Life off campus is an undeniably important part of university life! Yes, your studies are extremely important. But university life is best spent exploring new opportunities with friends! Student Ambassador Natalie shares her experience of getting involved in life beyond campus…

Life off campus is often an overlooked aspect of university life. While being involved on campus is essential in university, it is beneficial to become involved in the community too! Branching out outside of your university campus can give you different opportunities and experiences. This can be anything from volunteering to getting a part time job! 

Salthill farmers market (photo: Natalie)

 In my program, students complete the ALIVE Certification, a certificate based on an essay and volunteer work. This certificate is advantageous on a CV and helps you become part of the community. For example, students can join volunteer organisations such as iVOL. This membership provides training on volunteering and volunteer opportunities near you. This can be tutoring, beach cleanups, city events, and more. While it is a valuable addition to your CV, many students reap other benefits of volunteering. You have the opportunity to volunteer for things you have never tried or may be interested in. Volunteering in a role that could be beneficial to your study is another optimal way to get involved. Students can see how certain roles and organisations work. Volunteering experience can also help students land part time jobs. Even students without previous work experience can gain skills through volunteering. Another way of establishing yourself off campus is part time work. Many students hold part time jobs during their study with the right balance. Part time work is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and become acquainted with your city.



These are only a few ways of establishing life off campus. Creating a life off campus is a helpful step when transitioning to a new country. Ireland has much to offer beyond your university campus. If you hope to pursue work in Ireland after your study, previous life experience in your city or anywhere in Ireland is useful. This allows you to have experience and references with Irish companies or organisations.  Another instrumental element of life off campus is filling your schedule with things other than academics and university social life. Student life can be overwhelming at times, but diversifying your schedule with different activities in your city can be so important for your mental health. Being involved in activities around your city has endless benefits and is always worth a try. Your university is even a way to help you get started! 

Beautiful rainbow (photo: Natalie)


Natalie is studying Social Sciences at NUI Galway.