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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My last first day

By Muireann Murtagh

Monday of Week 1 was… weird.  I was busy, which was good.  I had been working with the International Education Division, welcoming new international students the week before, and I was continuing to work at their information desk in week 1 (so far, on Wednesday of Week 1, it’s still going fine!).  I had to be there at 9am so my last first morning was an early one.

Then I had class, followed by coffee-and-chat with one of my best friends, then we were back to class for another few hours.  I returned home for a late lunch and spent some time chatting to my housemates. Another couple of classes meant that my academic day finished at 6pm, which I can already see Future Muireann detesting over the next few weeks.

However, I wasn’t done yet – I had to lead an International Society committee meeting.  I became president before Christmas and since then it has been a hectic whirlwind of planning, organising, and yet more planning, with a little bit of panicking over things that could go wrong added in just to make the whirlwind more interesting.  That took just over another hour.  The meetings are always fun, and there’s always a check list of things to do afterwards, which took up much of my evening.

It was such a long last first day, which meant that I really got to live every moment of it.  Over Christmas, everyone I met asked me what I wanted to do when I left college, and I gave them the usual ‘Oh I’m applying to loads of places’ spiel that we all give to people when we don’t want to break down on their shoulders at the thought of leaving college and having to actually step out into the world.  Honestly, I feel so sad at the thought of leaving UL.  I remember finding my course online in my 5th year of secondary school and reading all about it, and thinking of how amazing it sounded.  I remember going to my first open day and knowing there and then that I loved UL.

I have been saying goodbye to UL since last September, like a guest leaving a house; from ‘Oh, I must be going soon! It’s been three years!’, to ‘I’ll just get my coat.  I can’t believe how much everything has changed!’.  That was last semester.  Now I’m standing in the metaphorical hall, and it is the beginning of the end.  I need to start making my goodbyes – ‘You must come and visit me soon.’ – and send on all my regards to everyone who I’m leaving and who will be hear after me – ‘Mind you do that, and give me a call when you need me.’.

Luckily for me, there’s a few more steps to go before I step out through the door and into May, and freedom that I’d happily forego.  I’m going to savour every millimetre of these last steps on my UL journey.

muireannMy name is Muireann Murtagh, and I am a fourth-year student of Applied Languages. I am 21 and I am from Longford. Despite the long journey that divides my two homes, I am so happy to study in UL. I really enjoy my course, in which I focus on French and Spanish, because it is everything I ever hoped it would be. It has given me the chance to work in Paris and to study in Spain, it has given me amazing friends and incredible memories, it’s challenging and it pushes me to work hard and learn constantly. It’s exactly what I wanted.