Find out more about how Viktoria, our Canadian Ambassador, ended up as a foreign student and upgraded her certificate to a Bachelor’s Degree with an IT Sligo add-on…

Nine months ago, I graduated from an Advanced Biotechnology programme in Canada with absolutely no plans to leave the country – much less to advance my certificate into a Bachelor’s Degree. And yet I find myself here in Ireland of all places. Even as I sit here now in my Irish living room, listening to the Irish news, with the Irish sun gracing me with its elusive presence; I wonder how I even came to be here.

I won’t bore with the details of my tumultuous journey from exhausted recently-graduated student to foreign student in Ireland. What I want to talk about was the transition from three year Advanced Biotechnology certificate to my add-on year here in ITSligo’s Medical Biotechnology that propelled my certificate into a Bachelor’s.

Firstly, it should be said that the transition of credits was ridiculously simple. Unlike Ireland, my Biotechnology programme in Canada offered no fourth year. It was a three-year programme that required you to do another two years at university to upgrade to a Bachelor’s degree. In contrast, the international Irish programme offered a single year at the ITSligo to get the same level as education – and for less the price. Honestly, it was a no-brainer.

The ITSligo programme itself is easy to slip into right after graduation from my original Biotechnology programme. It’s like I never left. The content is easy enough to understand yet still presents a challenge that rejuvenated my interested in the Biotechnology field.

So, to all my fellow Biotechnology students out there – don’t sweat it. If you want to try out this programme, you can do it. I won’t say it’s easy (quite the opposite, actually) but the international student option isn’t as unattainable as you think. It’s all about finding the programme that is right for you.