Dublin, Ireland: Saying goodbye to the evergreen island (by Nadja and Julie)

Our semester abroad went flying by and now we are both back home again. In our last blog, we want to give you the promised information about nightlife and sights in Dublin. We will also enlighten you about the exam phase and give you the last bits of information about our semester abroad in Ireland. 

Nightlife

Clubs 

Depending on reach and the collective outings the RA from the Halls of Residence organizes, the first clubs you are going to meet are probably, Dtwos, Dicey’s Garden, Copper Face Jacks and Opium. The first three clubs are all located in Harcourt Street, which is a twenty-minute walk away from Griffith College. Other clubs are Opium and The George on Camden Street.  

But before you start clubbing, download the app ‘Vipsy’ which offers lots of different discounts and even free passes into clubs. Normally the entrance fee for a club varies between €10 and €15 and the drinks are very expensive too. On specific nights there are special offers on drinks. The Academy and the River Bar are both in the Temple Bar area, which means you will need about 35 minutes to reach them.  

Pubs/Bars 

The iconic Temple Bar in the temple bar area of Dublin is one of the most frequented tourist places, it is packed in the winter but the incredible Christmas decorations that last from October to January and the live music definitely make it worth to check it out. But otherwise, there are many different places to enjoy some live music. Also just down the street from the college is a bar called Headline which serves great drinks and they let you try out different beers before you order.

Attractions 

Trinity College 

This renowned university houses the largest library in Ireland. A visit there is especially interesting for all book lovers. The so-called Long Room forms the basis for the „Harry Potter“ Library. 

EPIC Museum 

On the northside of Dublin at river Liffey, you can find the immigration museum which shows you so much about the typical history of many Irish people who were searching for a better life or were forced to leave the country. For 12 to 14 € and an audio guide, you will learn where, when and why they went. 

Dublin Castle 

Only a 25-minute walk from Griffith college in the center of the city you can get a tour through the old structures of Dublin castle, first build anew under English rule in 1230. This castle mostly represents the power England had over the Irish until 1922 when Ireland became independent. So-called representatives of the British crown resided in the castle whereas the prime minister of Ireland, or “taoiseach” as the Irish call the position, usually lives in his private apartment or house in Dublin. 

To enter the castle for which a tour guide is required, the tickets cost 6 to 7 €. A tour usually starts every thirty minutes. 

Whiskey Tasting Teeling Distillery 

What is better than finishing the last day of the year with a nice whiskey tasting before going off to the Samuel Beckett bridge to see the fireworks?

And a little fact on the side, whiskey is the glorious substance distilled in Ireland and whisky the one from Scotland. Americans use the Irish version because of Irish immigrants that brought it with them to the US.

Griffith Students Union  

In addition to the attractions, nightlife, and self-guided excursions, the Griffith Students Union offer three scheduled excursions each semester. The first excursion was to Glendalough National Park, the second to the Cliffs and a nearby castle with an overnight stay. The last one I took part in, which I really recommend, was to the Connemara National Park. We waded through a muddy course in neoprene, went to a high rope course with zip-lining and finally we had a kayak tour. 

Assignments and Exam Period  

In most subjects, the examination phase begins with so-called assignments, which are due a few weeks before the Christmas holidays. These assignments are a kind of scientific work on a given topic. They account for 30-40% of the final grade in that subject.   

There is also an Assignment Week just before handing in, in which you have no classes for a whole week. If you have good time management, you can also use this week to see more of the country or travel to surrounding countries and still deliver a good assignment.  

The lecture period ends around mid-December and the exams start at the beginning of January. In some subjects, the topics are not limited, which led to more learning stress for some students, but still, all questions are very fair and usually you always answer four out of six or eight. Overall, almost everyone thought that the exams went very well.     

Now our blog is coming to an end with our last post. We hope we could give you a lot of useful information about the semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Of course, there are still a lot of things we could tell you and if you have any questions or want more information, we are still available after the semester.  

Have a good start in the new semester and maybe see you soon!