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Bangalore to Waterford: My WIT story

March 3, 2015 | By | No Comments

From a chance radio broadcast in Bangalore, to an Education in Ireland fair, and finally to Waterford! Arindam Pal, our WIT and Indian Ambassador shares his amazing story…

Five months ago it was just another normal day for me back home. I was listening to the radio, Namma Bengaluru FM to be specific, when an announcement was broadcast detailing an Education in Ireland fair with information about studying abroad in Ireland. I placed my coffee on the table, grabbed a pad and pen and scribbled the phone number down. I went straight to the telephone, dialled and registered to attend the event the very next day! I was so excited as Ireland has always been at the top of my list for study abroad due to the student-friendly environment, graduate schemes, scholarships and the entrepreneurial atmosphere on offer.

The next day I awoke to a bright sunny Saturday in Bangalore as I got all dressed-up with hopes and dreams. I jumped on my bike and cycled to the exhibition where I was welcomed into a truly vibrant atmosphere! In this moment, I realised that this was my chance; that it was never to late; and that there can be so much more to my life if I gave everything my best shot! I went up to all the stalls on show where representatives were all welcoming, and then… I was introduced to my dream college where growth and innovation has no ceilings – Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). I took the brochure, met the wonderful representatives and completed the required application formalities.

Education in Ireland is so much fun and enriching beyond my wildest dreams. I now realise that this is the place to be for me as an international student, to expand my knowledge and skills, intellectually and socially.

WIT, here I come!

I was continuing my normal life when one day I received a mail with the WIT student scholarship, that day I felt so fortunate! I shared my happiness with my teachers in India, and my beloved parents with a box full of orange laddoos (a tasty Indian sweet).

The next few days were filled with final applications, a stamped visa, an air ticket and insurance… There was just some time left to shop for the journey and pack my bags! Professional and funky new clothes, a few Indian spices, a Chyawanprash (ayurvedic dietary supplement), and mom’s sweet dabba (a round metal box used to transport food from home).

Finally the day came to say alavida (goodbye), I gave high-fives; took my backpack, sat into a taxi and set off to the airport with eyes filled with a feeling of both happiness and sorrow. I flew over international borders, and 15 hours later I had landed on a European island full of rich history and culture – Ireland!

Ireland, I’ve arrived!

I grabbed my luggage with excitement, received a good day wish from the captain and I thanked him for the smooth flight. Helped by friendly people as I followed the signs through the airport, I stood in line at immigration where the officer said ‘welcome to Ireland’, I smiled and said ‘Go raibh maith agat’ (thank you in Irish). Here my visa was extended for next 3 months, giving me time to arrange my GNIB card which is for the entire study period and an immigration requirement. Hurrah!

The temperature was warm on that day as I travelled by bus through beautiful countryside towards the south east and finally crossed river Suir to reach to the oldest city if Ireland, Waterford! I made my way to my new accommodation by taxi, and met my wonderful new roommates. On my very first day, I made new friends as I roamed through the Viking Triangle having the time of my life! College life began the next day as I enter WIT for the first time.

College life

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Buzzing with students from all over the world, WIT was full of excitement on orientation day – what a great feeling! I registered for classes and with societies (and received some freebies, hurrah!) before collecting my timetable and heading to my first class. Welcomed by the President of WIT and the Mayor of Waterford, all new students were taken on a campus tour of the enormous and magnificent facilities including classrooms, research areas, libraries, recreation spots, a sports hall and more. The fun continued that evening with a welcome party hosted by the WIT Student Union and the International Office at the Dome Bar – a great place for meeting new friends and socialising.

Time for study

Now I was settled in, it was time to get into study mode! Seminars, exhibitions, field trips and more… WIT offers a student-focused teaching atmosphere where innovation is encouraged – the perfect place to study for my postgraduate in Business in Internationalisation.

Irish culture

Culture is all around in Waterford and I have enjoyed many amazing experiences since arriving – Brazilian Independence Day, Diwali celebrations, Eid celebration and the International students Christmas choir just to name a few! Waterford City has so much to offer too like the Irish Hot Air Balloon Championship, Harvest Festival, Winterval, and a breathtaking coastline and countryside. There’s always more too explore…. I bought myself a bicycle to travel around on!

The last word…

Education in Ireland is so much fun and enriching beyond my wildest dreams. I now realise that this is the place to be for me as an international student, to expand my knowledge and skills, intellectually and socially – a great opportunity in a great place. So, thank you to my parents, teachers, friends and WIT for making my dreams come true!

Duration: 3 minutes

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