When you start fresh in a new school or college it’s always best to immerse yourself in campus culture. Our Student Ambassador Tran Minh Hoang from Vietnam has made a list of activities he believes are essential when getting accustomed to life in UCD. 

As an international student, it is critical for me to enjoy student life in addition to my studies in order to broaden my experience and network with people from all around the world. Fortunately, the University College Dublin (UCD) Belfield main campus provides an excellent opportunity to complete both excellently. The following are the top seven things I propose for making the most of a one-year study period: 

A Taste of Thai (credit: Tran Minh)

  1. Go to the food market on campus every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Various food vendors offer a varied assortment of Asian and Irish traditional cuisines at reasonable prices. Thai noodle soup and Irish fish & chips are two of my favorite dishes. Nothing compares to appreciating food with friends. 

UCD gift shop (credit: Tran Minh)

  1. Visit the UCD shop in the Global Lounge building. There are a variety of UCD branded items including mugs, hoodies and stationery. A good suggestion for saving money while shopping; in the front of the store there is a separate sale zone where you can get lots of hoodies and T-shirts with a 50% discount. 
  1. Become a member of at least one society. I am a member of several societies, including the Food, Art, and Mature societies, all of which host a range of interesting events throughout the year. Free food and discount coupons are generally provided at these events. You will also have opportunities to meet new people from all over the world. Remember to keep up with what’s new by following each society on Instagram. 

UCD Sport and Fitness Centre (credit: Tran Minh)

  1. Join the UCD Sport and Fitness Center. As UCD students, we have access at no cost to a range of Les Mills sessions guided by knowledgeable and experienced instructors. You can choose from a variety of activities like yoga, cycling, weight-lifting, body balance and so on. 

Swans by the lake (credit: Tran Minh)

  1. Enjoy watching the lovely swans on the wide lake near O’Reilly Hall while basking in the sun. After a long day of studying, simply sitting near the lake and watching the swans is a wonderful way to unwind.

Friendly faces (credit: Tran Minh)

  1. Follow the Student Union’s social media accounts. They are engaged and concerned about our well-being and mental health, and they organise a range of events throughout the year, such as a ‘Tie Dye and Stress Ball Making Workshop’ and a ‘Cheese and Wine Night’ to enrich our student life. Please contact them whenever you have a problem. They are helpful and definitely try their best to help you with anything you need. 
  1. Attend at least one UCD Cinema film screening.  You can get a ticket for only 6 euro with your student account. The amenities are fantastic, and you can even watch the fascinating popcorn production process just outside the cinema. 

One of the best decisions I have ever made was enrolling at UCD. I am having a great time meeting new people and participating in a variety of exciting activities in addition to studying at Ireland’s top global university. They will surely become lifelong memories for me. If you decide to go to UCD, I am confident you will have an even better time than I did. 

Tran Minh is doing an MSc in Strategic Management in University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.