Studying in Ireland for a semester: My story

Mihaela Tacu
4 min readApr 26, 2021
Source: ul.ie; limerick.ie

It all started when I got out of the airport. I still remember it, the fresh and damp air, which traveled through my lungs. But yeah, before that, I walked for 30 minutes through the Dublin Airport. It’s quite big, indeed, maybe not by the Arab standards (haven’t been there), but still.

Then I felt the smell of freshly cooked potatoes.

Oh yeah, I kid you not, I could smell the chips, and there were no pubs around. And the Irish know how to cook their potatoes. Oh, those Tayto’s! King’s, to be exact, only the cheese & onion, not the tasteless one.

Fight me!

Source: amazon.com

But I couldn’t think about the chips. Not yet. I still had to travel a bit.

To Nenagh. That damn Nenagh town. There’s not much going on, but what can you do, when that’s your only choice to live for free. And I was lucky in that regard, because my mates had to pay over 400 euro/month in a small and humid Castletroy room.

My lovely Nenagh town. Source: https://www.tipperarycoco.ie/

Let’s fast forward now to what actually matters.

I went out the door and quickly rushed to the bus station. I had to take the bus to Limerick, to be exact, to the University of Limerick. And I was lucky one more time that it was closer than the city centre, so I spent 15 minutes less commuting. I got in the bus, the Kavanagh one, and I’ve got a special story about them. Was it pleasant or not, you’re the one to judge.

But more about that later on.

When I got in, a man, who somehow received a free ride from the driver, sat right next to me. He was quite talkative and showed me his photos. And his girlfriends’ photos. Did I care? Well.. it was a funny experience, nevertheless. Especially the fact that I barely understood anything he was saying. He had a really strong accent. I had to put in tons of effort to understand him.

But I was kind of glad there was someone talking to me. As I was nervous to start my first day as an Erasmus student. Somewhere abroad, in a whole new culture. And different weather, for sure.

The driver announced the station. It was The Stables. This is when I finally got out. And received a “good luck” from the ever so talkative man.

My own low-quality pic

Oh my, it was crazy! They had a pub right in the campus? And the professors were drinking with the students? What???? I bet you won’t ever see that in Romania. Or Moldova, for that matter. Not in a million years. This is all about culture, and its differences. And I will write a story about it.

Okay, so I passed by the pub. Wasn’t really in the mood for a beer or anything, haha.

And then it hit me.

This campus is HUGE! The design is modern and high-tech; everything is so clean and polished.

Here’s the Kemmy Business School. Source: https://www.orht.ie/

And look at that grass! It’s so green! (But so is the whole Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, for that matter).

I entered a building, where the International Office is located. I finally got to meet the Erasmus coordinator and received some brochures, a map of Limerick and Castletroy, and a reusable bag with the UL print.

Right from that quick talk, I saw how friendly the Irish were. That woman spoke so kindly, which felt like such a small authority distance between us. Amazing. Let me tell you I was not used to that.

She took me to the library, which is actually a whole separate building. She took my photo for the library card, and that was it.

No bureaucracy. Are you kidding me?

Surely I didn’t expect that.

The whole registration process was over in under 15 minutes.

I walked around for a bit, but let me tell you, I was tired. Because I arrived just a day earlier, and I didn’t get much sleep.

However, I still had 4 whole months to experience many things. And this is where the fun begins.

Which I will disclose in the next chapter.

Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading my story!

Give it a clap or write a comment!

--

--

Mihaela Tacu

Into Product Management, curious about everything & anything.