University College Cork has wowed Student Ambassador Samantha with its beautiful buildings and rich history. in her second blog, she gives us a glimpse into the warm embrace UCC has brought to her life. Read more to find out how she’s getting on!

The moment I received the email from University College Cork saying I have been accepted to be part of the Msc Food Business and Innovation programme, my mind started running in circles just thinking how college would be. 

Looking at the photos of the campus left me breathless. The architecture is unbelievable, even my family said it looked like a castle when I showed them some videos of the place where I would be studying soon!

Little did I know that I would love campus and the college more than I ever could have imagined. Not only because of the architecture, but for many other reasons too. I was so surprised on my first day when I saw the outstanding ‘Main Hall’ in front of me! 

You might have already seen a few pictures of this building, it would come up first when you type UCC into your browser, and trust me, it is just as beautiful as in the photos. The thing is the university is so much more than just pretty buildings.

The UCC quadrangle where the ‘Main Hall’ is located (photo: Samantha)

According to the UCC official website, the campus occupies 42 acres in total and is located only 10 to 15 minutes walking distance from Cork City Centre. In 1885, female students were admitted for the first time and in 1908, the name of the university officially changed from Queen’s College Cork to University College Cork. Aside from these facts, many others are also included in the official college website so, if you are interested in the full history, dive in and I’m sure you will find some interesting details!

In 2010 the university was awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education with the title of “Green Campus”, the first third level education institution to receive such an award worldwide. UCC achieved this by actively contributing to sustainability projects through the general university´s operations and research activities. UCC has also been named “University of the year” on several occasions, receiving a large number of international students every semester, giving the possibility to have a broader and richer experience since, students like me, can experience a variety of traditions, languages and cultures at the same time we are studying. 

UCC campus (photo: Samantha)

Now, what about the Irish students? Well trust me, they will see no difference between you being an international student and them being locals. My classmates have made me feel like I belong here and the support provided from professors and college staff contributes to having a smooth stay. They are all incredibly comprehensive and open minded to receive the point of view of an international student.  

In regards to the classes, just be prepared for the strong Irish accent some professors may have. Dealing with it is challenging in the beginning but after a couple of weeks you will feel you have been living here forever, and you shall finally understand the fast speaking pace! If you are finding it hard to keep up on top of how classes work, never be afraid to let professors know, they recognise the transition can be a bit overwhelming and will find a way to help you do their best for you to succeed in your studies.  

UCC main gates (photo: Samantha)

Also, do ask for some help or advice from the local students, at the end of the day they have been in this country for quite a while so they know much more how to cope with the student life here, how to book a study room in the library or even where the closest cafe on campus is.  

At the end of the day, you´ll be here so keep doing your thing every single day to excel and be as happy as possible while enjoying your time. I´m sure the marvellous architecture of UCC, combined with how welcoming Irish students, professors and staff are, will add to the lifetime experience you are about to jump into!

Samantha is studying Food Innovation and Business at UCC