Loving Ireland: My study abroad experience
Sun Guoxuan is one of our Chinese and IT Tallaght ambassadors. He is studying Pharmaceutical Science, and is in his fourth year. Read more about why he was inspired by a Westlife song, and his experience of Ireland so far…
My first memory of Ireland dates back to when I firstly heard a song called My Love performed by one of Ireland’s pop treasures – Westlife! I love this song, and back then it made me imagine the poetic and magnificent landscape of Ireland – a green heaven located overseas!
Since then, studying abroad in Ireland has been one of my dreams. In 2010, I finally had a chance to spend time in Ireland for one year to finish my undergraduate courses when I was admitted to the NJUT China & the IT Tallaght study abroad programme.
“Over seas from coast to coast, to find a place I love the most”, this is one of the lyrics in the song My Love, and I’ve finally found my beloved place Ireland.
I’m studying Pharmaceutical Science in IT Tallaght (ITT) and, compared to the 4th year academic workload of Chinese universities, and I have gone through an extremely busy year so far filled with lectures, lab experiments, scientific writing and exams. However, I feel this experience has been invaluable, as the education I’ve gained in ITT has not only provided me with great academic knowledge, but also given me the opportunity to experience the cultural differences between China and Ireland.
Hand on my heart, I can say I’ve enjoyed my time at ITT so far and I love this country! There are so many great things about studying in Ireland, and I would like to share a couple of them with you.
One of the first things I noticed about Ireland was the standard of equality and respect shown between people here – this really impressed me, and made me feel immediately at ease. As an only child in my family (many of my Chinese classmates here are also from single child families due to our strict birth control laws), I was slightly panicked about my new life abroad. This is my first time way from home and alone, and I worried about the considerable culture differences. But, all these worries disappeared once I arrived. I was warmly welcomed by my school with different events and parties, and I was supplied with comfortable accommodation. I found one of the most important factors to settling in was the attitude of Irish teachers and students – they are open, helpful and treat everyone as an equal.
Ireland is also diverse. Before I came here, I had no idea how many international students I would meet. In ITT, two thirds of the students are international. It’s great living in Dublin city, and it has given me a chance to meet people from many different cultures and backgrounds.
Hand on my heart, I can say I’ve enjoyed my time at ITT so far and I love this country! There are so many great things about studying in Ireland.
In my opinion, it feels like the Government here really care about the foreigners living, working and studying in Ireland and they appear to be constantly trying to improve on the systems already established for international students. Over the past few months, I have attended international student focus groups held in Trinity College Dublin. These meetings have been an unforgettable experience, and have really broadened my horizons as well as giving me the chance to discuss ideas and suggestions around education in Ireland.
When people talk about Ireland they often think of the weather! I’ve actually found the weather here quite lovely and cozy. The moderate temperatures here contribute to my good mood, and I often feel very energetic – especially when a rainbow appears in the sky after rain, I always take a walk to enjoy this natural masterpiece!
“Over seas from coast to coast, to find a place I love the most”, this is one of the lyrics in the song My Love, and I’ve finally found my beloved place Ireland. As the end of my time here draws near, I dream about returning one day. But, whether I ever make it back here, the educational experience I’ve received will always be something I treasure.
Do you want to study in Ireland? Check out the Education in Ireland website for all the info you need.