Nigerian student Nsikak Nyah had to adjust to a lot when he arrived in Ireland, but he is loving the challenge, and in this piece he shares all the things he would love to have known before he came to study at Limerick Institute of Technology for his Master’s in Quantity Surveying.
Starting a new phase of your life in a different country can be tough, and you will need all the little help you can get in adapting to the change of environment. It is necessary to get your mind prepared ahead of time. In this blog I share some tips from my personal experience of being a newbie student in Ireland. All these tips are very important; I wish someone told me some of these things before arriving in Ireland.
Here we go. I hope these are useful!
Covid-19 and online classes
Arriving in Ireland, you are expected to restrict your movement for 14 days and are only allowed to move around for essentials while wearing a face mask during that period. Ireland has been able to manage the Covid-19 breakout well enough, so you are not just isolated in a building with nobody around, you could still see people taking a walk or run outside while adhering to proper precautions.
My course (MSc. Quantity Surveying) at Limerick Institute of Technology started earlier than other courses. Due to some delays in my home country Nigeria I arrived in Ireland 3 weeks after classes had already started. Thankfully it was all online so I joined classes from my home country, and although initially I was a bit sad that I wasn’t going to have an education with proper social interaction physically, I decided to look on the bright side of things. Online classes give you a lot of flexibility as a student and you get the chance not to miss anything as you can join from anywhere in the world.
No-one prepared me for how fast-paced lectures in Ireland could be, in contrast to the style of teaching in my home country, where things are a bit slow-paced so you can catch up anytime. But then there is no challenge to be on top of your game always. The fast-paced nature of lectures here will keep you on top of your game and you will have to eliminate procrastination generally from your schedule. No bad thing, right?
Style of teaching
The style of teaching is more discussion-based in Ireland. You are not spoon-fed constantly with information. Instead you are challenged to do deeper research into a topic for yourself and form an opinion around it, and your opinion is always acknowledged by your lecturers.
Plagiarism is a big deal
I guess this was the biggest shocker on the list for me, as Irish colleges as well as any standard college in Europe see plagiarism as a big deal. Most colleges have their own plagiarism software, so you can’t escape learning how to properly reference and paraphrase your essays.
The Irish Accent
Back in my country Nigeria, I used to watch a lot of movies with Irish and Scottish actors but that didn’t still prepare me enough for the Irish accent! At first, I struggled to understand what most of my lecturers or people on the street said, because the Irish people talk very fast, but with time I got accustomed to the accent. This was a big concern for me at first, but that shouldn’t bother you because, like me, you will get used to it with time.
Get ready to do more presentations
If you are a shy person you will have to grow out of your shell of being an introvert, as most assignments will require you to do individual or group presentations, even if it is online. Doing presentations helps you get a better understanding of the topics you are taught, which is the great advantage.
With these few inside tips to help you prepare your mind, you should have no problem navigating the Irish educational system. If you have any questions, just drop them in the comments section and I will endeavour to answer them early. Cheers!