Larissa Sousa Roseno from Brazil spent a lot of time weighing up the pros and cons of studying in Ireland, and in her first blog about life as a student here, she shares her experience of planning her stay, choosing her course and learning to live on a budget!

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Before attending the IT course at CCT College I asked myself if it was worth going to college in Ireland and what were the pros and cons of doing so. My first concerns were the high price I would have to pay, if my English would be enough for my development, if I really wanted to spend more than three years of my life living in Ireland and if a profession or course available to me was something I would really enjoy doing.

At this point, I want you to take two minutes to think about your answers to those questions.

My answers

After asking myself so many questions, I decided to go to college in Dublin. But why? Because I understood that the amount spent on my education and development was never too high; my English wasn’t fluent but I couldn’t allow that to stop me. I must always believe in my potential for development.

I never thought about taking on an IT course; in fact it wasn’t the course of my dreams, but in life we have to try other possibilities, develop other areas and believe that we are able to excel in many ways, and that was my answer to this question.

What about staying in Ireland for the time requested? This question could not yet be answered. We will never be 100% able to leave our families and friends to live a different experience. I call this COURAGE.

Get planning

Once you understand what led me to the final decision, then it’s time to plan!

The course

The first step is to find out which course option most fits your profile or which one you are willing to discover and develop. Another point to take into consideration is the annual price of each course, balancing the pros and cons between price and aptitude.

Once the choice is made, it’s time to start paying!

How to pay

As students we know that every penny spent counts a lot in the budget. We are allowed to work part-time only (20 hours per week) for most of the year, which makes it a little difficult to pay the bills. My tip is: make a spending sheet, a control of what you WANT to spend and what you HAVE to spend. It will you help you have no surprises when it comes to paying the annual amount.

How to balance college and job

First thing, college must always come first. Do not hesitate to talk to your company about your situation. Agree terms with your employer about working hours that are good for you and for them. But always leave time during the week for college.

How to balance college and your personal life

Divide your time up and keep in mind that if your personal life is not going well your academic life will not be either. So take time to have fun, be happy, take care of your body and your mind. Meet friends and family. But don’t overdo it. Leave time for everything: personal, academic and professional life.

get your work-life balance right and things will be easier!

How not to give up

Always remember the first questions and your answers to each one. The difficulties will come, new questions will come, but don’t give up. At the end, one way or another, it will all have been worth it. Because what really matters is not to reach the top, but how you climbed up there.

This is just part of my perspective on what led me to go to college in Ireland and what I did to get through the last year without giving up. I have simplified a lot of things, so if you are interested in knowing a little more about my experiences or if you want more tips on how to get started, contact me.