Despite remote learning, Student Ambassador Arin managed to make lifelong friends, succeed in her classes, and create an amazing new life in Ireland! Keep reading to see how she balanced it all in her first blog…
I had many concerns before I moved to Ireland as a foreign student, as it was a completely new environment to me. However, when I arrived, my concerns quickly faded away! The people of Ireland are very welcoming and very friendly. As a person who loves to meet new people, and learn new cultures, I definitely came to the right place. Irish people are naturally good at making conversation and ensuring you don’t feel out of place.
This is my second year studying in the Technological University of Shannon (TUS) and my experience so far has been amazing. Although, sometimes I find it hard to understand my lecturers due to the language barrier, they always make sure to help if I have any questions. Because of this, I have no issues in terms of studying in Ireland, and I enjoy all of the differences in the teaching techniques and methods used, when compared to my home university in Malaysia.
When I first came to Ireland in 2020, it was a very crucial time for everyone due to the beginning of the pandemic. TUS was only open for the first two weeks, and then it was closed for the remainder of the semester. During lockdown, all of my classes went online. It took me a while to get used to this, as well as everything else in Ireland was still new to me too! The lockdown has affected my friendship with my classmates since I only got to meet them for 2 weeks and the rest was just communicating through zoom calls.
Nevertheless, this situation has made me closer to the international students who are going through the same situation as me. There are students from many different countries including France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Turkey and many more that I became close with during the first year. We learned about each other’s cultures and it was a very interesting experience for me since I got to know more cultures here other than just Irish. We had many gatherings doing activities such as dinner, parties, and sports events, all to support each other while everything else was closed.
TUS reopened this year in September, and this was when everything got better! I got to know most of my classmates this year and got the chance to meet so many more Irish people. I have learned so many new things and new slang that Irish people use that I did not have the chance to learn last year! Shops and restaurants reopened too so I got more chances to go and visit new places and spend more quality time with my friends! I am enjoying my studies in Ireland right now and I am excited and open to more experiences in the future.
Arin is pursuing a degree in Accounting from Technological University of the Shannon, Midlands and Midwest.