After six years living in Waterford, Dan Chau Thuy Nguyen, our Vietnamese Ambassador shares why she chose Waterford as her life-changing destination!
Ireland’s oldest city — my destination!
Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city that was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. I grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, a fast-paced intense city with a population of more than twice the entire population of Ireland! Waterford city is a big change for me since only about 50,000 people call it home. I thought I would find it difficult to adjust to a slower pace of life but I was stunned to find that this charming little city would soon steal my heart.
A vibrant and multicultural city
If Ireland happens to be your chosen location to study abroad then I have some good news for you! You won’t have to stress about being lonely or isolated here, particularly if you chose Waterford city. First of all, since it is a small city, you can easily get around most places by foot or bike. Although the city has a small population, it has a large multicultural community. Waterford Institute of Technology has approximately 750 international students from over 70 different countries around the world.
If you have been here a while or have read some of the other ambassador’s blog posts you will now know that Ireland is famous for its friendly and welcoming people. The people in Waterford city have been so kind and helpful to me. When walking down the street, it is completely normal for someone to pass you with a big smile and a “How are you today?” or “Good morning!”, isn’t that just a lovely start to the day?! They can always be relied upon to give directions too if you are looking lost.
Exploring off campus
Being the oldest city in Ireland, Waterford has a rich history and there are so many places to explore in this Medieval city. Although there are not as many shops as other big cities, Waterford still has plenty on offer for those of you who like to shop. There are the standard Aldi/Lidl/Tesco (budget-shopping for your groceries), Penneys (the best budget shopping place), Debenhams, pharmacies (where you can also buy many cosmetics/perfumes), and so on.
Now onto food options! We have plenty of restaurants and take-away’s here in Waterford with various cuisines offering us incredible meals on a budget or fine dining for anyone looking to add a touch of class to an evening.
Waterford also has two high quality cinemas where you can catch the latest movies with comfortable seats, big screens and surround sound.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Ireland if I wasn’t recommending a visit to the pub! I know you can locate an Irish pub in pretty much every city throughout the world (we even have them in Vietnam!) but Waterford offers you the more authentic pub experience where you can mingle and make friends with the locals. There are various bars and night clubs with great music so why not get a group of friends together and make a night of it!
Waterford has so much to offer. You are guaranteed to never be bored here! There are festivals to attend, beautiful beaches and forests and gardens just waiting to be explored and all just a short drive away from the city.
I have adored the six years I have spent here in Waterford. I hope that by sharing my life changing experiences I have encouraged some of you to come and explore this vibrant, medieval city.