Sharing your home culture is an important part of being an international student. When Student Ambassador Janaina Alves de Andrade moved from Brazil to MIC Limerick, she found an institution where she was encouraged to embrace a new culture, without forgetting her own…

What is so special about Mary Immaculate College? 

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is known for its excellence in higher education. It has been the dream of many people who live not only in Limerick, but in other counties (and countries too!) to attend MIC. This could be enough of a reason to make someone’s mind up when choosing where to study, however, while this factor is important, MIC goes far beyond providing quality education. This is what makes it an institution to be proud of. Just follow me! 

Exploring the campus at MIC (photo: Janaina)

MIC respects differences and encourages our own culture 

I’m proud to be part of an institution where the students have a voice. A place that respects students’ needs and differences while offering emotional support. Our culture is seen as part of ourselves; therefore, we are provided with the space and the resources to manifest and celebrate important moments from our home countries. We are encouraged to embrace a new culture without forgetting ours!

Celebrating my Brazilian culture in Ireland (photo: Janaina)

MIC offers the best support through its International Office team 

Studying abroad doesn’t mean you need to fight a lonely battle. As an international student it is important to know that there is a team you can count on. Before arriving in Ireland I faced some difficulties, but all of them were sorted out in time with the help of this amazing group. From accommodation to visiting the sights, everything is thought through carefully so that, in the end, despite being in a new country, we can feel at home. I’m sure that my experience at MIC wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for the International Office, and especially for all the support that comes from the director, Holly Cowman.  

The International Office at MIC (photo: Janaina)

MISU – for students, by students 

Starting a new semester can be a little bit fuzzy, but not when you have an army ready to guide you. Modules, timetables, lectures, clubs and societies…all that you need to stay on top of everything going on at college is helped by the Student Union team. Aside from support and advice, the MISU team is there to represent you. As a Class Representative, I can assure you: your interests are also ours! 

Student Union offices (MISU) (photo: Janaina)

Approachable and friendly lecturers 

I really like to talk about this topic. I attended different colleges during my academic life, both in my home country and abroad. MIC has the most approachable and friendly staff I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet. Here we don’t need to chase after our lecturers, our emails are always answered in time so we’re never left waiting, and we can even go for a coffee and have a nice chat with them! 

With my lecturers! (photo: Janaina)

COVID-safe environment  

MIC is always encouraging students and staff to raise awareness regarding COVID. We all know this is a stressful time for everyone that is why the college has provided a safe place for all. We can easily find hand sanitiser, signs and instructions on how to proceed to avoid spreading the virus. MIC is positioned to support its members and it is concerned about their wellbeing. 

Wonderful new friends and wonderful new experiences (photo: Janaina)

Final thoughts – everyone is happy here! 

Mary Immaculate College is in Limerick City and has some beautiful surroundings. We can have a nice walk by the Shannon River and this is where you can find King John’s Castle – living history in the heart of the city. With just an hour’s drive, you find the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s favourite visitor experiences. In addition, you will also find other entertainment options, such as pubs, theatre, and a cinema. In short, studying here allows me to live great experiences in and out of college.



Janaina is working towards a Masters in Applied Linguistics at Mary Immaculate College.