Happiest in quiet places but still want to study abroad? There are many options outside of main cities in Ireland. Winnie from Malaysia shares her experience from LYIT in Letterkenny, located beautiful Co Donegal where she studies. Since arriving here she has discovered a new lease of life……

In the blink of an eye, four months passed. I still remember the girl who was waiting for her flight to Ireland at Kuala Lumpur Airport. That was her first time going overseas. She was pursuing her dream. She is Winnie Wong Yee Ching from Sarawak, Malaysia… me!

Sarawak is a Borneo island of Malaysia. When people talk about Malaysia, they might know Kuala Lumpur but only the minority of them know Sarawak in the same was as people might only know Dublin in Ireland. I am studying at LYIT in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland… in the middle of nowhere but a place as quiet and beautiful as my home in Sarawak!

I have been here for four months now and have travelled to Ireland’s capital city Dublin just once. It is busy there as all the capital cities are around the world. For me, I prefer a quiet place. However, it does not matter where or which city I am, if I am in Ireland, I feel secure. I even dare to walk alone on the street at the midnight. This is not a great thing to do anywhere but I only want to show how safe it is here!

Read on to find out three things I’ve discovered on my study abroad journey…

Study abroad is the right choice

Study abroad has given me the opportunity to grow and become more mature, mentally. Since arriving, I’ve realised that I have a responsibility to myself, i.e. what I am doing, saying, and reacting. I think about my future; I think about life. I think less about how to get an A, and more about what I want to do with my life and how I can achieve that. Of course, getting good grades is important. What I want to bring out is not only for getting good grades on paper but in my life.

Don’t study hard, study smart

Many Malaysian students study hard but not smart. Of course, not all the Europe students study smart but most of them do judging by those I have met. I am not sure what causes this, maybe the tradition, may be the custom. Working hard is good but I realised something was wrong when I found some people can get the same grades as me but were spending less time than me with their heads in the books.

LYIT provides a very good module for LLB first year called Learning and Communication Skill in Law. In this module, I learnt how to study smart. In Semester 1 in preparation for exams, I spent 3 hours per day studying during the study break and I can tell you this meant I coped far better than I used to in Malaysia where I would spend the whole day in the library, studying until 3 o’clock in the morning, drinking coffee to refresh myself.

Life is more than study

I find life is more interesting after coming to Ireland. I think this is because of the mindset. In Malaysia, they teach us that to have a good job, we should get CGPA 4.0; We must graduate from a high ranking school, but now I’ve found that studying in university is only one of the steps before going off to the workplace. What’s important are the skills we learn in the university not only the certificate at the end. The exam is not the all our life, it is just a platform to show off the skills. I’ve started to enjoy life. I found that we can and should do many other things other than becoming doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc. I’ve started to bake!

In conclusion, life here is relaxing, enjoyable, and interesting. Interested in studying in Ireland? More information is needed? Please do not hesitate to comment below. I understand English, Malay and Chinese!