From the warm welcome with a splendid rainbow to the rich history of Limerick, every moment has been an adventure for Student Ambassador Zishu (Deborah) Gao.

I was welcomed to Ireland with a splendid rainbow just as I landed in Dublin Airport in October 2022. What a perfect view to kick off my journey here!

After three months of my time here in Limerick, I can finally say I absolutely had the right choice to come to Ireland for my  MA in Design. Limerick School of Art and Design is the oldest art college in Ireland with a world-renowned reputation. The Technological University of the Shannon is a multi-campus university spread across six campuses throughout Ireland’s Midwest and Midlands region with 14,000+ students from all over the world. I managed to make friends from many different international backgrounds.

Limerick is a city with its rich history and has a unique vibe among other cities in Ireland. My bachelor study was in Industrial Product Design both in my home city Shanghai, China and in Nantes, France. Truth to be told, it feels much closer to compare it to my previous experience in continental Europe. 

The first semester started with a course in a collaborative project. Since all of us in the class are international, we missed a bit of local connection during our time on campus. I joined the student experience committee and a DJ society with other Irish students on board which I enjoyed a lot during my free time in university.

I was fascinated by Irish culture and history before I came to Ireland. To be able to study and live in the hometown of The Cranberries was like a dream come true. I felt so lucky and grateful to be awarded with the Claddagh Scholarship by Education in Ireland when I was applying for my study. When I first travelled to Galway during Christmas break, I finally managed to bring my Claddagh “charm” from 2D to 3D. I was so touched by the beautiful symbolization* of the Claddagh ring (*The hands are for friendship. The heart is for love. And loyalty is shown with the crown over it.)

I was invited by my friend to attend the President’s Ball from Engineers Ireland in Dublin. This was the very first time for me to experience an official ball like this. It was such fun!

So far my life in Ireland has met every expectation I had. 

Ireland, definitely my right choice!

Deborah Zishu Gao is pursuing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Design at TUS