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STUDENT LIFE IN IRELAND

Image result for student life in irelandIreland is an increasingly popular destination for student from all over the world. The friendliness and hospitality for which Irish people are renowned ,must have been the factor that contributed to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life and in particular, the student  life. Around 10% of students in higher institution in Ireland are from overseas and over Eighty (80) countries are represented in the international student population. The very good thing about this is that students are welcome from different parts of the world irrespective of their continent. China,Malaysia,France,USA,Nigeria,Botswana,Ethiopia,Uganda,Pakistan,Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Serbia, Germany, Peru, Congo, Cameroon to mention but a few are some of the countries in this partnership. For a student to get into Ireland you have to get a visa from the Irish embassy of your home country. This visa will only read study visa and with it you have only three months to stay in Ireland after which between  these three months you have go and  register at the Immigration and get a certificate card inform of  identity  popularly known in Ireland as “Garda National Immigration Bureau” (GNIB) Card. Having got this card you are now entitles to stay in Ireland for just one year. If your study is more than a year you have to renew this card every year. This card is only to be given if you have been able to prove that you have sufficient money in your account as a student, a valid international passport, your student I.D card, a proof that you have been insured either privately or by your scholarship sponsors and you will pay the sum of one hundred and fifty (150) Euros. After this you are free to move around the city and to do some other necessary registration. For instance, if you want to work you can only be employed by any organisation with your Personal public service (PPS) Number. This will be issued to you by the Department of Social and Family Affairs after they have demanded for your “GNIB” card and your international passport. Students are only permitted to engage in casual employment for up to 20 hours per week during school terms and up to 40 hours per week during school holidays. If you are from African countries and you want to travel within your years of studies to any country you have to send your passport to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to request for multiple visa as the initial visa issued to you will only be on a single journey .You will have to submit your passport and your “GNIB” card again and you will pay the sum of one hundred (100) Euros for it. But student from Botswana, the European countries and some parts of Asia like Malaysia are exempted from this.

HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN IRELAND

There are nine (9) universities in Ireland – 2 in Northern Ireland and 7 in the Republic. The University of Dublin, Trinity College (TCD), founded in 1592, is the oldest university in Ireland. The National University of Higher institution in Ireland consists of the universities (with associated colleges of education), institutes of technology, and a number of private independent colleges. The universities and institutes of technology are autonomous and self-governing, but are substantially state-funded.

Ireland (NUI) is a federal institute consisting of four constituent universities; University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Dublin; University College Cork, National University of Ireland Cork; National University of Ireland Galway and National University of Ireland Maynooth. NUI also has three recognised colleges: National College of Art and Design (NCAD), The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and St. Angela’s College of Education. The two newest Universities in Ireland are: The University of Limerick (UL) and Dublin City University (DCU) which were founded in 1989. The two universities in Northern Ireland are: the University of Ulster (UU) and the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB). There are currently 14 Institutes of Technology located throughout the Republic offering programmes at degree, national diploma and national certificate levels in a wide variety of subjects. Their qualifications are externally validated by Ireland’s national certification authority, which ensures that their qualifications reach the highest international standards. Many of the Institutes of Technology also run postgraduate diploma and degree programmes, both taught and research. There are five Colleges of Education for primary school teachers. These colleges offer three year full time courses leading to a B.Ed degree which is the recognised qualification for primary school teaching.

STUDENT LIFE

Generally life in Ireland as a student is relatively interesting depending on the type of Area and type of person you are. To get started you can get a Student accommodation as low as fifty (50) Euros per week and as high as one hundred and fifty (150) Euros per week depending on where you choose to stay. Also the means of transportation ranges from Bus, car to train but if you are travelling across the state flight are also available. Out of all these the buses are the cheapest. The buses are just one Euro Sixty cent (1.60) within the city and you can easily get them in the city centres .Taxi cab are also available but they may be expensive a little bit for a student as some of them charge per km. To enjoy your studentship more when travelling you can try to get your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) issued by (UNESCO) in conjunction with the ISIC Association. You will get this by paying only thirteen (13) Euros with your recent passport, as this will allow you to benefit from some discount given to travelling students internationally. In terms of shopping there are many places to do this if you really want relatively cheap food items you will visit the like of ALDI ,LIDL, Tesco, Supervalu, English market  and so on. For some designers you may check these shops out: Brown Thomas, River Island, Timberland, T.K Max and Debenhams. Michael Guiney’s and Penny’s are good for some beddings and household materials while you can easily get your electronics like computer, Radio sets, Television sets, clippers, wall clock, camera and so on in  Argos, Sony centre, Expert and P.C. world. Finally if you are the flexi type you can go to pubs to enjoy yourself or buy some wines in places like Hillbilly’s with the Acronym (Buy one get one free).It is good for you to also target the time of sales or promos in shops like Michael Guiney’s and penny’s as you will be saving a lot of money during these periods.

ACADEMIC FACILITIES

The structure of all the institutions in Ireland is wonderful and all the facilities needed in a higher institution are provided such as a big library, computer centres, resource room, and administrative blocks. Virtually all the lecture theatres are spacious and have a power point projector that makes it easy for the lecturers to deliver their messages and for the student to enjoy the lecture condition. Lecturers bring the photocopy of what they have in the slide so as to make it more understandable when lecturing. Academic in all Ireland Institution are okay. Irrespective of the institution you choose you will enjoy your studies there, provided you are ready to study and work hard because there is no room for laziness and student are not allow to be idle, as essay and assignments are given to student at interval with a deadline for submission of which if you failed to meet you have to face the consequences. But one good thing is that all the lecturers in all the institutions are very good, knowledgeable, approachable and ever ready to assist and give you the necessary support if you are not feeling shy. Likewise the students in all the schools are ready to work with you because a lot of international students are there for you to share experience with and some of the Irish students have also travelled out of the country and have some ideas and experience of other cultures.

CAMPUS LIFE: The student union of each institution also organised their own welcome party for the new student and they offer some necessary information that will make the life in campus conducive for the entire student especially the international students. They will give you a welcome pack which will contain some writing materials and your calendar or wall planner for the academic session. Orientation week and some party weeks will be organised for you as well. There are some societies in the campus that you can join depending on your interest. It is good to join one or two societies so as for you to be able to utilize your talent and make yourself relaxed. Some students also organised class party but not in all cases.

I WISH YOU A HAPPY STAY IN YOUR NEW INSTITUTION

Malaysian students in Ireland join the #ATileForSeville campaign.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of receiving a group of Malay students, medicine and pharmacy, in their fourth year of studies in Ireland. From the Seville Mosque Foundation we wanted to thank them publicly for their effort and generosity.

These students since they knew about the #ATileForSeville campaign, from Ukhwah for Ummah, where more than 15,000 people have contributed until this day, so these students decided to make their own fundraising campaign for the Islamic Cultural Center, Mosque and Awqaf of Seville , among students and friends in Ireland.

Our sincere thanks to all of them for their initiative and to all who have contributed to this campaign. Gestures like this are, without a doubt, an example and a joy for all of us. With this effort and with every grain of sand, as is the motto of our campaign ’tile by tile’, we will achieve the goal that we long for and desire. Insha Al-lah.

 

WHAT MAKES IRELAND A GREAT STUDY DESTINATION

If you are looking for a new experience and great education, consider Ireland. Merette Kennedy delves into the reasons that make this country a great international study destination.

You’re thinking of studying abroad. You want to experience education in a different culture and challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. You will find many options to study in the US, UK, Canada, UAE, and now Ireland on SchoolApply. We encourage you to find the destination and school that is the right fit for you. I however found my perfect fit with Ireland and am here to tell you why this country is such an incredible international study destination.

Why Ireland?

International study in Ireland is a constantly growing franchise. Ireland’s Minister of Education, Richard Bruton, has embarked on a proactive mission to welcome even more international students by the year 2020. He believes in the quality of education in Ireland and has been overseeing the active increase in international enrollment in the past five years. He, along with many educational institutions around the country, believe things will only get better.

I have to agree.

I studied at the University of Limerick in Ireland for a semester in my undergraduate year of college. During this time, I fell so in love with the Irish culture, education system, people and rolling green hills, that I decided to later return for my postgraduate degree at the very same university.

My experience as an undergraduate was not the only reason I returned for a postgraduate degree. Tuition fees in Ireland, considering the level of education and the stature of the universities, are quite affordable. Even for a non-EU student, such as myself, the cost was still much lower than any university within my home country – the US. Add in the bonus of experiencing life abroad and my decision was made.

Low cost, quality education, a beautiful campus and a chance to experience a new culture and education in a different country; a no brainer in my book!

Finding the Right Fit for You

SchoolApply can introduce you to a plethora of top quality universities around Ireland. Some of these schools include National College of Ireland, Mary Immaculate College, Dublin International Foundation College, Cork Institute of Technology, IT Carlow and Trinity College.

Three of these colleges are located in Dublin. This endearing city offers an endless amount of historical tours, nightlife, sports, music and entertainment. A wonderful spot for those who like to be kept busy.

Trinity College is a campus I have personally seen many times. A beautiful adage of old buildings located close to the city centre, which ensures its global reputation will stay intact for a long time to come. Trinity proudly offers programs in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Engineering, Maths and Sciences, and boasts famous alumni such as author Oscar Wilde.

National College of Ireland and the Dublin International Foundation College are also located in the country’s capital city. Both offer programs in Business and Management and much more. If you see yourself wanting to study in the bustling and cultural city of Dublin, these colleges may be a perfect fit for you.

Colleges outside of Dublin offer a great new vantage point of the country, Mary Immaculate College being one of them. Located just outside the historic city of Limerick, Mary Immaculate offers wonderful programs in Education and Humanities and prides itself in being a top quality liberal arts college. The campus has grown significantly over the past ten years or so, offering state of the art amenities for their students. I have visited this campus many times as well, and the vibe is welcoming and relaxed. The location is prime as it is near an international airport as well as the lovely River Shannon. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience Ireland’s quaint and personal side.

IT Carlow is another great college that offers a thriving town scene and is only an hours drive from Dublin. This institute of technology offers many courses such as Engineering and Science, Business, and Computing. Carlow offers the perfect blend of a small town life while never being far from city life and adventure.

Cork Institute of Technology also offers a wide range of programs with a strong emphasis on Engineering and Sciences. It offers programs in Music, Art and Design. This historic school located in Ireland’s second largest city, Cork, has over 12,000 students and offers an authentic west coast vibe. Public transportation is incredibly convenient and makes it easy for students to explore the beauty of the west coast and all it has to offer.

Education in Ireland

Ireland has an umbrella group called ‘Education in Ireland’ that promotes Ireland as a study destination and supports all of its international students. They do this by attending fairs around the world, with the objective of connecting with international students. Representatives from colleges across Ireland promote their universities and attract an array of students with their broad spectrum of programs.

‘Education in Ireland’ also has an extremely convenient website for students about to embark on their first excursion to the country. This site gives details about obtaining health insurance, registering with police, opening your bank account and details on working while studying. All of these extremely helpful tips make the relationship between Ireland and its international counterparts easy and manageable, leaving room for the exciting prospect of study abroad.

Working While Studying in Ireland

A lot of students need financial guidance throughout their academic terms. ‘Education in Ireland’ tries to make the process of working and studying as easy as possible for international students. Registered students, EU and Non-EU, can work up to 20 hours per week and 40 hours during holiday periods.

I was one of those students. I took up part time work at a shop called O’Brien’s Fine Wines, where I worked for a maximum of 20 hours per week. This was a massive help in keeping myself afloat, and not having to write home every week in a panic. I also really enjoyed supporting myself, forming relationships with my coworkers and getting a break from studying!

Shops, grocery stores and pubs are well suited for students as they offer flexible hours allowing you to balance your student life. If you are worried about having lower funds than you intended when setting off on your international adventure, worry not! Working part time is a viable and easy option. Most universities guide students in their job hunting which is extremely helpful. From my experience, I felt like I had guidance and support whenever I needed it.

To sum it up, lower college tuition, quality education and facilities, easy and accessible public transportation, gorgeous scenery, cities, culture, music and great people; these are all the elements that intertwine in making Ireland an amazing choice for studying abroad.

 Image result for experiencing ireland while studying

Top Reasons for Malaysians to Study in Ireland

Many students give up on their dreams to study abroad, especially in Europe due to the rising costs, both in terms of tuition fees and daily expenditure. The exchange rate that continues to see-saw creatures another stumbling block. But there is indeed hope for those who still want to get there. How, you may ask? Well, welcome to Ireland. There are many reasons why this would be the perfect tertiary destination for you, so do read on and decide for yourself.
C.K. Chiau, or as he likes to be called, CK, has more than 15 years of experience in helping students decide on their futures. Now, heading his very own team at Education in Ireland, with the blessing of the Irish government themselves, he tells us the top reasons why every Malaysian should consider studying there.

Why study in Ireland?


Why should you study in Ireland? Well, CK has multiple reasons, and some of which may stun you.

No Visa Required for Malaysian Students to Study in Ireland

Yup, that’s right. No complicated and mind numbing visa processes to follow. No expensive fees to be paid to receive the aforementioned visa. No visa, period. Utter bliss.

Fast Track Route to a Degree

While Ireland accepts almost all pre-u programmes from Malaysia, including STPM, matriculation and some local diploma programmes, they have their very own unique foundation programme, which takes just 9 months. Catered for students who have just completed their SPM and are looking for the fastest pre-u course available, the Foundation in Ireland has intakes as early as January. For those of you who wonder if you will have to wait for your real SPM results to release to apply, fret not! The programme accepts forecast results as well. Through this fast track route, upon completion, students can enrol in the Degree programme immediately during the September intake, making sure no time is wasted.

Credit Transfer Courses

Malaysian Diploma graduates with a good CGPA, can proceed to Ireland to their 3rd year of Degree studies, a highly sought after option if cost is the biggest issue in deciding whether to study overseas. Education in Ireland has an arrangement in place with TAR UC, as direct transfer with mapping of course syllabus with Irish Institutions been done. Diplomas from other colleges are of course subject to assessment and review by the respective universities. So, if you did the math, as an example (We used Accounting here):
2 years Diploma + 9 months Ireland Degree = Graduate with Accounting Degree with ACCA 9 paper exemptions.

Similar Requirements

While different universities and different courses would obviously have varying requirements, the general rule of thumb is:
SPM: 5 credits
A-Levels: 2 Credit Passes
STPM: 2 Credit Passes
Matriculation: Accepted but varies with university and course

Courses Fully in English

Courses in Ireland are all in ENGLISH. No need to learn a separate language to receive the perks that others do. If you do indeed WANT to learn a new language, then they make take up courses offered there such as International Business with different languages on offer such as Italian, German, Spanish and so on.

Reasonable Cost

As they use the Euro, the government universities are still subsidised. The actual cost after all those subsidies? Starting from roughly RM40,000 a year, which is a bargain in any European country. With scholarships (many of which are offered to Malaysian students), it could go down to RM30,000 a year, which is reminiscent of fees at local universities. Of course, if you choose to study abroad, then there are other costs to keep in mind. The estimated cost of living is RM2,000 – RM2,500 per month, which equates to around RM30,000 per year (including meals), which comes up to a grand total of RM70,000 a year in total.

Convenient Accommodation

Remember the RM70,000 we calculated above. Well, that could potentially do down even lower, due to the fact that accommodation in Ireland is extremely close to the institutions. There is a variety of on-campus and off-campus accommodations that are all within walking distance that help students save on transportation fees. To top it off, Dundalk Institute of Technology, which is extremely close to Dublin and the Institute of Technology Tralee, offers FREE accommodation for the full 3 years of study to Malaysians.

Stay Back Policy

Ireland have a stay back policy for all international students who complete their studies there. For students who graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree, they’re given a full year to look for a secure a job so they may stay on and work in Ireland upon graduation. For Master’s students? They get a two full years to do the same.

Good Post-Graduation Opportunities

CK also noted how many Malaysians who have gone to the Ireland have been hired by MNCs due to their existing command of more than one language. To top it off, many MNCs are now putting up cloud server facilities in Ireland due to the conducive weather, not being too hot or cold, which bodes well for both the economy and the chances of taking advantage of the stay back policy. Besides tech giants like Google and Facebook setting up shop there, Ireland is home to 9 out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world. Suffice to say, you’ll be spoiled for choice when searching for interviews post-graduation.

Safe

Ireland is also noted to be very safe, being on an island. “Policemen there don’t ever carry a gun because of how safe it is,” says CK. On top of that, being a rather smaller place, with less to do, students are more compelled to concentrate on their studies.

Scholarships

Institutions in Ireland offer scholarships, ranging from 25% to 50% off tuition fees (depending offer by respective institution and course applied). Please contact Education in Ireland for more info on scholarships offered by Irish institutions.

 

3 SCHOLARSHIPS IN IRELAND FOR MALAYSIAN STUDENTS

Ireland

Costs for Malaysians to study abroad in Ireland can be considerably high especially for science subjects. Luckily there are a number of scholarship and funding options available. Read our breakdown of three key scholarships to help kick start your study in Ireland.

 

Funding Bodies

Irish Government

The Irish government awards a quota of scholarships to international students each year that are given directly by your host institution or awarded in partnership with another body. These awards are granted based on academic merit and welcome applications from students across a range of study areas and degree levels.

 

Host institution

Almost all Irish universities have a number of scholarship options for international and local students enrolled in one of their study programmes. Sometimes, these are awarded in relation to another body, such as the Irish government or an organisation that is focused on a specific study area or skill set. Students are advised to consult their host university for potential funding options as generally they will be tailored to your needs.

 

External

You have the option to search for funding from an external company or funding body. This type of funding is more subject-specific.

 

Go onto online scholarship search engines such as Scholarship Times and Scholarships 4 Development. Otherwise, search for a company directly and see on their website whether they have funding options for international students.

 

Scholarships

Government of Ireland and Enterprise Partnership Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme

Awarded by the Irish Research Council, this award seeks to encourage innovative Postgraduate research undertaken in Ireland. Full time Masters and Doctorate research students from any country studying in any discipline at any Irish higher education institution are eligible.  Click here to find out more.

 

Government of Ireland Scholarships

Awarded annually, this scholarship is open to international students to cover the final year of Bachelor study or one year of a research based Masters or Doctorate programme. Students from any Irish institution are eligible and can be enrolled in any study field. Funds are awarded based on academic merit.

 

The scholarship is normally valued at €10,000 per year, covering living expenses, student costs and tuition fees. You can apply directly to your host institution.

 

Make Your Work Experience count At myexperience.ie

Institute of Technology Sligo, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LyIT) have launched the My Experience RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) Assessment Toolkit.Image result for student experience in IT SLIGO

This is a new college application tool that recognises learning gained through life and work experiences that enables advanced entry to third level programmes. The Connacht-Ulster Alliance partners (CUA), who are seeking re-designation as Technology University, have also developed an open online course for higher education staff in Ireland to develop their understanding of Recognising Prior Learning (RPL) and assessing applicants.

The toolkit includes an information website and an online RPL application tool for candidates looking for access or advanced entry to a higher education programme. In addition, a free open online course has been developed for Higher Education staff seeking professional development in RPL assessment skills and supporting RPL applicants effectively (http://cpd.learnonline.ie/).

In January 2016, the CU Alliance was awarded 49,000 euro from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching to deliver a 6 month project on RPL development. GMIT is leading this project with partners IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT. This project involved developing the open online educational course, further technical enhancements to the CUA RPL online application tool and sharing the My Experience RPL assessment toolkit with staff in the CUA, Waterford IT and DCU.

Project manager, Dr Carina Ginty, says “The need to develop the My Experience RPL Toolkit arises from a number of factors including the fact that lifelong learning participation rate is just 7.3% in Ireland compared to the EU average of 10.5%. With regards to the employed sector, it is just 6% participation in Ireland, compared to the EU average of 11%. Therefore, there is great potential to promote RPL pathways to higher education among the experienced workforce in Ireland that are seeking to upskill and gain a formal qualification”.

“Further challenges identified, include the lack of awareness that Recognising Prior Learning (RPL) actually exists or candidates are unsure how to build a portfolio of evidence. Our RPL toolkit helps address these issues and it will create more opportunities for mature learners to gain advanced entry to a programme at GMIT, IT Sligo and LyIT.”

As a result of the National Forum funding, DCU and WIT signed up to gain access to the My Experience RPL Toolkit to activate it in their own institute. Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) clinics on the My Experience RPL Toolkit will run in GMIT, IT Sligo, WIT and DCU for staff from March 14th-16th.

Candidates who are interested in applying for advanced entry to a programme at GMIT, IT Sligo and LyIT are encouraged to visit the website at myexperience.ie and seek advice from the institute on making an application through the My Experience online tool. Some recent student success stories who completed the My Experience application tool include Lucy Bracken from GMIT and Alan Lowe from IT Sligo.

IT Sligo Student, Alan Lowe, explains “While I did not meet the standard entry criteria for an online programme at IT Sligo, I was made aware of the www.myexperience.ie website and experiential learning could form part of a successful application. So I reflected on my membership of numerous professional and trade association committees and regular attendance at conferences and seminars and I realised I had developed knowledge and skills associated with a Level 8 Civil Engineering degree. This enabled me to gain advanced entry to the Level 9, Certificate in Road Maintenance Engineering and Network Management programme at IT Sligo.”

 

Malaysia to Ireland: Choosing IT Carlow

Malaysia to Ireland: Choosing IT Carlow

Hashvieney is from Malaysia and currently studying Aircraft Engineering at IT Carlow and her experience as a study abroad student has been life-changing. Discover how she made her decision and how she felt when she arrived…

When I first started thinking about furthering my studies I never could have imagined I would end up in Ireland. Leaving home to seek a new adventure can be a scary prospect especially if you are like me and have never travelled overseas alone. I told myself, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I couldn’t have been more right when it came to choosing a study abroad destination. Ireland has been a fantastic experience so far and one that’ll I’ll never regret!

Ireland ticked all my boxes and the Institute of Technology Carlow was my first choice. IT Carlow has become part of an international network of just 10 education providers worldwide involved in the newly-launched Air Transport and Aeronautics Education and Research Association.

it’s normal to be apprehensive about studying abroad and there are many Malaysian students studying here in Institute of Technology Carlow sharing similar experiences. Before I arrived here, I wondered how I would adapt and if I would like the country, the people and the city. Coming from a tropical country, I wondered how I would manage the cold weather and worried about understanding my classes and achieving good grades. I had so many questions and despite repeating “you’ve got this” to myself there was still a tiny voice in the back of my head saying “do you really?!”.

It was quite a challenge to choose the right country for me that met my academic needs. My destination demands included an English-speaking country with friendly people, a reputation of excellence in education and without doubt a place that would offer the opportunity to travel around easily!

Travelling abroad… it’s about pushing your limits and venturing beyond your comfort zone, gaining new experience and adventures. It’s about learning and finding yourself.

Ireland ticked all the boxes on my list and the Institute of Technology Carlow was my first choice. IT Carlow has become part of an international network of just 10 education providers worldwide involved in the newly-launched Air Transport and Aeronautics Education and Research Association. The college also has opened a €5.5m aerospace facility earlier this year. What more could I ask for? It’s a huge honour for me to be a part of this organisation.

Arriving a week before the start of my semester was terrifying. My first few days were really hard. I struggled to understanding the Irish accent (they talk really fast and even admit it themselves!). Getting the know a new city, culture, grade scales and coming to terms with assignments, group work, managing monthly expenses and brand new technical terms – you can only imagine how tough all this was for me.

Luckily I had a few people helping me out and I received an especially warm welcome from the International department at IT Carlow and my lecturers. The staff here were incredibly helpful and their friendliness is, for me, one of the best things about studying here. The IT Carlow orientation events were also a great way to meet other international students.

Studying in Ireland will be an educational experience I’ll always treasure.

And yes it got easier! My life in Ireland is now fantastic. It took me some time to reach this point, but I am happy and confident here. IT Carlow offers a wide range of courses and I have the opportunity to learn different modules that widen the scope for my career in the future. With the reasonable cost of living, I have the opportunity to travel across Europe during my free time. Studying in Ireland also gives me the chance to meet new friends from across the world and learn new languages.

Travelling abroad is not as tough it sounds, it’s about pushing your limits and venturing beyond your comfort zone, gaining new experience and adventures. It’s about learning and finding yourself. It has made me more responsible and mature when it comes to decision-making. Studying in Ireland will be an educational experience I’ll always treasure.

CIT Students Come Together To Create and Innovate in Southampton, England

A group of students from CIT have just returned from Southampton, England after taking part in an innovative programme aimed at encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship among students from a range of disciplines.

Entitled ‘European Creative Futures’, this Intensive Programme was hosted by the Southampton Solent University to bring together students from five European countries with the aim of promoting business acumen and entrepreneurial know how among students intending to pursue careers in the creative industries.

This week long programme of intensive study and practical learning allowed 40 students to share experiences, points of view and learn together about entrepreneurship in the creative fields.

The thirteen CIT students, hailing from the Bishopstown campus, the CIT Crawford College of Art and Design and the CIT Cork School of Music, came from a wide range of courses of study including Public Relations, Fine Art, Multimedia, Agriculture, Music, Journalism, Business Information Systems and Business. They were joined by 27 students from similar backgrounds from Finland, Norway, UK and the Netherlands for the programme.
From the outset, the students worked in small multi-discipline, multinational groups generating business ideas with a view to developing new products and services in the creative industries sector. Students learned by doing through a series of interactive lectures, group discussions and workshops and live case assignment.

Some business ideas established in the limited time frame included: Safeaty- a smartphone app that reads the ingredients on food packaging to translate language and terminology such as E-numbers; Pocket Sunshine – a spray that produces healthy substitutes to energy drinks and shots; Bioall- a biofuel company that distributes biofuel which comes from algae; Skill IT – a smartphone that app that allows users to exchange and trade talents or skills they may have; Create – an attribute search engine  that allows creative people to design their portfolio and Self brand; The Box – A haven of escapism away from the outside world. It is a place to relax and release stress. The Box is a soundproof space with relaxing environment.

Students were joined by staff members Gerard O’Donovan, Faculty of Business and Humanities; Emmett Coffey and Frank O’ Donovan, Department of Media Communications, CIT; and Dr Breda Kenny, Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence, CIT

Ensuring it wasn’t all work, the UK hosts organised a full schedule of social and cultural activities for the students which included a ‘Music Night ‘, ‘Diner Pensant’ and a trip to ‘Sea City’ Museum where the Titanic Southampton experience was enjoyed by all.

“It was a very positive experience for students that focused on learning by doing through workshops and assignments. The programme took them out of their comfort zone and gave them an understanding of their own creative capacity, working in an international team and the opportunities of collaborating with others across Europe in the future to start enterprises and build clusters” said Gerard O’Donovan, Head of Faculty of Business and Humanities, CIT.


Standing (L-R) Gerard O Donovan, Head of Faculty of Business and Humanities, CIT, CIT Students: Amber Kaier, Stephanie Ernst, Gerard McCarthy, Lorna Gardiner, Jack Dee, Louise Guiney, Gerard Horgan, Alexis Bannerman, Stephen Quirke, Emmett Coffey, Department of Media Communications, CIT.
Front Row (L-R) – Will Tomao, Brian Twomey, Diarmuid O’Callaghan and Sean Cronin.

Alexis Bannerman, Fine Art Student and Brian Twomey, Business Administration Student enjoying the team building event.

ECF students getting ready for their final presentations.

Louise Guiney, Journalism Student, CIT receives her ECF Graduation Certificate from Nick Long and Bob Burke, Southampton Solent University.

(L-R) ECF Students: Brian Twomey, Amber Kaier, Minh Hieu Doan, Andrius Rekasius and Gerard Horgan.

UCD President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities 2017

UCD President’s Awards Recipients 2017

Gach bliain tugann Dámhachtainí an Uachtaráin aitheantas do na mic léinn sin a bhaineann an scoth amach in imeachtaí seach-churaclaim, imeachtaí a chinntíonn gur áit spleodrach, shuimiúil, dhinimiciúil agus dhaonnúil é UCD le cónaí ann agus le hobair agus staidéar ann chomh maith. Iarrtar ar fhoireann agus ar mhic léinn UCD iarrthóirí a ainmniú le haghaidh na ndámhachtainí sin.

The President’s Awards each year provide recognition for those students who excel in extracurricular activities of a kind that make UCD an exciting, interesting, dynamic and humane place to live, study and work. Staff and students at UCD are invited to nominate candidates for these awards.


Eithne Dodd‘s long running contribution to student life and her incredible dedication and organisational skills have contributed hugely to the smooth running and success of anything she has been involved with. Most notably Eithne has been part of the rejuvenated LitSoc committee which has been turned around into an incredibly diverse and active student society, which ultimately culminated in it winning small society of the year and publication of the year at last year’s Society of the Year Awards. Eithne was key to this achievement and was in charge of the winning Caveat Lector publication. She is a writer and then two-time section editor for the University Observer.

Aoife Doyle was auditor of FilmSoc, one of the largest societies on campus, and impressed with her dedication, commitment and generosity of her time and self to the society. Events such as the film festival week and the various social occasions were a fantastic way for students of all areas to get involved with college life and provided a platform for the film society to continue encouraging inclusiveness and embracing students of all backgrounds.

Tiarnán Fallon Verbruggen is an Ad Astra Performance scholar and has taken part in several performances with the Ad Astra Academy. He has worked tirelessly for many years to uphold a high standard of acting and set design with Dramsoc. He has won an Irish Student Drama Association Award for Set Design and has been nominated in the same competition for Acting. Tiarnán has designed the set for two Leaving Cert Shows, the biggest show of the Dramsoc calendar, which is attended by over a thousand Leaving Certificate students each year.

Tiarnán is currently the auditor of the Pediatric Society and has successfully run several Teddy Bear Hospital events, which aim to make medical experiences less daunting for children by teaching children to perform examinations and procedures on their teddy bears.

James Green, while Auditor for the Law Society revolutionised it in two key ways. The first is that he made it successful at debating. It was he who revitalised LawSoc to the extent that it is now the dominant debating force in UCD.

Before James’ year it was common for debates to attract less than 15 observers a week. He packed out Theatre L numerous times by bring in new and exciting guests, changing how debates were advertised and picking incredible topics.

During the 2015 year James became the auditor of the UCD Law Society and turned a society that in the past had plainly not reached its full potential into the society of the year in an ethical, responsible, and professional manner.

This academic year as welfare officer of the UCD branch of SVP he has been in contact with those most in need in the local area. Further, as a central committee member he had been involved in the running of the events of the society.

Cian Leahy is a Medical student and, despite his demanding course, he has been a leading example to anyone who wishes to get involved in society life. As treasurer of the 160th session of the L&H in 2014/15 he made a conscious effort to make debating more accessible, and to include and train freshers. Furthermore, he has represented the university on an international stage to a great degree of success.

From soup runs, to house debates, to DramSoc freshers projects, Cian is a familiar face to so many on campus.

Aside from debating, Cian has been heavily involved in the charity side of UCD societies for the duration of his time here. In 2015/16 he served as SVP‘s first Social Justice officer. In this role he succeeded in mobilising a group of interested members by organising regular meetings to highlight the problems that surround us. Additionally Cian has volunteered with UCDVO on two occasions.

Eoin Mac Lachlan In addition to his successes representing UCD as a competitive debater (European Semi-Finalist 2016, Irish Times Champion 2015) Eoin served as auditor of the Literary & Historical Society in 2014/2015, one of the more successful recent years seen by the society, all while maintaining academic excellence as an Ad Astra Scholar and recipient of the Butterworths Prize and Fordham Law Summer School Scholarship.

Eoin went above and beyond in service and leadership, epitomising the best values of UCD in his founding of the Outreach debating programme. Outreach seeks to develop communication and public speaking skills amongst disadvantaged students in DEIS Schools through debate, giving a voice to some of the most vulnerable students in Ireland. In its first year, 2013, Outreach reached 130 such schools, with that number now doubled. By helping these students find their voices, and facilitating them in expressing their points of view, thoughts and feelings, Eoin and Outreach have made a real difference.

Clíodhna Ní Chéileachair is one of the most successful UCD competitive debaters in recent history, and in all her successes (Irish Times, International Mace Champion, European Semi-Finalist) she has always represented UCD impeccably and enthusiastically at home and abroad. Further, she has inspired a generation of new UCD students to take up debating in her role as UCD’s debating coach, with these new recruits cutting a swathe through the debating circuit Novice competitions. Her commitment to supporting other speakers in their personal development and competitive success, as well as her talents as a debater and her drive for self-improvement have been recognised at home and abroad. She has been appointed coach of the Irish World Schools debating team for secondary school students, served as a judge of the World Universities Debating Final 2017 in the Netherlands, and as a training Consultant for the European Champtionship 2018 in Scotland. Through all this, she has kept up an intensely high standard of academic achievement, starting as a UCD Academic Entrance Scholar in 2012 and receiving a Stage 4 Scholarship in 2016. Clíodhna is an object example of committment and dedication in all aspects of her UCD life.

Ciara Wallace From the very start of her time in UCD, Ciara became involved in extracurricular activities which she cared deeply about. Her interest in social justice extends far beyond her course and in first year she joined UCD SVP Society, becoming a dedicated volunteer on weekly soup runs. From there she became a soup run rep, a committee member and is current auditor of the society. As auditor, Ciara has brought her enthusiasm and energy to every aspect of committee work. She is especially encouraging of new committee members and volunteers.

As a class rep, Ciara has shown dedication to improving UCD life for all students as well as leadership and support to her class. Her selection to sit on the Finance committee this year is a result of that dedication.

Ciara was PRO on the committee of the Economics Society which had a very successful year. Continuing her interest in global affairs and leadership, Ciara took part in the Model United Nations in New York with Lawsoc. She also volunteered with UCD access centre’s student tutoring grinds as well as with L&H outreach. Through her generosity with time and talents, Ciara has made a very valuable contribution to UCD life.

Philip Weldon is creative, hard-working, resourceful, dedicated and a brilliant leader. He has done marvellous work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ Society during his time as auditor. He is unbelievably committed, and focuses an amazing amount of time and effort on ensuring the society is performing to the best of its abilities. He cares very deeply about improving the quality of student life for LGBTQ+ students and is constantly working towards that goal. He has turned around the LGBTQ+ Society and with, Philip as auditor, the society is working with the UN on their Free & Equal campaign and hosting a ball. In one week the society hosted seven events varying from coffee mornings, to movie screenings, to a favourite ‘Coming Out Story Night’. The society is collaborating with the SU for Rainbow Week and Seachtain na Gaeilge, and has worked with PleaseTalk, GLEN, ShoutOut, Enterprise (Rent a car) and Arthur Cox and more.

Philip juggles his role as auditor of one of UCD’s most active societies with his masters and his job in H&M. He never says no to a challenge and will see it through to the end. He is extremely dedicated and no doubt carry on with strength until the end of the year.

 

EXPERIENCING TRINITY AS AN AMERICAN – 5 Year’s Time: From 1st Visiting Trinity to My Graduation

Eli is one of our US students who is in her fourth year in Trinity.  Here she lets us know about her experience of moving to Ireland to study at Trinity. 

The first time I ever set foot in Trinity was November of 2012. It was Thanksgiving break of my senior year in high school and I convinced my family to fly half way around the world with me for what I knew would be a very important college visit.

The moment I walked through the front gate of college I was sold. There’s something magical about strolling in from the loud bustling street into the dark tunnel of front gate. Those big wooden doors transport you into another world, a bright imposing and enduring oasis. After over 400 years of change, so much remains remarkably the same at Trinity. The history really drew me in.

We got a tour from an American girl with an Irish accent who had just started her third year here and spent the hour singing its praises. Her stories and reassurances really made me confident that if she could do it so could I.

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I met for coffee with a member of the Global Relations Office and a lecturer from the Political Science Department. They both made me feel important, like I was welcome and wanted at Trinity. That feeling, I’m happy to say, has never gone away. As I was leaving campus I wondered if walking down those cobblestone paths between the old stone buildings would feel just as magical if I was there every day. Five years later the magic still hasn’t worn off.

Almost a year later, in September of 2013, I showed up for my first day of college. The whole first week was a blur. Meeting tons of new people with names I couldn’t pronounce. Joining a million clubs and societies unsure of what I even liked to do. Trying to translate Irish slang. Struggling to cook dinner for myself for the first time. Drinking gallons of tea with my new housemates in Trinity Halls and talking incessantly about what life in Ireland is really like. Everyone was friendly and amazingly welcoming. I can’t appreciate enough how kind and inclusive everyone in this country is. It’s so easy to feel at home here, even amongst strangers.

The entire first year I was so busy making friends, going to balls, trying to understand the weather, having dinner parties, traveling, and panicking over exams, before realising they weren’t really that bad, to stop and think about being homesick or scared. When I went home for the summer I couldn’t wait to come back.

Throughout the next two years I settled into life in Ireland and travelled a ton, taking advantage of Ireland’s amazing sites and proximity to Europe’s most iconic destinations.

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I got a job in the Trinity Global Room giving tours and helping other international students. I moved out of Trinity Halls and rented a house with friends. I put my head down and studied more than ever before for the Schols exams and ended up spending my first Christmas away from home.

I became so much more independent, something I think a lot of American college students miss out on. One of the things I appreciate the most about Trinity is the fact that they don’t coddle you. It’s on you to study, to show up for classes, to find accommodation and to ask for help if you need it. The support services at Trinity are second to none, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to take advantage of them and to push yourself to succeed. While it was intimidating at the time, now that I’m finishing up my time here I feel so confident that I can go out into the real world and take initiative. I think this is a big reason so many entrepreneurs come out of Trinity. Going to Trinity taught me how to push myself and to earn everything I accomplish.

Photo 9 (Grafton St) I’m in the second semester of my final year now, trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. Only now looking back, I realise how much I’ve learned, both in and out of the classroom, in the years since I first set foot in Front Square. I’ve gained a global perspective, friends from all over the world, a masters level undergraduate degree, a new home and confidence in who I am. These four years have been the best years of my life. While there have definitely been hard times and some tears and homesickness along the way, I know I’ve grown so much from my time here. I’ve decided I want to stay in Ireland after college is over. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to leave. My experience here at Trinity has changed my life for the better and I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

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In November of 2017, I’ll be walking through the front gates again, this time to graduate. Five years ago, going to college at Trinity was my dream. I’ve been so lucky that that dream became a reality. While it’ll be hard to say goodbye, I’m happy to know the time I’ve spent here will be a part of me forever.

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