DBS student and our ambassador from Brazil, Mariana Ribeiro shares her six pieces of advice for those considering studying in Ireland.

A big decision

Making the decision to go back to school when you’re an adult is not easy, especially if you decide to do it away from your native country. Without a doubt, you’ll face many obstacles. One of the main problems you face when deciding to return to study at this stage is uncertainty as well as the fear of losing your space in the business market.

There are certain conundrums like, should I move to a country that has a better level of education but where visa conditions may reduce my possibilities of using the professional knowledge I have. However, my bosses always told me that there is no business without risks. Leaving my career and coming to Ireland was the most rewarding risk that I’ve ever taken.

On a personal level, the benefits are so intense and impressive that it gets complicated to quote them all but travel, new cultures, totally different people, parties, sports and life-time friendships have been just some of the highlights, as well as a multitude of unique situations and moments!

Image of a person's back walking away from camera, into the sunset and pulling a small suitcase

Below I’ve listed six tips that have helped me a lot with the transition and some that still helpful for me during this experience:

1: Consider the financial aspects

Before considering going back to your studies seriously, think about the financial aspects: how will this influence your financial life? Look for courses and conditions that fit your pocket and countries that allow you the possibility of working during this period.

2: Have the support of those you love

Those who decide to go back to school don’t always have the support of family and friends. Many will find it foolish or unnecessary and won’t be supportive of you leaving the life you have made for yourself to become a student and work in jobs that don’t require qualifications. But you certainly have your reasons, and it’s important to make them clear so that everyone understands and supports you. If you still do not get support, listen to their reasons and see if they seem relevant. If not, continue with your plan.

3: Be excited to learn

Many underestimate the importance of motivation but being excited to learn is critical to staying in class. Remember your goals and dreams to stay motivated. Enjoy the company of the other students and get excited for them too — you are going to learn so much about other cultures. Think about how much of a privilege it is to be able to return to school and how many cannot do the same.

4: Avoid comparisons

During your studies, you will feel tempted to make comparisons between you and your colleagues, with those who are younger, more willing and have more free time. It is important to remember that each person has their own journey and comparing your own with theirs has no purpose.

5: Commit to your studies

Commitment is essential, because you will not learn what you need to just by attending classes. Once you are in a different country the system can be totally different from the one that you have been through. It is important to pay attention, interact with teachers and students, ask questions, do exercises and activities, read the complementary readings as well as dedicating time for studying at home. Organisation, planning and commitment must work together.

6: Never underestimate yourself

Everything is temporary — today you are sad but tomorrow you will be happy. One famous Brazilian thinker called Chico Xavier used to have a plaque over his bed with the following text: “THIS ALSO PASSES’’. When asked for the reason, he said it was there so when he was going through bad times, he could remember that they would pass, and that he was living through it for some reason. The plaque was also meant to remind him that when he was very happy, he should not get carried away because those moments of euphoria would also pass, and difficult times would come again.

Believe in yourself, even if the world seems to be against you and even if the decisions are hard. Never forget who you are, how much you’ve worked to be where you are and have a clear idea of where you want to go. The world is full of possibilities and you are not regressing but making silent steps towards a big victory.