Why I chose to study at the University of Limerick

By Kayley Hardiman, 2nd year Journalism and New Media

kayleyI decided to study the Journalism and New Media at UL because of the opportunities that existed here that weren’t anywhere else. The main things that attracted me to the course were the co-op and Erasmus in third year which I have yet to do.

Journalism students have a full year off campus in third year to gain experience in the working world and build up our portfolios for future prospective employers. The opportunity to do Erasmus and work placement did not exist anywhere apart from UL so it had to be number one on my CAO form. Erasmus enables us to live and study abroad for a semester learning more about the culture, history and people of a completely different country. We also get the chance to see how a similar degree is taught abroad and can learn from journalism students on the course. Of course, if you’re unsure about heading off abroad for 6 months you can always study in England or Scotland which are only a stone’s throw away.

We get to study an elective as part of the course too which is similar to a specialism that we will have for our working career. The options include English Literature, Sociology, History, Languages, Economics, Politics and Public Admin and Law. So, there is something to entice every kind of student. I chose Spanish for my elective as I am interested in going to Barcelona for my Erasmus which marries my love of Journalism and Spanish all in one even when I am not at UL.

Studying a language can provide you with more options when you consider where you would like to study abroad because it can be difficult to study in a different country when you don’t speak their native language. This means that I am confident enough that if I do study in Spain I will have a good understanding of the language and have the ability to talk to the locals.

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My adventure of a lifetime

By Muireann Murtagh

Despite the long journey that divides my two homes (I’m from Longford), 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.

This time four years ago, I was preparing for a journey to UL for one of the open days. My parents, who met at UL and who had brought me here on previous journeys to Limerick, drove down with me one Saturday morning in October. My first impression was, “Wow, it’s really brown.” My second impression was simply, “Wow.” We walked around campus, we attended some course talks, I collected a prospectus and a few information leaflets, and I looked around at the people who were my potential classmates and friends. I was far too shy to speak to anyone. No-one from my school was even considering coming to UL. Nevertheless, the course was perfect, the university was beautiful, and the city was cosy – what more could I want?

Then, I didn’t even know all the other wonderful things about UL and Limerick. It took a few weeks to settle in, but the things that helped me were such small, simple little actions. I started going for coffee with people from my course, who turned into my best friends. I joined a host of clubs and societies, and the people I met there turned into more wonderful friends. I pushed myself to venture outside my comfort zone – and soon enough I was wearing a onesie outside the library, in the middle of the day, standing with two fellow International Society committee members who were dressed as animals, and we were offering free hugs to students in order to encourage them to vote in the student referendum. Soon, I was seeing faces I recognised and remembering names. In a matter of weeks, UL changed from a university into a community, and I loved it.

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Morning mist on the Shannon, seen from the Living Bridge

My year abroad was an incredible adventure, full of travelling and exploring. I became an honorary Parisienne and Salamantina, walked every inch of Paris and tried as many varieties of macaron that I could, fell in love with the cobbled streets and living history of Salamanca, and promptly infuriated my friends and family with stories that started “When I was in Paris/Salamanca/Toledo/Madrid/Frankfurt/Berlin/Milan…” (Warning alert here – if you’re going on Erasmus, it’ll happen to you! I ended up telling people that I couldn’t help it if I had had an amazing year, and sorry-not-sorry for telling cool stories.

UL is awesome, I’m so incredibly glad that I came here, and if you do… you’re in for the adventures of a lifetime.

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.

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!

Choosing languages at UL

By Róisín Leo

It’s hard to believe that two years ago I was wondering the same questions as many sixth years are wondering now, ‘Where to go to college?’, ‘What course to study?’, ‘What points do I need?’ and most importantly ‘When’s the next night out?’.

When I was filling in my CAO from the of 15 I had decided I was going to study medicine, after many years volunteering with the Limerick Red Cross I was sure that was what I wanted. Then sixth year came and I realised I absolutely hated studying with a passion. I really loved French for my leaving cert, it was one of the few subjects where studying didn’t actually feel like studying so I decided to study languages.

For those of you that don’t know how college works instead of subjects you study modules. So I study five modules- French, Spanish, German, French Literature and Language Technology. Do I love my course? Yes. Is my course hard? YES. My advice to people confused about what to do in college is do what you love and don’t think about the future, if you don’t like your course you’re not going to stay with it for four years in the hope that you will enjoy the job after.

I have to admit although I have my problems with U.L. (like standing for 15 mins waiting to use this computer) it is actually a great college.  Accommodation is a lot easier to find here than in Dublin, Cork or Galway and the campus is beautiful. One of the main reasons I would recommend U.L. to incoming students is the fact that on Thursday I am going for an interview to work in Hamburg for six months on co-op. Co-op is basically work experience during college to make it easier to get a job when you have your degree.

Untitled design (10)My name is Róisín Leo, I am a second year student in Applied Languages in UL and hopefully these blog posts will help you to make a decision on what to study next year.