Preparations and Arrival
We had about two months after taking the last exam at home and before going to Dublin. But as usual, we packed just right before we had to leave. While packing for our semester abroad, we thought about what to take with us way too much and stressed ourselves out over nothing. Since Dublin is just another big European city, you don’t need to worry about forgetting something at home or about not being well prepared. All you actually need is a credit card, a raincoat and an adapter for the charging outlets. You can buy everything else there.
After arriving at the airport, there are two ways to get to Griffith College. You can either take a bus for around 6€ or get a cab for approximately 30€. Either way, you are going to drive directly through the city and get the first glimpse of your new home.
We decided to stay at the Griffith Halls of Residence which are located on campus. The college staff greeted us with open arms and helped us with the check-in. Afterwards, we got our keys and made ourselves at home in our college apartment.
One apartment consists of two bedrooms, which are shared by two students, two bathrooms and a living room with an open kitchen. Before arriving, we could give preferences with whom we would like to share the apartment or the bedroom with. Renting bedlinen and a cutlery set upon arrival is optional but we did so. Unfortunately, a cutlery set is only composed of one small and one big plate, a spoon, knife and fork, a glass and a cup. We didn’t know that in advance but now you do, so you should think about bringing a cutting knife, a can opener and other small things you might need in the kitchen from home. IKEA (located in the north of Dublin) is always an option too ;).
For students staying on campus, there is a big laundry room in the basement equipped with washing machines (3€) and dryers (1,50€). The College also offers a small fitness room for all Griffith students at no costs, a bigger gym, which a lot of Macromedia students joined, is located within 8 walking minutes.
A few days after arriving, we got all the information about our courses and lectures at the induction days which are similar to the first few days at Macromedia. The week after the induction days is called „Freshers Week“ and the Student Union organizes daily activities for all students after class, from BeerPong tournaments to a big freshers party in a club nearby. Whether you are in the language or academic program, you are going to have fewer classes than in Germany which gives you a lot of time to explore Ireland and make the most of your time abroad. This year, for example, the media management students in the academic program only have 10 hours of classes each week and no classes on Thursday and Friday. It doesn’t sound like a lot but we have some assignments to do additionally to the exam at the end of the semester so there is a huge workload. Also, attendance at Griffith College is mandatory.
Exploring and drinking lots of beer
Even though Dublin is a big city, everything is in walking distance of the Halls of Residence. Walking to the main shopping street takes approximately 25 minutes, 20 minutes to the Temple Bar area and two minutes to the next supermarket. Aldi and Lidl are also nearby. Unlike in Germany, shops are also opened on Sundays.
You can find pubs on every corner and live music playing on every single street. A lot of pubs already close at midnight, sometimes you need to be 21 years old to enter (don’t be afraid if you’re not, they don’t check IDs). Also, some pubs offer live music and it is really easy to spend hours there, even though it might be an expensive evening when you consider that one pint of Guinness costs about 6€.
Dublin is not only a city for shopping and nightlife it is also a city of great historical value with a lot of beautiful old neighbourhoods, churches and buildings. While walking around the city you can easily forget that you are on an island. If you take the train up to Howth in the north of Dublin you walk on top of huge cliffs, breath in the salty ocean breeze and enjoy the stunning landscape. Furthermore, Dublin is a very green city with a lot of parks such as St. Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park with its wildlife and cricket players.
… we have only been here for about 2 weeks, so we haven’t explored every inch of the city and the island yet. The next weeks are going to be full of interesting new experiences and adventures in the Irish countryside. You will hear from us next month with a lot of new stories to tell.
Cheers and feicfidh tú níos déanaí (see you later in Irish Gaelic)!
Lisa & Noemi