Our ambassador from India and student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Vanya Tiwari shares the top six things that international students are bound to notice while studying in Ireland.

Now that I have been in Ireland for over a year there have been many new and interesting things that I have noticed on my travels in Ireland. Here are the things that stand out the most.

1. Irish culture

Group of peopple having a picnic with a white dog

Getting to know new people and a new culture

Much to my surprise, I found some similarities between Irish and Indian culture. Both have roots grounded in tradition, custom and music. People here still enjoy their traditional music and dance in the era of pop songs. Although, the Irish language (Gaelic), has started to vanish over the years and can often only be heard from people living in the countryside. The first few days you are here you will likely struggle a bit understanding people as the English spoken is generally really fast-paced, but it’s not so tough getting used to the different dialects. It is also hard to get the names of people at first. The names and surnames are different, lots of the names start with Mc, which I learned from my landlady afterwards means “son of” in Gaelic. There are also many festivals celebrated in Ireland — in addition to the expected Christmas and New Year celebrations you will also find that St Patrick’s day in March and Halloween in October, all a great excuse to celebrate!

2. Irish food

Fish and chips with lemon wedgews and tartare sauce next to a pint of Guinness

Fish and Chips and a pint of Guinness — an Irish specialty

The first thing which comes to mind when I think about Irish food is chips, they will accompany pretty much every food you order in a restaurant. If you love potatoes, Ireland is here to serve the best of them! Beef is also quite significant — it is said that Irish beef is some of the best you will find anywhere in the world. You can also find an authentic fish and chips shop in pretty much every town in Ireland. It is one of the most popular dishes in the country.

3. Irish drinks

Irish coffee with cream being poured on top

An Irish coffee — a real treat after a long day

There are two drinks which are synonymous around the globe —Irish coffee and Irish beer. You can always rely on them to help you relax after an exhausting day. Irish coffee is the strongest coffee I have ever tasted — it has quite the kick! Guinness is available in every bar, pub and store that sells alcohol in Ireland. It is an acquired taste, but a must-try!

4. Irish weather

Illustration depicting ducks standing in rain and stating that it is spring, summer , autumn and winter

Typical weather in Ireland

It is one of the funniest things found in Ireland. You can experience every season in a single day. Although I must point out that rain will fall no matter what season it is. It is always advisable to carry a rain jacket when you leave home because rain showers and wind can follow you anywhere. Forget about buying an umbrella as they are virtually useless against the strength of an Irish breeze!

5. Irish outings

Woman standing in front of the ruins of a stately home

Vanya enjoying a day out of sightseeing in Ireland

A day out in Ireland is often adventurous. There is natural beauty all around. You will definitely end up exploring beaches, forests, mountains and castles on a bright sunny weekend. The international society at your college will never let you miss any of them and will point you in the direction of all sights worth seeing. During summer there are interesting sports to try too such as kayaking, sky diving or trekking in the mountains. There is so much to explore in this country.

6. Irish studies

You will have an amazing time studying here

Studying in Ireland can mean a very different experience than you would get in your home country. It is a place where so many international students from across the globe come to pursue their studies abroad. It is a great opportunity to experience vastly different cultures and every college has clubs and societies for international students, which encourages you to come together. In Ireland, it is amazing that you can get a master’s degree in just one short year. This one year will fill you with an immense practical knowledge of the course that will ensure you are ready to head straight into the industry of your choice once finished.

What have you found fascinating about studying in Ireland? Leave me a comment and share your experiences below.