As an international student arriving in a completely new place, it took Farah, our DCU and Jordanian Ambassador, a while to figure things out. In this blog, she offers some tips to give you a headstart…

Get ready for the weather

Stay on the safe side and always have an umbrella with you! It is worth investing in an umbrella that can resist some wind and that’s small enough to keep in your bag! In Ireland it can also rain during summer, and who wants to wear rain boots during summer? Try Footlocker, JD, Office or Schuh for a rain and stain resistant spray for your shoes called ‘Crepe’ — very useful!

Find accommodation

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to look for accommodation in advance. There are a few options — one graet one is to stay with a family; you get to know more about the culture while also improving your English skills. Another option would be student accommodation, this offers more independence but could be pricey. They fill up fast, so book in advance! Check out websites like  Aparto, Uninest, and Homestay too.

Manage your expenses

Being on a student budget can be challenging. For groceries, Lidl and Aldi usually have good offers and so does Tesco. I would also advise you to get loyalty cards from grocery shops, cafes or even restaurants. It will eventually build up, trust me!

Restaurants often offer student deals, especially for lunch. GBK, Chopped, Subway and Boojum all have a student discount; just show them your student card — they don’t always advertise it so make sure you ask! There are also good affordable restaurants in Dublin including Umi Falafel, Wok in Noodle bar, Midnight Express, Zaytoon and the Bagel Factory.

Have some fun

Cinemas have student tickets that are cheaper than the adult tickets — Savoy Cinema on O’Connell Street has a student deal for €5 on Tuesdays. As with restaurants, shops don’t always advertise their student discounts; you have to ask for it. Some of the shops that offer student discounts are, Office, Top Shop, Urban Outfitters, Boots, Accessories and H&M.

Remember you don’t only learn in college

As an international student, take advantage of the fact that you are abroad! Experience the diversity that Ireland offers and explore the country. While being abroad, you will learn and develop more as an independent individual. Don’t stress and pressure yourself, just enjoy and make the best out of your time here as much as possible!