Hailing from Mexico, Electronic Engineering student Luz Victoria Contreras tells us about life at the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Why Electronic Engineering in Ireland

Everyday, the demand for new and optimised technologies increases and with that, so does the demand for certified graduates. In the past few years, Ireland has shown itself to be steadily growing in the engineering sectors; and so, when the time came for me to decide whether I should study abroad or not, it was clear that studying engineering in Ireland was an opportunity I had to take advantage of.

Managing time between a job and studies

As a mature student, I found myself looking for part-time job as soon as I came to Ireland. This wasn’t because living in Ireland is that expensive but I wanted a job so I would be able to afford my own experiences here. Having enrolled in a full-time 3rd level course, I knew I wasn’t going to have as much free time for myself but I accepted that as a sort of challenge.

At first it was difficult getting used to waking up early, spending 4–6 hours a day in class and then coming home to go to work. But this routine suited me as I knew that I would be able to work in a field I loved once I graduated, which motivated me to keep going.

Limerick city reflected in the River Shannon

Limerick City on the River Shannon at sunset. Photo by: Luke Maurice Curley

Helpful lecturers

The lecturers were very understanding and this was a huge relief as well. Though I’d try not to miss a day of class, I knew I could send them an email if my schedules didn’t work out. They would always be willing to assist with any doubts I had, since they knew I hadn’t been able to come in due to my other responsibilities

As well as academic support, some lecturers were willing to lend a hand or give advice where they could. For example, in 1st year I’d asked one of my lecturers if he knew anything about LIT providing scholarships — He immediately began to ask around until we found out that the international office did in fact offer a scholarship! I’ll always be grateful to him for going out of his way to help me out.

Assignments don’t have to be a pain

In terms of assignments, because LIT is more practical than theory-based, every week we had at least one lab report to work on. This may seem overwhelming at first, but my best advice to any future STEM student is to find a good scientific or engineering report template online or make one yourself, and use it for assignments.

I’m in my 3rd year now and having a template has saved me a lot of time and effort, as these usually cover all the relevant points that a lecturer would be expecting from an undergraduate student. These templates will not only make your work look more professional, but will also lessen the work by breaking it down into simple sections.