Wagner Hernandes, our University College Cork and Brazilian Ambassador share the most important gifts he brought home with him following his study abroad experience in Ireland…

This blog originally started with the idea of writing about food, drink and all types of souvenirs that students can find in Ireland but it slowly turned into something too superficial so I decided to change things a little bit…. This blog is still about gifts from Ireland but not really the material stuff but still things you can bring with you and that your loved ones will appreciate!

Some of you are currently preparing to return home for the holidays and next summer, the time will come to pack your bags and say good-bye to newly made friends at the end of your study abroad experience. For some, this ending can be quite exciting because they’ll soon be reunited with relatives and friends back home. However, for others, this might be their biggest challenge yet and just the thought of leaving this country behind is terrifying. Here are some of the best things I think you’ll bring home with you…


During the year away, you’ll meet people from all over the globe and even from your own country that you might have never had the opportunity to meet there. These will become your family while here, they’re the ones you’ll look to when facing any adversity. It’s hard to explain to your old friends why these people who have only spent a year with you could’ve become so important so fast because you shared the same experiences and faced common struggles. As this is my second time studying in Ireland, I think that I’m able to tell you this, you will indeed miss these people when going back home but don’t worry, at least then you have an excuse to visit other places. It’ll be grand!


Even if your suitcases are not overloaded when departing, I’m sure that your mind, travel diary, Facebook and/or Instagram are filled with many amazing memories that you’ve been collecting throughout this year. From the first time you locked yourself out of your room, those annoying fire alarms going off during Thursday nights, to all the amazing trips across the Emerald Isle and around Europe. Food, drink, places and faces will be used as topics of various conversations. These memories will be cherished over the years, they are part of you now and will change your perspective of most things coming in your future. You have seen the world and will be both grateful and proud!


This could’ve been your first time living by yourself, which is a reality for many exchange students, if that’s your case, you probably learned about all house chores that you haven’t been doing at home. Personal tip: it’s very hard to cook anything back home when your mom makes such amazing food effortlessly. Besides that, you faced such a wide range of experiences and grew so much that you might not have noticed yet, but trust me when I tell you that that time will come. If there’s anything you will learn the most when studying abroad it is about yourself, you’ll get to know all your capabilities and limits. This will not only change the way you handle new challenges, but also how people see you!

Interested in studying abroad? Visit the Education in Ireland website for more information.