Data Science: why I chose UCD
Our ambassador from India, Ayushree Gangal tells us why UCD was the perfect choice for her MA in Data Science. She shares with us how she made the decision to study there.
Studying abroad is a big decision and it requires a lot of research. You have to consider choice of university, course content, and quite importantly the country you want to live in. When I decided to do my MA in Data Science, I looked up a number of places throughout the US and Europe. In my opinion, studying abroad is an experience that transcends the walls of a classroom and so, along with the quality of the course offered, the location of the university was important to me too. After spending a lot of time researching my options, I narrowed it down to Dublin and UCD for a number of reasons.
Dublin is often referred to as the IT capital of Europe and is home to the European headquarters for tech giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc. This ensures that there is ample opportunity for great job options after graduation.
I buy into the philosophy of maintaining a healthy work/life balance and what better way to do that than to be surrounded by the Irish sense of humour and their undying zest to enjoy life (did someone say Guinness?). Ireland is a very safe country with the friendliest people I’ve ever met, which kind of makes up for the wee bit of grey weather — but that just makes you want to run into the streets like a crazy person on those rare sunny days.
Choice of course
Having done a major in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science as part of my undergraduate studies, I wanted a Data Science course that involved both these fields almost in equal measure. Enter the Data and Computational Science course offered by UCD. The course is structured so well that it manages to achieve a balance between the statistics behind data science, to the applications of it in a way that no other course (that I researched) has. It is a highly competitive course that involves a hands-on approach to learning. Students have the option to put in as much effort as they want depending on how much they wish to learn. Another aspect that I really love about the course is that the professors are very open to feedback and are willing to make changes even during the course, if needed.
UCD is one of the largest universities in Ireland with an extremely diverse student body. The campus is very green and absolutely gorgeous. There is not just one but two lakes with ducks and swans (Friendly advise: I would stay away from the swans — they’re not as friendly as the Irish people). UCD campus is always buzzing with a number of different activities and events — you will never have a dull moment here. Thanks to UCD being such an international university, I have had the chance to interact with people from all over the world. I live on campus and share an apartment with five other students from different countries and courses. Over the past few months we’ve all become a small family — relationships I am going to carry beyond UCD.
All in all, I’ve been in Dublin for more than six months now and have loved every minute of it. I would recommend studying in Ireland to anyone interested in learning new things and having fun while doing it. What helped you to decide where you wanted to study in Ireland? Leave me a comment and let me know below.