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.