From accommodation to day trips, Student Ambassador Uzair shares his top tips, for every kind of weather! He tells us why Dublin was his first choice for his Master’s programme, and why it should be yours too…
Hey everyone, my name’s Uzair and I’m a Pakistani student currently enrolled at University College Dublin pursuing a MSc in Business Analytics. Since arriving in Dublin, life has been one hell of a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster with fluctuating lockdown rules: wait Mr. Taoiseach do you mean we can stay out in clubs till 6? 8? 12? 3? (Yayyyy) Back to 8? (Naaaay).
But this blog is about more than just the lockdowns (no matter how much we like to complain about them). I also want to talk about several things that you get to do in Dublin, which made this city my first choice to come for a Masters, and why it should be yours too!
When the sun is out! (PS only sometimes!)
There’s so much to do in this beautiful city when the sun is out. You can literally just walk around the city going from Apna park (Yes Pakistani and Indians “Apna” park was named by us!) and then to Herbert Park. You can feed the deers at Phoenix Park or roam around Dublin city centre taking pictures! If you’re tired, grab your favourite coffee from the Grafton Street area and lie down to do some good ol’ sunbathing in St. Stephen’s Green Park!
If you want to do the above you will need the leap card to travel to the places that are a little too far away for you to walk, so make sure you put that on the to-do list. Personally for me, the system at the university to get the transport card was slow and I wanted to get the student discount ASAP, so I just filled in the form and went to Bus Eireann’s office on O’Connell Street (you will hear that name a lot, it’s where the Spire is). The process is quite simple so make sure you get your student leap card ASAP, as it gives you discounts in shops and in food outlets as well!
Exploring the nearby areas:
Aside from all of the things to do within the city, Dublin also offers its inhabitants (soon to be you) amazing attractions on the outskirts. Places such as Howth, Bray and Shankill offer you a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, to take some time off to hike with your friends, have a picnic, or maybe take a dip into the freezing Irish Sea at the infamous Forty Foot. One of my favourite things to do in Ireland is going hiking in the Wicklow Mountains, and savouring the views of Dublin City. (Life hack: If you’re a bit too tired, you can always rent a GoCar and drive up to the Wicklow Mountains and National Heritage Park)
When the sun is gone!
Walking around, exploring the city and soaking in the sun is just one part of the fun. But what do you do on those days when the sun is gone? Rest assured, there are still tonnes of activities to partake in even in the cloud Dublin days.
Get those event tickets!
One thing you must do once you get here is subscribe to updates from the AVIVA Stadium, Eventbrite and Ticketmaster. Every week there are multiple events happening around town such as football games (yes, I got to see Ronaldo live!), concerts, indie nights at clubs and much more. So make sure you stay updated with them and get the tickets before they run out. AND YES these Dubliners are crazy, those tickets run out within minutes!
One thing I’d like to share here with all the incoming students and their parents is that please be proactive when it comes to finding accommodation. I delayed the “finding a place to live in” part of my arrival in Dublin and was on the verge of paying 100 Euros a night before one of the Irish landlords came to the rescue (woot woot) and offered me temporary accommodation for two months.
Tips to find good accommodation, quickly!:
- Download the Daft.ie app on your phone and fill in your preferences.
- Subscribe to notifications so you get an email as soon as something matches your choices.
- Have a nice email written in a friendly manner, with your introduction ready, send it ASAP.
- Wait for the landlords’ message to invite you for a viewing and be accommodating of their time.
- DRESS UP for the viewing. You don’t want to look like a laid back student (even though you might be one 😉
- LAND that house and chill!
Hit me up!
I guess that would be it from my side (partly because I don’t like writing too much and partly because I have to go watch the latest Spiderman that came out). But you can add me on my social media to stay updated and also to get some life hacks whilst you prepare to come to Dublin 🙂
Uzair is studying Business Analytics at UCD Smurfit School.