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Joining societies: Why it matters…

July 28, 2014 | By | 3 Comments

Joel Foster is our Cork IT and Canadian ambassador, and in this post he discusses how to make the most of your study abroad experience and the value of getting involved with college societies…

Starting school on the first day is always tough – the challenge of making friends and finding where you fit in is something every student will go through. Now, add in the fact you’re in a country where nothing is familiar to you.

Well, I can share my experience with you and hopefully it will help. Upon landing in Ireland from Canada in September I was introduced to a whole other world – a world that was very foreign for me. After settling in to my accommodation it was time to focus on school and the year ahead.   Walking onto campus on my first day I had an overwhelming feeling, a feeling without direction until I stumbled upon the president of International Student Society (ISS). After a brief conversation, I agreed to become a committee member of the ISS. However, at that time, I had no idea how important of a discussion that was going to be for my year of study in Ireland.

Cork It trip to the Jameson Distillery, Dublin

ISS trip to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery

I was given the position of Vice Chairmen within the ISS, and  was tasked with organising weekend trips, day trips and evenings out on the town. Throughout the numerous events I helped to plan I was blessed with the opportunity to meet other international and Irish students that were going through the same feelings I had and asking themselves, “where do I fit in?”. Now having been in Ireland for close to a year, I have developed friendships with people from all around the world, so much so, I am now making plans to visit them in their home countries when our adventures at CIT comes to an end.

Killarney National Park. That's me with the sunglasses on and the other committee members of the ISS!

Killarney National Park. That’s me with the sunglasses on and the other committee members of the ISS!

I think back now on how different my year in Ireland would have been without the ISS and all the amazing people I have met and became very good friends with. So a friendly word of advice from me to you – join a student society, any society, and I can guarantee your experience in Ireland will be positivity changed.

Do you want to study in Ireland? Check out the Education in Ireland website for all the info you need.


  1. Mary Quinn

    Do you have any tips or guidelines for first years starting college? Particularly with regard to budgeting and saving money. Any help would be appreciated.

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