Rochelle Vaz is loving her MSc in Marketing in NUI Galway, but studying in Ireland is certainly very different to studying in India. In this blog she shares her tips on preparing for study in Ireland. The good news? It’s all very worthwhile!

A couple of months ago I was packing my bags and preparing for a new adventure; an adventure called a Master’s.  When I first stepped into my marketing class, I felt very confident and my past academic record made me feel like there was nothing that could stop me from acing this degree too. Having studied marketing during my bachelor’s degree I thought an MSc. in marketing would be plain sailing throughout, but I was wrong. Two weeks into the course, the assignments started coming in fast and there were so many curveballs being thrown at me. In this blog, I will be talking about how to prepare yourself for a degree in Ireland and the ways in which you can bridge the gap from what you already know to what will be expected of you.

Focus on applied learning, not just theory

University studies in India are challenging, but the method of delivery and expectations from students are very different from what they are in Ireland. The education system here focuses on applied learning, rather than testing your theoretical knowledge. More than just handing out a certificate, Irish education seeks to make students employable by testing various skills that go beyond the textbook. So, how do you assimilate this new information?

Top tips:  never plagiarise, read widely, get used to teamwork

For starters, get into the habit of reading more than just the recommended textbook. Writing theory will help you get the required marks but quoting and referencing the work of researchers helps you stand out. Irish education emphasises critical thinking, encouraging students to go beyond the scope of the examination syllabus.

Secondly, never plagiarise any content, as you will definitely be penalised for it. When you start university, you will receive training regarding referencing systems and how content needs to be cited for your reports. I would strongly recommend attending those sessions, so that you are not at sea trying to cope.

Enjoying one of my lectures in NUI Galway

Thirdly, academic learning in Ireland is largely group- and community-driven. As opposed to the heavy emphasis on individual performance in India, teamwork and collaboration are encouraged and learning with peers is endorsed here. There is vast cultural diversity in Irish education. Studying alongside students from different countries and cultures creates a unique multi-cultural environment that allows for greater learning and fosters teamwork and collaboration. Make sure to actively participate in group projects and never shy away from sharing your perspective. This is the best preparation for working at multi-national companies who always talk about the power of teams, inclusion and diversity.

Study in Ireland:  well worth considering

Having shared all of this, I would like to conclude by saying that it’s really worthwhile considering a degree in Ireland. The university experience, the students, the professors – they are what makes it so memorable. And the time is flying. While doing all of the above suggested tasks is recommended, it is also very important not to be hard on yourself. This is easier said than done, but if you burn out early on in the course the rest of the year is going to be strenuous. Remember to eat on time, hydrate, call your parents and shower daily.

Feel free to ask me any questions that you might have as an Indian student wanting to pursue higher studies in Ireland.