my happiness at that very moment. To have felt and seen such a sight before my eyes was truly an experience that both mesmerized me and changed my outlook towards life. At the cost of sounding clichéd it is these little moments that one has, that builds their personality. It made me appreciate the life I had and taught me never to take it for granted.


My First Attempt at Surviving Alone

By Simran Kapur, Grad Dip/MA in Journalism, University of Limerick

IMG-20161101-WA0002As soon as I touched down at Shannon from India, I had a weird an unnerving feeling in my stomach. This would be my home for the next one year. I will no longer be guarded by my mother’s love and sheltered in the comfort of my house. I had freedom, yet I had a hoard of other responsibilities that fell down upon me as hard as the rain that night. Scrambling with my luggage I made it to guest house, my first night in Ireland was unbelievable a few hours ago.

The next morning sharp at 11:45 am we set down for the Plassey Student Village, it wasn’t a pleasant walk with having to drag suitcases filled with special treats my mothers had packed for me, uphill. If only I could pack her up and get her along with me, one could only wish.

Walking all that distance with minimum amount of sleep to charge me up I was a miserable wreck at the reception, hoping to speed things up a notch and get to my room. All that effort and immense amount of cardio with the suitcases was all worth it the minute I stepped into my room. In years, that is if you have a sibling, I had a room to myself. I could decorate it any which way I wished to and for heaven’s sake it wasn’t pink to begin with.

Gradually my fellow roommates trickled in and by the end of the day I had a greater problem in hand than the great mathematician, Aryabhatta. I was outnumbered and by a huge deal, seven boys to one girl was not a ratio anyone would expect. Thus began my adventure.

My first day at Limerick and my first attempt at independent living, started out with pouring rain. Yet when we all sat at the common room stuffing our faces with pizzas, this beautiful sense of acceptance washed over me. I had a home away from home, and nobody could take that away from me. I had arrived.

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.

Why Politics and International Relations?

By Ashley Taylor

I am a first-year student at the University of Limerick, currently studying Politics and International Relations. I’m from Northern California, from a town about forty minutes north of San Francisco.

I applied to the University of Limerick because I have always wanted to study outside of the United States. I’m thrilled to be in Ireland, although I was definitely not prepared for the weather. However, after a while, the rain begins to grow on you, and it’s nice to watch rainstorms while I study.

I chose politics and international relations because I have always enjoyed history, but I never really cared for specific dates or actions. Instead, I wanted to know why people made the choices they did, and how those choices affected the world. When I was in high school, I focused more on current events and writing mock legislation. Ultimately, the ability to understand the world and be a part of the events which are taking place in the world drew me to politics.

UL AmbassadorHello, my name is Ashley Taylor, and I am a first-year student at the University of Limerick, currently studying Politics and International Relations. I’m from Northern California, from a town about forty minutes north of San Francisco.

I applied to the University of Limerick because I have always wanted to study outside of the United States. I’m thrilled to be in Ireland, although I was definitely not prepared for the weather. However, after a while, the rain begins to grow on you, and it’s nice to watch rainstorms while I study.