The opportunity to study and travel and a chance to meet the best people in the world – just some of the reasons Chloe Houston ended up loving life at the Limerick Institute of Technology…

Why did I choose to study abroad in Ireland?

While in the early stages of my final year of college back home in Kingston, Ontario, Canada the opportunity arose to study abroad in Ireland for 2017/2018. The course was outlined as a semester of class work followed by a six month paid placement anywhere in the world, so I figured it was too good to be true and I would be silly to pass up that opportunity. A Bachelor’s Degree in Business with Travel and Tourism Management at Limerick Institute of Technology was something that I had to look forward to for 10 whole months.

A disadvantage of being from a small town in Canada is that it takes a very long time to get to a destination and usually comes at a hefty price. I was very excited to soon be located closely to numerous countries within Europe and be able to grab a $30 plane ticket to France for a few days while off from classes. Something that I highly recommend doing by the way!

Being one who enjoys activities and trying new things I was looking forward to bringing my cleats over and start playing soccer for LIT too. I’ve had the opportunity to travel with the team to other colleges around the country. This also encouraged me to try a popular Irish sport called Gaelic Football with a number of other International Students attending LIT – we recently participated in the Gaelic games hosted by GoGaelic at the University of Limerick as well!

My favourite experiences so far in Ireland?

By far my favourite thing about coming to Ireland are definitely the people… and Orchard Thieves Cider. My very first day in Ireland a few short hours after getting off the plane I decided to get some groceries but ended up getting lost with a couple other Canadians along the way. We asked these two young girls where the grocery store was, which we also ended up forgetting the name of… They tried to give us directions but then insisted on us following them to show us instead! During the same day, with a packed backpack and hands full of food a wonderful, caring lady in front of me at the cash desk also insisted on giving me a ride back to my student accommodation. It was a great first impression and I still to this day enjoy how much Irish people will want to hold a conversation with you, whether on the train or in line at the grocery store. Their thick accents and slang definitely take some getting used to, but it’s worth the effort!

My piece of advice?

Whenever you go to study abroad or even just on a vacation abroad, don’t have any expectations or try to compare it to your home country, because it most likely won’t be the same. Be open-minded about these new maybe challenging experiences and learn from them because in the end, it is the best knowledge that you can take with you wherever you go.