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.

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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.

 

Making friends at University

By Jane Vaughan

 Making friends at college was probably one of my biggest worries coming into to college. I was so nervous walking in by the flag poles on the day of orientation but looking back I need not have worried.

The key thing about making friends is in your orientation group, this group is filled with about 10/15 people who are all in your course, you spend the day being shown the campus together by your guide. I met some of my best friends on orientation day. After the day was finished we all exchanged numbers and decided on a place to meet on the following Monday, for our first day of college. We were all afraid of getting lost but once you’re in a group at least if you get lost, you all get lost together.

Being a part of two very popular subjects can make it had to find out who is actually is your course so me and two of my friends (from my orientation group) decided to make a Facebook group for our course and one by one we eventually began to know who was in our course. Year by year you get a lot more closer to those in your course.

Tutorial groups are also a very good way of making friends as a lot of the time you get put into even smaller groups for team work. You are meant to go to the same tutorial group every week so it’s no harm in befriending people so ye can all help each other out with readings and work.

If you are willing to make friends in college you will have no problem doing so as everyone else around you wants to do the same thing.

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Jane Vaughan is in her fourth year studying English and History at the University of Limerick. She is 22 and from Limerick. You can read her personal blog here  and follow her on Twitter at @_PaulaJane. Here she talks about making friends at UL.

How my time on Erasmus made me feel more independent

By Anna Henderson

A mandatory part of BA New Media and English is the opportunity to study abroad for a semester/academic year in another university under Erasmus +. Erasmus is an EU funded programme that allows 200,000 students study abroad every year. UL is one of over 240 European Universities in the Erasmus network and hundreds of UL students every year take part in this programme.

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I was initially very nervous about the whole Erasmus experience. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to study or if I would enjoy moving to another country for a few months. After visiting Manchester on a weekend break I had fallen in love with the atmosphere of the city and the friendliness of the locals reminded me of home. I was delighted to see that the University of Salford was one of UL’s partner universities.

I chose the university based on their connection with MediaCityUK and their offerings of modules. Although England is so close to Ireland, I was still moving country and it was a daunting task. Two other UL students were also offered places at the University of Salford so none of us were completely on our own.

Manchester is a bustling, lively city with something to do for everyone.

  • Football matches at Old Trafford/The Etihad.
  • Shopping in the Arndale and Trafford Centre.
  • Beautiful restaurants and pubs along the many side streets.
  • Showbiz gossip at the Coronation St Tour.
  • Stunning European style Christmas markets that run right from the end of November through til the end of December.

I was also lucky enough to visit LiverpoolBlackpool and Birmingham during my time there.

The University of Salford itself made their incoming Erasmus students feel very welcome, and to make the most of my Erasmus experience I picked modules that were very different to those offered in UL. ‘The Test of Evil’ in particular was a standout module. We examined three high-profile cases of serial killers in the locality, and even  had a field trip to the local cemetery where some of the victims had been buried. While some of the content was very challenging, it was great to be able to experience different teaching methods to what I was used to. I also had the chance to take a Children’s Literature module that involved studying books such as Winnie the Pooh and an in-depth analysis of Harry Potter.

MediaCityUK is associated with the University of Salford, and this is where some BBC and ITV studios are located. We even got to be audience members for the filming of Celebrity Mastermind 2015 which was an excellent experience.

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I’m very glad that UL has such high emphasis on the Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus is a mandatory element for my course and I’m grateful for this. Had it been optional I’m not sure I would have taken part and would have missed my favourite part of the degree programme so far, and has helped me shape my future as I plan to move back to Manchester after I graduate. Erasmus is a excellent opportunity to become independent, get used to new ways of living as well as making friends all over the world. Erasmus is offered as part of most UL courses and I couldn’t recommend it enough. You’ll never know what’s out there until you try it!

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Anna Henderson is a 4th year New Media & English student at the University of Limerick. Here she writes about her Erasmus experience at the University of Salford in Manchester.

 

Erasmus: an experience for the faint-hearted!

By Lyndsey Hall

Hey everyone! My name is Lyndsey, and I’m a Masters student here in UL, studying Comparative Literature and Cultural studies (it’s a mouthful!). I started this Masters immediately after my undergrad degree, which I also did in UL. So clearly, I love this university, but another major factor in my decision to stay in UL is my very real fear of change! So for this blog post, I’m going to write about my experience of Erasmus, from the point of view of someone who was absolutely terrified of leaving UL. If the idea of Erasmus is daunting for you, then hopefully I can alleviate some of your worries, because the truth is, Erasmus was one of the happiest times of my life and definitely on the best things I’ve ever done.

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Like I said, I was none too thrilled about the prospect of heading off to another university, let alone another country. For this reason, I chose to stay close to home when choosing my destination, so for that reason my top three choices comprised of universities in the UK. I ended up putting Leeds Beckett University as my first choice based on student reports from previous years, so I would definitely recommend taking a look at these when making your decision. Honestly, I was very nervous about going, even though I was heading off with a good friend of mine for company, and we would be linking up with two other girls from UL when we got there. However, pretty much the minute I arrived there I knew I was at home. Erasmus is an amazing opportunity to spend some time in a new and exciting city. It’s a chance to put your studies in the back seat for a little while (they are still important!) and just focus on life experience. College for me in Leeds were certainly not heavy duty, and I only had classes on Monday and Tuesday, so the rest of the week was spent travelling to nearby cities, taking in everything Leeds had to offer and just enjoying my new home. I truly did not want to leave when the semester was up; even some tears were shed! I felt like the three months had absolutely flown by. When I first arrived, I put up my calendar on the wall thinking I would be counting down the days until I got to go home, but in no time at all, I was watching the weeks slip away with mounting sadness!

However, coming back to UL for the next semester was amazing, and there was definitely a much happier feeling in the air, as my fellow students and I were totally refreshed and ready to continue our degree in UL having all had the time of our lives for the past 3 months.

So if you are a home bird who is a bit nervous about the prospect of Erasmus, I’m here to tell you not to worry and that you should believe everyone who tells you that Erasmus is one of the best opportunities UL has to offer, and you will count yourself lucky you had the chance to do it!

Good luck guys!

lyndsey-hall

My name is Lyndsey, and I’m a Masters student here in UL, studying Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (it’s a mouthful!). I started this Masters immediately after my undergrad degree, which I also did in UL. So clearly, I love this university!

My time at UL

By Fay Langley

99089315-76f8-433e-9f54-e0dee2501c43-991-000000e2a72b0b25Well, hello there! My name is Fay and I come from a little Gaeltacht island , the most southern part of Ireland called Cape Clear (Oileáin Chléire) in Co.Cork and THANKFULLY I survived the leaving cert blues last year and made it to UL to study my dream course: Applied Languages! I’m studying Irish, French and beginners Spanish along with Irish literature.

I must admit that I didn’t exactly know what to expect before I came to UL but honestly, UL has exceeded all my expectations. The wide range of clubs and societies, volunteering opportunities to the madness of randomness around campus of people dressed up in Onesys ( how does one even spell that?? Who knows?) is only a few things to name that UL has to offer!

I honestly never felt nervous about starting in UL because I firmly believed college life was what I’d been waiting for all my life ( well 19 years of my life, that is!) And although it sounds quite bizarre but I couldn’t wait to cook my own meals !! Although I’ve had to become considerably independent in various ways such as never having the mother wake me up for those godforsaken 9am starts and of course, the one thing I’ve learned I’ve taken for granted all my life, buying toilet paper.

My time in UL has been a blast so far and I’ve made countless friends for life already!

Slán go fóilin!