First impressions can be make or break, especially when trying to settle into a new country! Student Ambassador Florangela tells us about her first impressions of Ireland….
Hello! My name is Florangela Condori, I’m a Peruvian international student currently doing my first year in Art and Design at LSAD, Technological University of the Shannon Midland and Midwest (TUS) in Limerick. I moved to Ireland with my sister for the September 2021 intake!
Thinking it through…
When I was still contemplating the idea of going to study abroad, I was nervous not only for the classes, but for the social and cultural aspects too. I was looking for a welcoming and open-minded culture, a place where I could feel right at home. I was nervous that people would not get my culture and reject me… but instead, I found the complete opposite. Looking back now, I would have loved to have someone that could give me some advice from their own experience, I think that would have been extraordinarily helpful and calming. So, now that I have the chance to share my experience, I genuinely hope it can give someone more information as I share my words of encouragement.
I’ll share with you my first impressions of Ireland, but in a personal way. I didn’t know what to expect once my sister and I arrived in Ireland after an awfully long flight. I had been told that Irish people were very kind and considerate, but even then, I was still nervous. But, it all went away from the very moment we got off the plane! Everyone was so nice to us at the airport and at the hotel, they were all very considerate and they kept making sure we were alright.
When we got to Limerick we needed to get to our student accommodation, so we had to take a taxi. However, most of them were called by an app which we didn’t have. I was a little bit scared and overwhelmed because we had all our luggage with us, and it was hard to walk around with it. Luckily, a taxi driver stopped and asked if we were ok and where we were going, then he said we had to pick up someone, but he would be back for us, and that we didn’t have to worry. So, we did that. I don’t know what gave us away, the large amount of luggage or the fact that it was still kind of hard for us to fully get used to the Irish accent, but the driver asked where we were from; and with that very question our little story began.
A wonderful journey!
We talked all the way, he told us he had visited South America and that he’d love to go back someday. We talked about Perú, its culture, people, touristic places, etc. Talking about my country and everything I would miss about it was ironically helpful. On a day that everything was happening so fast, and the stress levels were on; having someone that gave us a hand and advice was nice and now I am grateful for it.
The gentle taxi driver made sure we were ok when we got to our destination and gave us his last piece of advice: “Have fun but not too much” and with a gentle smile he went away. My sister and I have not run into him since, but if we ever did, we would totally thank him again. So from that, I would say that my first impression of Ireland and its people was very pleasant.
It’s ok to miss home.
Coming from Peru, a country in which people are always willing to give you a hand with everything they can, having that willing and considerate presence on my first day away from home was something I will always be thankful for. Talking from experience, it is ok to miss home, and it’s natural to feel out of place at the beginning. But, it is immensely helpful to talk about it. TUS gave me a warm welcome that allowed me to be more confident and comfortable, we also got introduced to other international students that were going through the same which was very comforting.
I like to think about my first impression of Ireland as it was some kind of blind date, because it kind of was for me. It has been such a nice experience so far, and every time I remember my first day here, I come to the same conclusion: Kind hearts give the best welcomes.
Thank you for reading!
Follow me on IG to see more of my journey as an international student!
Florangela is studying Art and Design at Limerick School of Art and Design.