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‘I do not have to hide who I really am in Ireland’

New to the Parish: When a shy young woman moved from Kuala Lumpur to Dublin to study, she had to push herself to socialise beyond her Malaysian circle – and it paid off

 

Frisha Ishak: “Ireland is very far away from home, but when I finished studying my dad said, ‘Don’t come back just yet’. He encouraged me to experience life.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Frisha Ishak has always considered herself a shy person and says she struggles to make new friends. Moving to a city thousands of miles from her home in Kuala Lumpur was a daunting prospect for a young woman who had never lived abroad and did not even know how to cook.

However, upon arriving in Ireland in 2012, she was determined to meet people outside the group of 20 Malaysian students who had also travelled here to study accounting. The 24-year-old built up the courage to join college societies, including the drama group, where she met plenty of Irish people.

“Some of my Malaysian friends didn’t want to branch out and experience the full student culture,” she says. “They stuck to their own, basically. I felt that was a shame, because we were given this great opportunity to travel. I guess I was eager to experience new things.”

She had decided to move to Ireland after an opportunity arose to complete the final year of her accounting degree in Dublin. She had always planned to study medicine but decided to pursue a career in accounting after she received her high-school exam results.

“Medicine was one of those things that’s drilled into you as a kid,” she says. “You’re either going to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer. But when the equivalent of the Leaving Cert results came out, I took one look and realised: you can’t be a doctor, you’re going to be an accountant.”

Despite the initial nerves of leaving her parents and sisters behind in Malaysia, she was excited about studying in Dublin. Her father had lived in Australia as a teenager and always encouraged his youngest daughter to travel abroad and learn about different cultures.

“I was half nervous and half excited, because it felt like my dreams were finally coming true,” she says. “Ever since I was a little girl I had always wanted to travel around the world. I didn’t want to stay in Malaysia forever. I just couldn’t wait to finish school and go to college somewhere else.

“My parents were happy for me. Well, my dad was sad that I didn’t want to go to Australia. But I was like, ‘No, it’s too close.’ ”

Independent living
She spent her first week in a hostel in Temple Bar before finding a place to live. She loved the independence of living abroad.

“My parents were always very strict, but in a good way. They wanted me to focus on my studies, and it paid off in the end. But, growing up, I didn’t do the whole staying out late until the wee hours of the morning thing.”

She was also pleased to learn that the patron saint of her new home had, according to legend, driven all the snakes from Irish shores. “I didn’t know there were no snakes in Ireland and had never heard the legend of St Patrick banishing them until I came here. I thought, This is great because I hate snakes. There are lots of poisonous ones back home. I remember seeing a baby cobra in our living room once.”

After completing her degree, she sat her professional accounting exams and was subsequently offered a job on a graduate programme with the Dublin accounting firm RSM. While many of her fellow Malaysians returned home after their studies, Ishak decided to remain in Ireland.

“Some of the others were really homesick and went home every six months, but I guess I just took on the challenge; it was part of life. Ireland is very far away from home, but when I finished studying my dad did say ‘Don’t come back just yet’. He encouraged me to just live abroad in my 20s and 30s and to experience life.”

Although Ishak made new friends in college, she found it difficult to meet people after completing her studies. When her flatmate suggested she join GirlCrew (a social platform for women to make new friends), she immediately signed up to the Facebook page.

Since joining, she has gone on coffee crawls, seen concerts, visited different parts of Ireland and had chats over numerous cups of tea with women from around the world. Like Ishak, these women have struggled to make friends in a fast-paced society that increasingly favours communication through social media and technology over face-to-face interaction.

“I was very shy at first and didn’t post much on the Facebook group. But over time I went for a few meet-ups and felt more relaxed. The majority are Irish women, but there are other foreign nationals who have moved to Ireland. There’s more than 9,500 of us in Dublin, but there are other groups around the country.

“If there’s 9,500 women, you’re bound to find someone who wants to hang out and do the same thing as you.”

Family trip
She has visited Malaysia twice since moving to Ireland and hopes her family will make the trip to Ireland later this year.

“I’ve been to almost every county in Ireland – Donegal, Sligo, Galway, Cork . . . My sister wants to go to Kerry because of Star Wars and she wants to catch the Northern Lights, so we might go to Donegal as well.”

She feels “more respected” as a woman in her new Irish home. “I’m not saying all of Malaysia views women as second class, but there are people who think we’re not equal, that we should be seen and not heard.”

She also feels a sense of liberation living in a city where her life is no longer dictated by the conservative cultural norms of Malaysia.

“Malaysia is still very much a conservative country, and you have to put up many fronts to be socially accepted,” she says. “Back home you don’t want to be too open about who you are. The one reason I love Ireland is that I do not have to hide who I really am here. ”

Why Study in Ireland (not USA or UK or Australia)?

Trinity College DublinOk so this is my (Adnan Awes) first ever blog on Why Study in Ireland, so I’m not sure how its going to be for the audience, but I’ll try to be as helpful as possible and provide the best information I can.Trinity College Dublin

My personal background: Born and bought up in Dubai, did my schooling there, then intermediate in Hyderabad and then my graduation from Osmania University in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Production.

Currently pursuing my M.Sc. from University College Dublin, in Bio-System Engineering, Sustainable Energy and Green Technology.
Why Study in Ireland?

Ireland is emerging as the “new” preferred country for students to pursue their higher education. There are a various reasons for this.

My reason was , everyone goes to the US, Australia, Canada, UK etc.

I said, I wanted to go to a different place, where no one has gone, where I’ve no friends ( I traveled to Dublin alone, had no friends from India, made a couple on Facebook :P) or family members. My main aim was to be an example to others.

Anyways, to start with, Ireland is voted as the one of the “most friendliest” country in the world. This implies that, unlike the US, Australia, Germany etc, here in Ireland, there are negligible chances that you’ll get bullied. By the word “bully” I mean, there are hardly any instances where you are said “oh ok so you are an Indian” in the most disturbing tone. This literally never happens in Ireland. People are friendly, deep down to the core.

For example, on my second day in Dublin, I lost my way back to the hostel(where I was temporarily staying till I found an accommodation). There was this pregnant lady who was walking 10km to her yoga class (!!) noticed my confused look and approached me to provide help in finding the way back. She walked me to the hostel and left with a smile.

People will help you in all aspects here. Unlike the other countries where there is an obvious tone in the people “I can help you but…”, in Ireland its more like “I’m sorry I can’t but you can do this….” which of course is more pleasing.

More than 100,000 Indian students travel overseas for education every year and around 1,000 of these come to Ireland.

Indian Students have a “strange” mindset about education in other countries apart from USA, UK Australia etc. The first thing you hear from them is “Why Study in Ireland?”
Universities in Ireland

Also, there are about 4 Irish Universities which come under the top 1% universities in the world. This may seem a small figure for most people but it sure is considerable. The list of top universities in Ireland is as below:

  1. Trinity College Dublin (Estd 1595, Oldest University In Ireland With About 17,000 Students)
  2. University College Cork (Estd 1845)
  3. University College Dublin (Estd 1854, 25,000 Students Of Which Over 5,000 Are International Students)
  4. Dublin City University (Estd 1975)
  5. Nui Galway (Estd 1908, 17,000 Students Of Which Over 2,000 Are International Students)
  6. Dublin Institute Of Technology(Estd 1978)

There are various other universities with good recognition and infrastructure. I shall be writing more about each specific university.

Second reason to come to Ireland, is that its a English speaking country and the Irish dialect is very understandable compared to British and Australian English. Indian students will not have much difficulty with adjusting to the language here. More detailed information about education in Ireland coming soon! I hope this helps!

Let me know if you have any questions about Why study in Ireland or other aspects of education in Ireland.

 

MALAYSIAN STUDENT RECOGNISED AS NUMBER 1 IN IRELAND AT MAYOR’S RECEPTION

Ger Long, John Joe O’Farrell, Prof Willie Donnelly, Jeft Tham, Councillor James Tobin, Tom O’Toole and Sinéad Day

Ger Long, John Joe O’Farrell, Prof Willie Donnelly, Jeft Tham, Councillor James Tobin, Tom O’Toole and Sinéad Day

The President of WIT, Prof Willie Donnelly along with the Mayor of Waterford City and County, James Tobin recognised the importance of WIT’s International student community to the City of Waterford, at a reception for International Students, held at the City Hall in Waterford on Thursday 30 April 2015. The purpose of the event was to thank students for choosing WIT and Waterford as the destination for their overseas higher education.

During the night a number of students had their achievements highlighted and received awards in order to thank them for their multiple accolades accumulated throughout the academic year. One student in particular got a special mention by Prof Donnelly, in honour of being crowned ‘USI International Student of the Year’ two weeks previously. According to Prof. Donnelly, Jeft Tham is an extraordinary student. He is seen as an intellect among his friends and lecturers, has a very dynamic personality and without doubt a meticulous event management professional. Both the staff and the entire student community at WIT are fortunate that Jeft came to WIT to complete his Bachelor Degree in Accounting. As Jeft completes his studies this May, I wish him every success in his future career and I hope he keeps in touch with the institute, added Prof Donnelly.

Jeft was competing with international students from Higher Education Institutions all over Ireland for the award and was nominated by one of his Irish classmates at WIT. A Brazilian student from CIT along with a US student from UCC was also nominated for the prestigious award, however, Jeft and Malaysia came out on top. The award is running for the past three years and demonstrates the invaluable support of students’ union across the country for Ireland’s internationalisation agenda.

“As WIT further develops educational and industry links with Malaysia, we hope to attract more students like Jeft to WIT and we are confident that all of our Malaysian Alumni will support our endeavors and act as advocates and ambassadors for both WIT and Waterford City. Malaysia now represents that second largest cohort of self-financing international students at WIT after China.” commented Ms. Sinead Day, International Affairs Manager at WIT.

“Our Malaysian students have contributed significantly to the spirit of the student community at WIT. The majority of our Malaysian students are here for degree top-up; therefore they are only here for 1-2 years. In such a short period of time they have assimilated to the Irish way of life and have managed to forge meaningful relationships with their EU classmates and other international students. Jeft in particular proved himself as a team leader that was instrumental in ensuring the Malaysian Student body was visible across WIT. His vision and methodology for showcasing Malaysian Culture across the campus was quite unique and invigorating to witness. I really enjoyed working on projects with Jeft” commented John Joe O’Farrell, who manages WIT’s relations in Malaysia.

Meet Our Students Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Student

Isa Al Hajri
Bahrain, Medicine

RCSI Bahrain has the reputation of being one of the best medical colleges because it offers the perfect studying atmosphere. It follows the approach of mixing fun with knowledge.

The University’s qualified teaching staff delivers the curriculum content in the most efficient way.

The activities and events organised by the Student Council offers the interaction needed between students to create a healthy environment. These events also provide fun breaks from all the study and stress.

The ‘Homecoming Festival’ was one of the best events organised by the Student Council. It was the first opportunity for the students to mix and break the ice with each other. We made our first friendships that night.

The opening of the Learning Resource Centre is an excellent addition to the campus facilities and offers a quiet and relaxed space to study in.

 

Student

Susmitha S. Aroli
India, Medical

I still remember the very first day that I walked into RCSI Bahrain. I was like the wide eyed new kindergarten student, wonderstruck, amazed and surprised. I’m currently in my fourth year of medicine and to be absolutely honest I had no idea what was waiting for me and to my own disbelief this University never stopped surprising me. Starting with the facilities, the ambience and ever so helpful, kind, caring, talented and vibrant faculty staff, everything about this university never ceases to amaze me.

My professors always make sure I embrace curiosity, think outside the box, explore possibilities and grab every opportunity with no inhibitions and I’m sure this has helped me structure, shape and develop both professionally and personally.

Yes I do agree that life as a medical student is challenging but RCSI Bahrain has helped me in balancing my career along with extracurricular activities and sports, with regular events to help us all come together, relax and unwind.

RCSI Bahrain has made me what I am today – an assertive, strong, courageous and  a curious young woman. I am definitely on my way to making my dreams come true and all thanks to the whole RCSI Bahrain experience.

Student

 

 

Daniel MacManus
Ireland, Medicine

When I heard about the RCSI Bahrain exchange programme I knew that I couldn’t let such a unique opportunity pass me by. Past exchange students and my Arab friends in Dublin had told me amazing stories of their time here and I decided that I wanted to travel to the Middle East. It is true of any experience that you don’t know what you are getting yourself into until you are in the midst of it. Living in Bahrain was no different. I was inspired by the people I met as well as motivated and challenged by the course material. My mind has opened up and I have developed personally and professionally.

The facilities on campus are amazing. I enjoyed my lectures, the interactive teaching methods, the state of the art lecture theatres and the advanced modern design of the campus.
My life has been enriched by my time in RCSI Bahrain. I hope that I am able to return soon to this wonderful University and Country.

Thousands of Students Celebrate Success at NCI’s Annual Graduation

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Last Friday, 18th November, was the annual graduation day for National College of Ireland. Held in the Dublin Convention Centre, 2013 students graduated from 81 qualifications in full and part-time courses in business, computing, psychology, finance, accounting, marketing and HR. Over two ceremonies, 634 undergraduate awards were conferred, and 1369 post–graduate awards, in front of family and friends. Check out the photographs on the NCI Facebook page! 

“Graduation is all about the individual, their experiences, emotions and future opportunities. It’s our chance to congratulate and honour our graduates on their achievements, and to thank their families and friends for their belief, support and confidence. It’s a time to celebrate, to reminisce, to take stock of personal achievements, and to look forward to the excitement of future challenges, success and experiences.” said NCI President, Gina Quin.

It’s also a day of mixed emotions. Pramod Pathak, Dean of the School of Computing, said “Graduation Day is such a happy occasion. It is also an emotional day as we say a fond farewell to our graduating class of 2016. Our door is always open and we look forward to hearing about your future successes.”

Professor Jimmy Hill, NCI’s Vice President and Dean of the School of Business, reminded the graduating class of 2016 that “graduation is not an end but merely the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of the next. Cherish your student experience, cherish the friends that you have made along the way and strive to contribute in whatever way you can to your family, your community and your country.” Read more messages from NCI staff and faculty to the graduating class of 2016.

As part of the ceremony, the former Chair of the Labour Court, and recently appointed Chair of the new Public Service Pay Commission, Kevin Duffy, was honoured by the college. Mr Duffy, who also chairs the expert water charges commission, was conferred with an honorary fellowship for his legacy of achievement and contribution to national industrial relations.

Turlough O’Sullivan, MD of Resolve Ireland and former Director General of IBEC, delivered the citation for Mr Duffy, describing him as a “quintessential Dubliner” and “creative and courageous union leader” who “became the most influential and most knowledgeable interpreter of the law around industrial relations and the world of work…Ultimately he has done an extraordinary service to this state over his very long career. Among his distinguishing characteristics and great qualities was his wonderful judgment. Not only judgment about what terms would settle an intractable dispute at national level but equally importantly his ability to judge when an intervention was timely.”

He congratulated National College of Ireland for being the first to honour Mr Duffy since his retirement, saying this was “particularly appropriate”, given NCI’s origins in the College of Industrial Relations.

Wait, I actually have to study?

Matthew Bowen shares his experience of studying in Ireland at Griffith College Dublin and gives a few pointers on what you can expect…

 

Griffith College DublinIf there is one thing I heard from almost everyone who told me about their study abroad experiences, it’s that while abroad they did very little to no studying. Of course, this made me very excited. Going abroad was basically going to be an extension of summer vacation. Well, I don’t know what was going on in their classrooms, but I can tell you that my experience was much different!

I attended Griffith College Dublin, which is located on the south side of Dublin. It’s a small school full of students from just about every corner of the globe. I met students from France, Malaysia, Nigeria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, South Africa and Japan, among numerous others. Since the world today truly is a global community, this diversity provides you an incredible opportunity to expand your worldview, which will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Griffith College has high expectations for its students. The curriculum is rigorous and students are expected to commit fully to their studies. The class sizes are small which allows students and professors to engage on a one to one basis, and also provides opportunities for classroom interaction.

There are a variety of classes offered at Griffith, from business to journalism to fashion. What really impressed me about Griffith are the professors. Each of my professors either has previous experience in his or her respected field or is still working while teaching. This gives you insight into how what you’re studying in the classroom will translate to the workforce.

However, it’s not all books all the time at Griffith. There is a phenomenal Student Union that organises numerous clubs and activities for students to engage in. One student I know even started his own club. And you certainly could do the same.

The overall structure of the college experience can vary from country to country. Therefore, you need to be prepared that studying in Ireland may be different from what you’re used to back home. To help prepare you here is a brief overview of the differences I noticed during my time in Ireland.

Please note, these are simply my observations and pertain to my experience at Griffith College. I am an American, so these comparisons are based off what I am used to back home. They may or may not apply to your background or the school you attend in Ireland.

  • While you may be told you have to have your classes arranged ahead of time, we were given a week to figure out which courses we wanted to take. So don’t panic about scheduling before you arrive.
  • The courses I had to choose from were much more extensive than the original list of courses given to me by my programme provider.
  • Plan your classes out carefully as the scheduling is not done on a MWF or TTH basis. The classes do not meet at consistent times, causing many to overlap (for example, my marketing course meets at 2:30 PM on Monday and 9:00 AM on Thursday).
  • Where I’m from in the United States our grading scale operates on a ten-point scale from 0 to 100%. The goal is to get a 100% and it is not uncommon to do so. At Griffith, while their grading scale spans from 0 to 100% too, it is rare for a student to make an 80%. Your work is considered publishable if you do. So be prepared to be happy you got a 67% on an assignment, as strange as that seems.
  • Most of my class work consists of one or two assignments and an exam. That’s it. And that’s pretty standard for most of the classes. I personally had no tests, although I do know a few people who had a test in a class. Therefore, it is crucial you do very well on the assignments and the final. Also, attending class is very important since most of your grade is riding on the final exam. You need to be sure you understand the material.
  • The Irish are a bit more relaxed about being on time. I left for my classes about two minutes before they started, and I was still early. If you’re like me and you are a very punctual person, this can be a little frustrating. Just learn to embrace it because it won’t change!

I hope this gives you a better idea of the academic side of studying abroad in Ireland. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Griffith College and I would encourage you to study there as well!

Student life in Waterford

Student life in Waterford

Arindam Pal, a student at Waterford Institute of Technology, has had a rich experience, not only on campus, but in Waterford city. He reveals some of the perks of going to school in this historical spot – from interesting lectures to amazing sports facilities, museums and much more..

Being a student in Waterford has been one of best experiences of my life. Waterford is a beautiful town in the southeast of Ireland. In this town, I’ve done everything from spending evenings in the city square to learning how to play music through one of Waterford Institute of Technology’s music courses.

My days start with a happy maidin mhaith, or “good morning” in Irish, to my friends. Morning classes start at 9am and are actually a lot of fun. My afternoons are either buzzing with bubbly discussions in the student canteen or are spent in the main library. WIT’s Luke Wadding Library is a quiet place for me to study and holds over 200,000 books for students to use. The late afternoon classes sometimes bring great surprises with challenging games or even guest speakers. My days are quite educational in this way. Certain days at school can be fun-filled when we go on college field trips! Classes usually end at 5pm and, at this time, my friends from various departments get together to enjoy the exhilarating WIT sports facilities. There are excellent grass pitches, training areas, indoor games, and a fitness suite. We all get in the team spirit, whether we are playing a game or even watching Irish hurling or Gaelic football matches.

When all the hard work is done, there is still more fun to be had. The Waterford City Square has an excellent choice of shops, malls, and eateries. In particular, there are some great Indian restaurants to try. Usually my friends and I will meet and walk the city square while enjoying beautiful street music and happy people. Sometimes we go to the historical places Waterford has to offer. Reginald’s Tower is a good example where we can view a collection of artefacts and videos from the period of the Vikings. Waterford Crystal, a famous crystal making company is also impressive. The Bishop’s Palace Museum is another that displays treasures from the 17th to 20th centuries. Afterwards, we like to spend quality time in late evening along the boardwalk by River Suir. Sometimes, for stress-busting, we hang out in one of the various city pubs or discotheques. If we want to meet other students, we go to the college Dome bar which is a great place for fun and socializing.

The time from September to December was great for events and holidays. In Waterford, there were celebrations for science week, the harvest festival, Christmas Winterval, and a hot air balloon championship, as well as major holidays like Diwali, Eid, and Christmas.

There’s so much more learning and enjoyment to be had in Waterford and at WIT. Come and be part of our student family to experience it! Hope you all enjoyed reading this post—subscribe below to make sure you never miss another post!

Martina Cripps – Environmental and Natural Resource Management

I graduated from LIT with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Management & I am currently working as an Environmental Scientist for ECOS Environmental Consultants in Limerick. In the course of my job with ECOS, I have gained experience across many different business sectors and a broad range of projects relating to water, waste, waste-water including resource management, circular economy, licensing and permits and environmental monitoring and management.

My course at LIT equipped me with a broad range of skills not only from an environmental perspective but also from a business and project management standpoint. I have also carried out independent research on species of primary concern in the Slieve Bloom Mountains.  As part of this research, I applied skills such as ecology and earth science, GIS, research techniques and field studies all of which I developed in my time studying at LIT.

The modules covered on the course have well prepared me for a career in the environmental sector.  I would recommend this course to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the environmental sector.

For me, it started in LIT

Martina Cripps
ECOS Environmental Consultants Limited
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental & Natural Resource Management

Building a challenging career in marine analysis

Michelle Hay lives in her home town of Downings, Co Donegal, a village known for its fishing and beautiful scenery. Yet Michelle is an expert marine and environmental analysist with Northern Ireland Water in Derry. She’s living the dream of building a challenging professional career while managing to locate herself in her home village in rural Donegal.

In 2006 Michelle graduated from LYIT with an Honours degree in Analytical Science. She then completed a Masters in Environmental Science at Trinity College Dublin, on the recommendation of her lecturer Dr. Mary Brennan. There was never a better recommendation.

Michelle has gone on to develop her expertise and win the respect of employers in Ireland and the UK. Her role with NI Water began with intense laboratory testing of Cryptosporidium parvum, the pathogen that famously infected people in Galway in 2007 via the water supply.

She is now working in an accredited laboratory for NI Water using the latest technology and precision testing practices – a role she thoroughly enjoys.

She says: “The best thing about my job is the mixture of work. I could be in the lab one day doing very precise technical testing, and the next day be out collecting samples from rivers, lakes or beaches. It’s great.”

Her career path has given her unique experience in the world of environmental science. From her third year in LYIT she began working with Donegal County Council’s water treatment testing division and during her Masters programme, she began mixing business with pleasure – she used her holiday time to work on research boats belonging to the Marine Institute.

Michelle comments: “The key was my great experience at LYIT. I would get chosen for the research trips because I had so much more practical experience than a lot of the graduates with more theoretical degrees. I was also good at doing testing while the boat was ploughing through rocky waters – but that’s probably more thanks to my experience on boats at home in Downings.”

Her work on the research boats exposed Michelle to experts further afield. After her Masters, she was offered a position with Marine Scotland and worked on their research boats for about six months. While working there, the Irish Fisheries Board offered her a job as a Fisheries Officer based in Ballyshannon but covering North and West Donegal and Cavan.

Next she was offered an exciting role with Donegal County Council as a Beach and Life Guard Supervisor, which involved water testing around the county’s coastline to make sure beaches were clean and up to standard.

All her positions since graduation have strengthend Michelle’s expertise and experience. “LYIT gave me a great start. It’s practical focus is just what employers want and it definitely gave me an advantage,” she says.

In her current role with NI Water, Michelle commutes from Downings to Derry doing what she loves – working out on coastlines or rivers as well as in state-of-the-art laboratories. She even has time to volunteer with the local Coast Guard.

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Testimonials (Personal Statements)

Ghaya Alsabbagh IMCP Class 2015/2016

Coming to Ireland has been an extraordinary journey. As any student you start with the thing that gives you passion and hope, for me this was art. That led me to my first step, looking for the art society, and I found out there has not been one for two years. I was not ready to give up so I decided to run my own art society after a long talk with Alice the societies officer. The only thing is that I am here for one year.

Running the art society boosted my confidence. But first I had to convince the students to join. I raised up to 30 members in clubs and societies event, it was not easy for the other students to trust a first year student, plus one they don’t know. The solution was art. Showing them what I can do and what I did as an artist. Sometimes you just need to have faith in your strength, and talking. I started the art in the first semester with Friday meetings and the second term with two days a week. I would not have done this alone. Two other students helped me, Alazhar who was my secretary and Abdulaziz who was my financial-food agent. The themes we carried out were related to everything that happened in Ireland from Halloween to Easter. The art society gave me the chance to meet new people and build friendships with different students. In the art society there were Irish, German, Arabic and Italian students.

Sport was also to be a part of my weekly activities, the best thing for me was rock climbing. My parents were shocked when I told them I picked this field. It was and still is one of my bucket list items. Going there gave me another amazing chance to meet people. Jo Ma is the person responsible for the club, a dear friend of mine now. That even made me more relaxed when it comes to dealing with men, whether they are Irish or not. The most memorable moment when a staffcalled Philip and I were planning to take over the place and change it to fit a real rock climbing needs. Another unique day is the 80’s theme party in Cork.

When it comes to volunteering, my first one was in Manor West, putting the grocery in bags for the customers. Another one is town centre, to raise money after I joined the music society in second semester. Gardening day in our community was the last one I did until now. At that day I learned a lot about Irish gardening, the people and met a person from America. Those are the main events, plus there is mini volunteering events for small events or for a group of people, that I prefer not to mention.

Being a class rep opened my eyes and mind on the aspects that an Irish student go through. I felt so different, that built a high level of respect for them. To become a part of the Irish community is an honour. At my group level, it taught me the skill of communication, care and knowing how to state issues that I do not agree on, but make happen, to be able to listen to the person rather than hearing him. Also about timing, like to know when and how to raise a problem or a request. The most thing I am proud of is the extra prayer rooms in the campus and that my first group still come to me for help.

Culture is a big factor this year. From the weather to Ireland beingindependent The last guest lecture was unique. It told about the culture in a funny, and different method. That nailed the history in my mind. Furthermore, it gave me more information to be discussed with my host family, taxi drivers, students and in my reports. The way the guest lectures were a combination between science, culture, adventures and success, has shown me what being a foreign student and a future doctor means.

Winning the best international student award for clubs and societies and the best international class rep indicated to me that I did a good job with the responsibilities I had. Also, that you build your path to the top for who you are not what people expect from you. This year will make me a better student in Dublin.

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing
Image may contain: one or more people and people standing