The people make the place! Student Ambassador Natalie assures us that the people of Ireland are a friendly bunch. Immersing herself in local culture and exploring the sights and sounds of Galway, Natalie has loved her time here so far…

My name is Natalie! I am a German-American from the United States and I study Social Sciences at NUI Galway. My first impression of visiting Ireland was, of course, how nice everyone is! The people and culture here feel very 

Galway City Centre (photo: Natalie)

welcoming instantly, which is especially comforting when moving here from abroad. As an international student, there are a lot of tasks to be done upon arrival and the helpful people here make it much easier! First year is exciting as you discover which ones are the good pubs, Supermacs, and the other things Ireland has to offer.  

Beautiful sights to see…

No matter what city you end up in, Ireland has incredible landscapes everywhere. The rain, even though it can be inconvenient,  makes for a beautiful, lush and very green country! Especially when it’s sunny! In Ireland you can’t always trust the weather forecast, often the sun comes out even when it’s not meant to. The bus and train system in Ireland make it easy to take a day trip to any popular sites near your university. Living in Galway, the Cliffs of Moher or Kylemore Abbey are easy day trips to get out and explore your new surroundings. Exploring Ireland is one of the best parts of attending university here because it can be done easily and affordably. It is also important to see as much as you can while enjoying your stay here.  

Beautiful scenery in Galway (photo: Natalie)

Vibrant culture!

Boats on the bay (photo: Natalie)

Fully submerging yourself allows you to learn a lot about Irish culture and social life! There are plenty of music, sports, food and drink spots that are amazing here. Unlike many European countries, soccer isn’t the biggest sport. Here, it’s all about Gaelic football. Coming from a country filled with sports it was so exciting to learn about a new one. 

Another amazing part of Irish culture is the music. Traditional Irish music is at the heart of culture and truly adds to the atmosphere of a traditional pub! One thing I noticed moving to Ireland were the street performers or buskers. Many talented musicians travel Ireland and grace each city with their music. Since the pandemic they have been a big part of Galway, bringing everyone together for singing and dancing.  

Overall, I had a wonderful impression of Ireland and have had an easier transition into university and a new country.  

Natalie is studying Social Sciences at NUI Galway.