Brazilian Adson Castro highlights three issues which many students coming to Ireland will recgonise and has great advice on how to deal with them

Hi there. My name is Adson Castro and I am an international student in Ireland. I have recently started my bachelor’s degree in business at CCT College. I was born in Brazil so English is my second language. I am really proud of the way that my life has been driving me, to the point where I can be more open-minded and curious about different cultures and societies.

Back when I was packing my stuff and stepping out of my comfort zone to move to another country to improve my education, I wish I’d known a few things about Ireland that would have made me feel more confident and would have helped me to avoid a few unexpected surprises.

So, I will share with you three things I wish I’d known before becoming an international student in Ireland.

The weather
The first thing is related to the weather. Ireland has its seasons which are very distinctive from each other. With long winters and a relatively hot summer (nothing compared to my Brazil, but it’s pretty warm in Ireland during the summer) it’s easy to adapt.

The only issue I have faced is that it rains a lot. And an umbrella won’t keep you dry. Why? Because it gets very windy and you will probably need to buy a new umbrella every other day. Just imagine yourself holding an umbrella and the wind and rain just start to hit you from all directions. It’s not much fun!

But don’t be surprised if after pouring rain, the clouds open up and a beautiful sunlight shines on you. That’s quite pleasant to see.

The accent
Growing up in Brazil and consuming American pop culture, I got used to the American English accent. I remember landing at Dublin Airport and asking for information and listening to the Dublin accent which was totally new to me.

So, make sure you do your homework and try to take in some Irish pieces of media content. This would include TV shows, music, etc. I would recommend a few: Jack Taylor (Galway accent), Peaky Blinders and Young Offenders.

The cost
And last but not least, the third thing I wish I had known before arriving is the cost of living in Ireland. Ireland was in the middle of a housing crisis [pre-coronavirus] when I arrived and there were very few new buildings being built. So, the market reacts by increasing rents.
This is a big issue but it’s not the end of the world. One thing you can do to reduce this is to share a place with other students. The cost of living will depend on how you want to live in Ireland while you’re finishing your studies.

I hope I have made a few things clearer here about being an international student in Ireland. Thanks for reading.