Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland: The end of a wonderful semester abroad // Conclusion and reflection (by Lisa)

The end of the semester

The semester abroad is over! After spending almost four months abroad, we are finally done! We had a Christmas break from December 14th to January 7th during which a lot of us flew home while some stayed in Dublin. After the break, we had a two weeks exam period in which most of us had to take three to four exams. Each exam had a duration of about three hours. It was good to have a Christmas break before taking the exams because we had about three weeks to get our studying done but also to see our families and friends back home which gave us even more energy to fly back to Dublin and pass the exams with good grades. After the exams, some stayed in Dublin longer, they rented an Airbnb and enjoyed their last days in Dublin without any exams.

The last two months passed really quick, it was quiet cold in Dublin with temperatures around 0-6°C and a lot of wind. The city center of Dublin was decorated nicely with a lot of Christmas lights and trees. There was even a projector screening some Christmas ornaments and symbols on Trinity College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion and reflection

 After returning from Dublin, I had the chance to look back and reflect on my semester abroad. Here is a list with pros and cons for why choosing Dublin as destination for your semester abroad. However, those must not necessarily be considered pros and cons by you. It’s just my opinion and your list could look totally different.

 

 

Life in the Halls of Residence

Living together with fellow students as well as people from all over the world has a lot of advantages. The Macromedia students all spent a lot of time together and we got along really well. It was easy to get to know each other and it was never boring.

Also, I shared an apartment with girls from France and we cooked together, shared experiences and our cultures. It will never be that easy again to make friends from all over the world and all over Germany. Furthermore, the Halls of Residence are on campus which means, you can walk to your classes in under a minute. Restaurants, grocery stores and pubs are also close by as well as the city centre.

 

 

 

Personal conclusion

Dublin is a great destination for a semester abroad. It is close to Germany, flights are cheap and friends and family can come over for visits. Even though I was bothered by sharing a bedroom at first, I got used to it. The Halls of Residence are quite expensive compared to what you get but so is Dublin itself. Finding an apartment to rent is really hard and costs even more. Dublin is an expensive city, hotels, restaurants and grocery are not cheap. Try to go to stores like Tesco and Lidl, look for offers also when going out to eat. A lot of times, there are special discounts for students.

Like I said a couple of times, the university has a high academic standard. That is also why the conversion of the grades in Dublin into grades in Germany makes you better off, you will probably have better grades in Germany than you have had in Dublin. There is a bigger workload, mostly with a project and an exam which you will pass easily if you studied a little bit. This estimation can be totally different for you though.

Lastly, Dublin itself is a beautiful city. Everything is accessible by foot and there are gorgeous places to discover, not only in Dublin but in Ireland entirely. The culture is close to ours in Germany, it is not a huge cultural shock. I really loved all the pubs and live music. If you are under 21 years old, you must be aware of the fact, that you will not be getting into pubs and clubs easily, they will (most of the times) only let people in who are 20 / 21 years old and above. Even if you are younger than 21, you should definitely consider spending your semester abroad in Dublin. The city is full of places which need to be discovered and you will be totally in love with the city and the country from the minute you glimpse at the coast from above the clouds through the window of the airplane.