In her first blog, Eunice Young Student Ambassador from Hong Kong, tells us about her early impressions of NUI Galway. Here’s the low down of NUIG campus life, Galway city, and some handy tips and tricks she has picked up along the way…
Hey there! My name is Eunice, I’m from Hong Kong, and I’m currently pursuing my first year undergraduate degree in Medicine at NUI Galway. Although I have only been in Ireland for three months, I am already loving the whole experience, from understanding the diverse and unique culture in Ireland to familiarising myself with the university lifestyle! As I am originally from a robust city, transitioning to life in Galway has been almost a complete juxtaposition!
Firstly, the pace of the city and the town is so different. Galway is a small city, but that has been a comforting change, and there is a strong sense of community when you meet those around you. Secondly, the weather and the climate are very different. In all honesty, the weather did require adaptation. However, it was definitely easier than I anticipated! In Ireland, the weather can be quite unpredictable, from one second of beautiful sunny, blue skies, in a second can change to windy and rainy skies, hence, it is crucial to be prepared for them all! In my opinion, rain jackets, scarves, and waterproof shoes would be a very beneficial investment. But, surprisingly, on average the rain only lasts for 5 or 15 minutes, and numerous magnificent rainbows appear after!
The Irish people are incredibly friendly and it is extremely easy to casually strike up a conversation with strangers! In NUI Galway, there are numerous support networks in place to bolster your university experience, whether you need academic, physical, or mental support! Personally, I did feel a little lost and homesick in the beginning, but after joining societies and clubs and participating in fellowships and other school events, I immediately redeemed my joy and excitement. To my surprise, NUI Galway has over 200 clubs and societies! There will definitely be something for everyone!
My favourite part of Galway, and specifically NUIG would be the campus environment. The campus strikes a perfect balance between an atmosphere for studying, and for having a social life! In town, everything can be conveniently accessed by foot or by bus, from the main buildings for lectures, libraries to even the city centre where the nightlife comes alive. The campus is full of greenery, which in my opinion, sets the scene for a peaceful and relaxing study session! The campus removes the stress and busyness of the world and removes external distractions.
During the daytime, there are so many aesthetic and cosy cafes scattered around the city. They are the perfect spots to grab a coffee, catch up with new, and old, friends, and of course to regain the motivation to study hard! It would be a lie to say the transition has been smooth the whole way through, but each challenge has taught me a valuable lesson and has shaped the person I am today!
Although I have only been in Galway for three months, I am so excited to see where this journey will take me, and I am excited to continue exploring different attractions and places in Ireland to truly understand the beauty of it all…
Eunice is studying Medicine at NUI Galway.