It is hard to believe that we have been here for two months already. Time passes so fast! Meanwhile, we got used to our new living situation and to the language. It is our eighth week at uni already which means: assignment week. We don’t have classes for an entire week to work on our assignments which are due in about three weeks. But usually, students take advantage of the free week and travel around the island.
Travelling is not that expensive. There are several places which can be reached easily by bus, dart (like a regional train in Germany) or luas (tram). A very popular destination for example is Howth. The town of Howth is like a small island but connected to the mainland. From the city center of Dublin, it takes about 45 minutes to get there. It has a little harbor and a “cliff walk” where you wander along a little path next to the cliff coast.
If you want to travel a little further, you can visit the Cliffs of Moher. You don’t only have a stunning view but also a greater cliff coast than Howth. The cliffs are located on the west coast of Ireland, about 250km from Dublin and there are several options to get there.
Cliffs of Moher
Photo 1: Elisa Hazeldine Photo 2: Emily Kienzle
The Cliffs of Moher are really close to Galway, which might be another place to consider when travelling. Also, Belfast is popular destination with its Titanic Museum, as well the castle of Kilkenny and many more historical sites and places. The student union at Griffith College offered day trips to a few places this year and even organizes four days adventure trips. Another option would be to fly to Scotland or England since plane tickets are quite cheap.
There is also the possibility to book one of countless day trips through the Irish countryside. One trip for example takes you all the way up to the northern end of Northern Ireland and you will see famous shooting locations from movies and TV shows (Game of Thrones is a popular one) such as the “Dark Hedges”. You can also see the UNESCO World Heritage “Giant’s Causeway”, take a walk on a rope bridge on top of some cliffs and see a lot of castle ruins and sheep… Ireland as you would imagine it. Another day trip takes you to the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin where you’ll go to the Guinness lake and visit the ancient monastery and lakes of Glendalough.
Plane tickets are not only cheap when travelling to the UK but also to Germany if you book them early enough. This is also a reason why a lot of students get visitors from home, often friends and family. Some students use the opportunity to fly home for a weekend as well.
But you don’t necessarily need to travel far to go on adventures. Dublin has a lot to offer on its own. We are all falling more and more in love with the Irish pub culture and this beautiful little city. Dublin has a lot of little parks, little hidden streets, old traditional pubs, cafés, whiskey distilleries, boutiques and museums. There is something for everybody and most of it is in walking distance to the college since Dublin is not exceptionally big.
But back to campus…
The life in campus is a very good experience and makes it a lot easier to stay connected to your fellow students. The Student Union at Griffith College Dublin works very hard on showing everyone a good time. They host parties, for example a big Halloween Party a couple of weeks ago, they organize Beer-Pong tournaments, movie nights, surf and adventure trips and they help you with whatever issue you might face as a student. The college staff in general is very nice and helpful in every way. They make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. The Irish in general are a very warm and kind bunch of people.
You might ask yourself what the college day to day life looks like… The timetables are definitely a little more relaxed than at home. But it is supposed to be that way to give us the time to explore and make the most of our studies abroad. There are still a number of projects and exams that we have to do which require quite a lot of work, but if you’re used to the Macromedia workload you should have no problem getting everything done in time here at Griffith College. Also the professors are very understanding and help you in every way, whether it is difficulty with the language or other problems. If you speak up somebody will help you. The same is to say about the on-campus accommodation. We, the students living on campus, are taken care of very well. We have to clean our apartments and care for it but it something gets broken, which happens, the accommodation office on campus helps you immediately and security is always around as well to make sure that everything is fine.
This week classes started again after the one week of no classes and most students are a little stressed about their assignments, but it should all work out just fine and when we reach our deadlines in two weeks we are going to enjoy our last weeks on the island and explore every last pub of the city.
Until then, have a nice Christmas time and “slainte”!