Crazy about numbers and want to experience studying abroad? Kean Yeap Yong tells us more about his passion for counting and why he has fallen for Accounting at Athlone Institute of Technology

What do you think about when you think about numbers? What’s the first thought that pops into your mind when you hear the word mathematics? Is maths a difficult task or something to enjoy? The latter describes my feelings towards calculations.

Many people say Asians are good at maths and my love of math was why I chose accounting. Successfully calculating with high speed and accuracy drove me into the career path I am currently taking, and my love of all things numbers – from mathematics questions to accounts – has increased.

My parents gave me an abacus at a very young age and I have always been fascinated by the wonder of calculation. Philip Davis explained it best when he said, “one of the endlessly alluring aspects of mathematics is that its thorniest paradoxes have a way of blooming into beautiful theories.”

In order to immerse myself in calculations, I decided to pursue an Accounting course at Athlone IT, Ireland but why did I choose Ireland and AIT? It’s all about the numbers

Course duration

Accounting at AIT is a three year Honours Degree, compared to the usual four years required in other institutions. This one year difference may not matter to some, but it matters to a numbers man like me. Accounting lecturers in AIT are kind, helpful, engaged and always available to help, especially with international students. The class is not too big, giving lecturers the opportunity to focus on each student’s learning progress.

Graduate opportunities

Many international companies have their EU headquarters in Ireland, and this is set to increase post-Brexit. I believe Ireland has a prosperous future, and the Post-Study Working (PSW) Visa means international students have the chance to take advantage of this fact.

AIT’s ranking

AIT has just been awarded the prestigious Institute of Technology of the Year 2018 in the Sunday Times Good University Guide. AIT was ranked the 2nd best Institute of Technology last year but it’s now the number one of its kind in Ireland! AIT’s rise up the ranking further erodes the traditional divide between the Universities and Institutes of Technology. Its win this year is totally deserved. AIT provides excellent facilities and services in vital fields for students including effective teaching practice, superb facilities for certain courses, student-friendly environment and staff while providing high-quality interactions between careers and graduates.

English language

Ireland is one of only a few English-speaking countries in Europe and if you feel your language skills aren’t quite up to scratch, AIT is the right place to pursue your studies. You will always be encouraged to do well at AIT, and extra comprehensive English classes are offered. The Academic Writing Center on AIT campus provides a helping hand for students to enhance their academic writing skills. From my own experience, these classes are unbelievably excellent!

Affordable fees and living costs

As a numbers man, every decision I make has a backdrop rooted in budget. In comparison, third level education in Ireland is given at affordable fees. Athlone offers low fees and living costs but still allows you to experience student life to the fullest. You must say I am lying if I tell you I spend less in Athlone than in Malaysia even though EUR 1 = MYR 5. Students spend only €100 for their basic food needs monthly. That’s reasonable enough and I believe there is no place like Athlone that students can survive by paying such a low cost!

Friends are for life

You are not alone when you become an AIT student. The college is home to a student population made up of 11% international students, coming from over 60 countries. International students are made feel at home in AIT. It is amazing to experience different cultures and the connections and friends you’ll make while studying abroad are truly unforgettable years in your life.

The heart of Ireland, Athlone

Athlone is located smack bang in the middle of Ireland and here in the Midlands, you’re in the heart of it all. As I mentioned, everything is about budgeting and AIT’s location means it is convenient to travel everywhere. It’s only 90km to Galway and 120km to Dublin. You need less than 2 hours to travel by bus to both of them.

Ireland wasn’t my first choice initially when faced with choices of colleges and universities after graduating from high school in Malaysia. However, following my research and having millions of conversations with the inspiring agent Mr CK Chiau in Malaysia, I just couldn’t hold myself back from this attractive country and I successfully convinced myself and my family to support my decision for my future. My advice? Choose AIT! 

Find out more about studying as an international student at Athlone Institute of Technology