For many, taking a leap into the unknown can be daunting, so sometimes the best thing is just to jump straight in! Student Ambassador Amrutha Girivasan did exactly that when she decided to travel from India to Ireland to study – and she doesn’t regret it one bit. 

UCC in the evening light (photo: Amrutha)

Studying abroad was always my goal and I worked towards it throughout school and university, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the tough part wouldn’t be the ‘studying’ part (well maybe a little tough), but the ‘abroad’ part! Trust me, I doubted my choices multiple times after arriving here, even amidst all the beauty of this land, and this devil of a pandemic didn’t make things easy either. However, during the span of the first couple of months here, I found my groove. Slowly and subconsciously sliding into life in Ireland, learning to live life on my terms. 

Ireland is gorgeous, in every single way: the people, the culture, the trees, the wind, even the little dogs that go on runs with their owners are adorable. As my flight prepared to land in Cork, I looked out the window at the sprawling green meadows and cliffs and was immediately excited by the prospects of my future in this country. The first ten days were tough, with the mandatory home quarantine, setting up the house, Wi-Fi, bills, etc. Even now, I dread going on weekly grocery runs and cooking when I’m tired from attending university all day. But I’ll tell you what; it’s worth it. 

When I saw my university, I was floored. The place is a beauty! UCC is well known for its green campus and top-notch courses. I was extremely impressed by all my professors and course mates. The feeling of being in a foreign country, on your own and learning so much everyday is something surreal. 

So what can you expect when you come to Ireland? First, look forward to the comfort of being surrounded by nature. It is one of the most refreshing feelings and is an instant energy booster and stressbuster. Additionally, be sure to pick a course you will absolutely love at one of the many fine institutions in Ireland, and it’s a guarantee that you will have a wonderful experience here. Lastly, be prepared for the tough times; living alone is not easy, but as time goes by you will be thanking yourself for making this choice and will be amazed at what you can accomplish. Remember, time flies when you’re having fun. Your course will start and finish within the blink of an eye, so be sure to soak in every moment. 

Daily views from UCC (photo: Amrutha)

This is how Ireland changed my life. I went from a timid person to someone who’s confident in facing anything that comes her way. Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t an easy feat but learning to be grateful for every step you take and appreciating your progress along the way will most definitely lead you to happiness – and Ireland is exactly the place for it. I hope you all make the choice to study here and experience life and happiness like never before.  

Amrutha is a Food Science Master’s student at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland.