Many study abroad students spend time agonising over their destination choice. From language barriers to the course options, there are so many things to consider. Yulia Velikdus, our Russian and University of Limerick Ambassador shares her reasons for choosing Ireland…

I started to learn English in the second grade at school and progress over the years. My level of English encouraged me to consider further education abroad. I was looking for courses in countries with English as a mother tongue. I was scrutinising courses within the United States, the UK, Australia and subsequently Ireland. I was dreaming of immersing myself in an English speaking environment – listening to people talking on the streets, reading signs and posters, watching local news, talking to strangers and embracing the culture.

My mother implored me, “please Yulia, pick a country on the continent!” Although I moved away from my parents when I was seventeen and was mature enough to care for myself, they were concerned about the distance. I am very close to my family and friends so the idea that I would be living too far away for people to visit me was not on the cards. I also wanted to be able to fly home easily in the direst case and in desperate homesickness!

Education in Ireland appeared to be much cheaper than in the USA or the UK, and this factor played crucial role in my study abroad decision. Needless to say, we all look for the best ratio of price and quality. I was glad that my family could afford the course here and to invest money into my education. The University of Limerick granted me scholarship, which was really helpful.

Journalism in University of Limerick was a perfect course for me for multiple reasons. Firstly, modules were comprehensive and covered all aspects of journalistic work, including news writing, radio and broadcasting. Secondly, the duration of the course appealed. I had already received my undergraduate and did not want to spend four more years in college. As I had already spent this time in education the option to finish my study with a one-year master’s programme was perfect for me.

I knew little about Ireland before I arrived, it’s not featured in Russian news as it’s relatively small and remote. But, I first fell in love with the country and wanted to visit it after watching The Leap Year – a film which portrays rural life, scenic landscapes and an island full of cheerful people! The unknown drew me in and I did not want to be a conformist and go to the same countries and universities as my peers have done…. and now I’m here! Check back in soon to find out more about my study abroad experience and leave a comment below if you would like to ask me any questions.

Interested in studying abroad in Ireland? Visit the Education in Ireland website.