Being an international student is all about immersing yourself in a new culture. Whatever path takes you to Ireland, there is so much to be explored! In her second post, Student Ambassador Emily shares her experiences of moving abroad for her studies. From culture shock to readjusting to the weather, she tells us all in her blog…
Hi everyone, I’m Emily Tang from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have been based in Limerick, Ireland for 3 years now. I am currently in my first year of the Professional Master of Education (PME) in Art and Design with Digital Media in the art campus of the Technology University of Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS), formerly Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).
Why did I choose to study in Ireland? Good question. I felt lost after graduating with my diploma at home. So, after some considerations, I decided to further my studies in Ireland to expand my opportunities in the art field.
When I started to settle into life in Limerick city, I realised that the so-called ‘city’ is much smaller than I had imagined! I was seriously surprised that this place considered as a city could be that quiet. I found that the locals love to travel on foot here. Does that sound familiar to you? In Malaysia, we prefer driving due to the hot weather and convenience. In Limerick, my apartment is 45 minutes walking distance from the city centre and campus. This might sound far but whenever I need to clear my head, I just do this walk. This is how I started to enjoy the quietness and slow pace of this city.
It sounds hilarious but I do have trust issues with Irish weather. You can never trust the weather forecast. Mostly, when the forecast says it will be sunny, reality gets you bad! The opposite usually appears…
As I have never experienced four seasons in Malaysia, it took a long time to get used to this change in weather. I usually catch a cold when the seasons change! Even during the summer, it is still much colder than I am used to, especially at night. At the end of the year, there is usually a storm that brings extra wind and cold to the city. However, it is nice to experience these new things, but I do still prefer the warmer weather in the spring and summer!
For the first few months in Ireland, I had a culture shock when the locals were very friendly and randomly greeted me when they were passing by. Sometimes, you will meet someone who just starts chatting with you as if they know you really well. I appreciate the friendly culture and it inspires me to be more open. Since I moved to Ireland, I believe my confidence has been boosted as I step out of my comfort zone into a brand new culture, to socialise with new people. My social and communications skills have grown in this difference.
No matter what brings you here, take it as a new chapter in the journey of your life! There are loads of new things and experiences waiting for you to explore here. Enjoy the precious time while you have these opportunities!
Emily is working towards a PME in Art with Digital Media at Technological University of Shannon: Midlands and Midwest