Food, Tourist attractions, Employment opportunities… Student Ambassador Ufuoma Oyovwikefe share whit us the six things that she loves about living and studying in Ireland.
Before arriving in Ireland, I had read about the Irish people, their food, culture, movies and novels of the Irish people and I was absolutely in love with them, also important is the fact that Ireland
Eating the traditional fish and chips at one of Limerick’s diners, The Buttery (Photo: Ufuoma Oyovwikefe )
has recently been referred to as the tech hub of Europe. After arriving in Ireland on the 2nd of September 2021, I was totally blown away, it was exactly as I had read in the novels, the books, the sceneries, the castles and so many pubs. There are so many reasons why I love Ireland but here are my top 6 reasons;
The Irish food: I call Irish food very interesting and this is because I have never seen any country that loves their potatoes more than the Irish person. Even more, they have found so many ways to include potatoes in every meal either as a side dish or even as a main meal. Most restaurants have mostly potatoes in all forms on their menus. To the Irish, their potatoes are more than just food lol, it is more of a connection. Another part of the food they love is Chicken, I felt we ate a lot of chicken in Nigeria until I came and saw the Irish person. Chicken is everywhere and in different types as well, also mostly eaten with, of course, you guessed it, their potatoes lol. The third most interesting thing about Irish food is their love for Pork. I never used to like pork meat or even eat it in Nigeria but coming to Ireland, I saw that they even had different types of Pork such as the Rasher, the Ham, sausages and even pudding made with pig’s blood. My favourite is the Rasher and Ieat for breakfast with beans and potatoes in my school or work cafeteria. Though not so spicy as Nigerian food, the Irishloves their different sauces and dips with their food. And oh, let’s not forget, their fish as well, in fact, one of the traditional Irish food is fish and mashed potatoes or fried potatoes.
The picture at King John Castle, Limerick, Ireland. . (Photo: Ufuoma Oyovwikefe )
Tourist attractions: Ireland is so beautiful and filled with so many beautiful places in so many counties. There are so many castles, beaches, museums, historical museums, parks, and festivals to attend that just immerse you into the Irish culture, their story and their history. The good thing is most of these places are free or very affordable to go to. There are also very beautiful tours that can take you around different counties at a very affordable rate allowing you to explore Ireland. This is because Ireland is a small Island country so moving between counties is very easy. My favourite tourist attraction is the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. One of the most peaceful and beautiful sceneries with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Beautiful scenery: Ireland is beautiful and gives you this very calm feeling of being peaceful. There are lots of green parks as well as hiking and walking routes. The churches still maintain the old church buildings which are so beautiful. The houses are old style and make you like you are immersed in an old historical movie; it is very beautiful. There are also lots of horses and you can find two people riding a horse in a community area during the day.
Employment opportunities: One of the reasons I love Ireland is that there are lots of job opportunities available to you as a student and when you graduate. While studying, you are allowed to work for 20hrs and 40hrs during summer. As a student, I and my friends were able to get part-time jobs easily and those who have graduated were able to get good jobs in less than 3 to 6 months of graduating. The fact that Ireland gives 2 years post-study visa to anyone who studies for a master’s in Ireland is a great way for graduates to get good experience working in a company and to broaden their knowledge of everything they had learned in school. Jobs are readily available because Ireland is filled with so many tech companies such as Facebook, TikTok, Accenture, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Casa, Johnson & Johnson, and even other tech startups that offer good salary pay. In Limerick, there is the Plassey technological park which marks the beginning of the area where most tech companies and major companies such as Casa, three mobile, HM & V, Johnson&Johnson are located in Limerick, Ireland. This Limerick tech hub is located in Castletroy in Limerick, just after the University of Limerick and offers great job opportunities for graduates.
The Irish Pubs: I have never seen more pubs and bars before than in Ireland. The Irish love their drink and love to relax at a bar in the evenings drinking their beer or a pint of Guinness. I love going to the pubs so much because Irish music and dance are so beautiful to see. My favourite pub is the Squire McGuirebar in Limerick, Ireland, an old bar with lots of Irish live music every Friday and Sunday and karaoke every Saturday. Their music, and instruments are very calming and different from the average Nigerianmusicand and very interesting. The lyrics are soulful and decent as well. The pubs are also the best way to network and meet really amazing people.
The people: The Irish people are very friendly. One major thing I love about them is that they speak the English language so communication is way easier than if I was studying in a country that speaks a foreign language. They have a rich sense of humour and very funny slang. Though the Irish people have a particularly deep accent and speak really fast, all you need is to listen carefully when they speak. They are also a very diverse community and have a large number of other nationalities so Ido not feel like I am alone in the country. ConclusionIreland is much more experienced than reading about. The history, culture and music of the Irish people inspire you that life is beautiful and that there is beauty in simplicity. Though one is a thousand miles from home, the beautiful natural scenery made of castles, mountains, rivers and the sea makes you feel like home isn’t far away. And when days feel droopy, good Irish music in a publish tens up one’s mood. Most importantly, in Ireland, one can strike a balance between studying and having a good social life and refreshing on the mountain or the beach.