There are so many reasons why students fall in love with Ireland… our cities, the nightlife, the outdoor activities, bars and restaurants, our humour, the people, it is an endless list! Each reason is deeply personal to students. Student Ambassador My Doan from Vietnam has loved her Irish journey so far, where she has been captured by the  bustling capital city and it’s surroundings. Read on to find out four things she loves about Ireland…

It has been more than three months since I came to Ireland to start my journey at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. This is the first time I have ever been to Europe so everything here is so interestingly different to me. Over the past few months, I have learned to adapt in a new environment and have found it to be a rewarding experience in the Emerald Isle. Here are 4 things I love most about living in Ireland (so far!).

Hiking in Glendalough (photo: My Doan)

The Friendly People 

Before I arrived here, I heard that due to the all-year rainy weather, some Irish people aren’t happy a lot of the time. I was really worried about this before my flight, but fortunately this couldn’t be less true! My experience was totally amazing. Everyone was so helpful and friendly, so you could say that it definitely surprised me. These people showed up as the Irish Higher Education representatives at the airport, the happy taxi driver who gave me a mini-tour on the way into the city, the kind man who offered to help me bring my two huge suitcases upstairs, and the bus driver who, patiently waited for me to organise my luggage before continuing the trip! And last but not least, the nicest and most kind Irish landlord who made me feel so welcome, and like I have a second home here in Ireland. 

Green Parks in the City

The very first time I visited Cabinteely Park, right next to my place, it was mind-blowing! I had never seen such a large, green park in a city in my life. Later, I had opportunities to visit many other huge parks across Dublin, such as Phoenix Park, St Anne’s Park, The National Botanic Gardens, and St. Stephen’s Green. Strolling around the parks, hanging out with friends, having picnics, enjoying the fresh air, and soaking in the beautiful views have been some of my favourite weekend experiences here. It really gets me ready for another week!

Dublin’s amazing Phoenix Park! (photo: My Doan)

Plenty of Hiking Routes

I love hiking and Ireland has some breath-taking hiking routes. There are so many different types of hikes in Ireland, from coastal strolls to more strenuous hikes, there’s really something for every fitness level! There are also so many amazing routes so close to the city centre too, so you never have to travel far. Some really great walks to start with, that are easy to access would be the Howth Cliff Walk, the Bray Cliff Walk, Glendalough, and the Malahide and Portmarnock Coastal Walks. All of these trails have stunning views and well-maintained routes, so they are very doable for anyone and everyone. When I went hiking for the first time, I was surprised to see lots of families with children going hiking on the weekend! 

Breathtaking views! (photo: My Doan)

Great Public Transport

Although Dublin is not a big city, it has an easy-to-use and fantastic public transportation system which includes Dublin Bus, the DART, and the Luas. There are so many ways to get around Dublin and Ireland conveniently. The public transportation weekly or monthly fixed rate for students is very helpful because I can save lots of money. Being known as one of the top ten bicycle-friendly cities on earth, hiring a bicycle is another option suitable for travelling around and exploring Dublin easily!


My Doan is working towards an Masters in Digital Innovation at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School