Since it’s already the end of the first semester, I’d like to introduce how much experiences I had during this semester and help you build your expectation of studying at Maynooth University.
Firstly, I started studying at the International Foundation Programme, which helps international students to learn academic language and skills, from last January until August 2019. After this course, I had the summer holidays for a few weeks before the semester starts. During the summer, I didn’t go back home, to Japan but stayed at my host family’s home.
Since I’d visited many cities and towns in Ireland before, I decided to take some time to get some to travel around Europe. The first destination I chose was Brussels. I spent three days there, visited wonderful museums, ate nice foods and even took a trip to another city by train.
The second place I visited during the summer holidays was London. I went there with my friend from the Foundation Programme and we did a lot of sightseeing.
One of the benefits of studying abroad in Ireland is its convenient location, as you can see. I didn’t go overseas during the semester because I think that I’ll have other opportunities to travel as I’m fortunate to have another two more studying here at Maynooth, but many international students take time to get some travelling done during weekends and in-between vacation. My advice is to make a travel bucket list during your study abroad here in Ireland!!
In September, the new semester had finally started, and I began my first year of my undergraduate course. To be honest I was super nervous about both studying and school life before it began. But at the end of the semester I can say that I enjoyed school and am really thrilled with what I’ve achieved now.
I met a lot of new people, and it helped me get through the semester. I would like to recommend to you to get talking to as many people here as possible and get to know them, especially students who are studying in the same course as you. Since I’m studying Arts, which you can choose up to four subjects from the wide range of subject choices, I made some friends who are studying the multiple same modules. Many of the lectures have a large number of students, so it seems to be a little difficult to connect with friends. But if you see some familiar faces go talk to them! That’s my advice! You can ask questions and help each other about your lectures and assignments.
I often hang out with my friends in Dublin after lectures or weekends, and it certainly helps me get to relax away from studying. It is essential to factor in some spare time for yourself and recharge your batteries before you go back studying.
I’d recommend you to join some clubs and societies as well. It’s also a good way to meet know people and make new friends. You can join more than one, so you will be able to be friends with a lot of students who share the same interests, even though they may not be studying the same course as you.
In addition to this, I took a trip to Cork, which is the second biggest city in Ireland. My friend and I took the train from Dublin and we got the chance to visit surrounding towns. It’s always fun to discover lovely places in Ireland.
My very first semester of the undergraduate went very quickly, and I sometimes was struggling with completely new experiences. Many people have helped me deal with the study stresses of school. So, I’d definitely encourage you to get involved with as out-of-school experiences while you’re studying abroad at Maynooth University.
I’m really looking forward to continuing these experiences throughout my second semester at this fantastic university!