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Ireland: My own world of wonders

January 29, 2014 | By | One Comment

An informative and touching blog about the kindness of strangers and the real lessons Ireland has taught him from Akhil Dev Raj Vilayilveedu, our Indian and Dublin Institute of Technology ambassador.

When I started thinking about further studies that would bridge my bachelor degree to my dream career, the first question came to mind was about the perfect course. The amount of information available is mind-blowing! I was confused for a long time before I finally reached the point of selecting a master’s in technology and innovation management; it took a lot of time and effort for me to reach this decision. I wandered around websites, forums, blogs and even several overseas educational fairs as well.

In India making a decision about your higher studies can be a hectic job, especially if you have a large circle of family and friends all offering advice like I do! I wanted to find a good institution and friendly environment to study in. A key concern for me was feeling safe in my country of choice; and I wanted to live in a place with a strong support system in place for international students. For me, this aspect was as important as the quality of education offered.

“They say first impressions count and my initial experience of Ireland was definitely a good one.”

Ireland ticked many boxes for me, but when I chose the Dublin Institute of Technology I still had many questions, and I even complied a list of things I wanted to know! Other than watching the film P.S I Love You, I was blank about Ireland, and I spent several days in front of Google! It was really exciting to learn more about the country, and as I researched I began to truly fall in love with the beauty of landscape from the pictures I found online. I have always admired nature for its beauty and serenity, and I must say Ireland is gifted in this area.

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I wanted to know everything about living in Ireland for a year. The more I searched online, the more I noticed the lack of negative comments about Ireland or Irish people. The statement “world’s friendliest people” came up several times from different sources, at the time I wondered what does this actually mean! Once I arrived here, I soon found out the true meaning of this, and the experiences I’m about share should help you understand too!

They say first impressions count, and my initial experience of Ireland was definitely a good one. I love an adventure, and when I arrived I was armed only with my friend Roshan’s email instructions to reach my new apartment in a town just outside Dublin called Saggart. I took a bus from Dublin airport to the city centre, and from there I boarded a Luas tram to Saggart station. I found my way from there to my apartment with only the help of strangers! I felt so happy, no one had an angry face when asked for help, and nobody avoided my requests. I can never image an Irish person saying “no” when asked to help!

Everyday since then, my wonder has grown. I’ve met many different types of people during my time here, as well as fellow Indians, and it was with these new friends that I celebrated Diwali. The festival is celebrated in Ireland marvellously, and I was invited to be a part of the 2013 celebration by my classmate, Mani, who has been living in Ireland for the past 15 years.

Diwali in Dublin, Ireland!

Diwali in Dublin!

On the day of the Festival of Lights, my friends and I were waiting for the bus near my apartment. Suddenly it started raining. My friend Sushant and I had neither rainproof coats nor an umbrella. We began to laugh, as we were almost sure that the clothes we had carefully picked for the festival were going to be ruined. Then an elderly Irish woman, almost the same age of my grandma, passed by the bus stop. To our astonishment, she looked at us, smiled and then offered her umbrella. We were so surprised and graciously refused the offer but she insisted and told us that she was already wearing a rainproof jacket, and that her home was just around the corner. She gave us the umbrella and walked away with a smile!

“Life is all about learning, not only from books and lectures but from experiences, and because of this I believe I have truly found the right place for my higher education.”

For the rest of the evening my thoughts were filled with wonder that people can be so good to others. During the journey to the Diwali celebration, I thought about only one thing, in this world filled with greed, hatred and violence  there is some light. I had seen hope in the generosity of a stranger.

Life is all about learning, not only from books and lectures but from experiences, and because of this I believe I have truly found the right place for my higher education. When I finish my studies here, I feel I will be a much better human being. I’m so happy that I am here, and I thank God for everything I have learnt so far in Ireland  my own world of wonders!

Comments

  1. Kirti Bhagat

    Simple yet effective way of expressing the wonderful experience of visiting Ireland for further studies as an International Student and I am very sure that it is the almost similar experiences for every International Student, not only from India but from other countries as well, still experiencing each and every day the kind and generous way of communication from the Irish people.
    It is my first time that I landed outside India. I had the similar experience when an Old Lady, who was walking slowly due to her old age, asked if I need any help with my huge luggage, even when I had a friend with me to help as I was shifting to some other place but she thought I am moving towards the Airport. It is a very special and memorable moment for me as I am very sure that I cannot forget that moment and her kind nature till the end of my life.
    This blog is definitely the voice of every International student like me!! 🙂
    Well done!!

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