I arrived in Dublin to start my Erasmus journey in january. Dublin is Ireland’s capital city, located in the east coast with population over half million and over a million in the area of Greater Dublin. City is full of history, culture, pubs, shops and restaurants. You can enjoy street music when you’re shopping or go to pub in the evening to enjoy live music and food. You can take a bus, LUAS or Dart to move around Dublin. Irish people are kind and friendly. There are lots of historical buildings, museums and activities to see and do.
I’m in clinical placement for most of my erasmus time. Morning shift starts later and breaks are half longer than in Finland. I spend every week in a different modality so I got to see lots of things and ways of working. I think Irish people are more laidback what comes to working life. Finnish healthcare system, structure and equipments are more advanced than Irish. There are many things Ireland should learn from Finnish ways of doing things. In Ireland, studying radiography takes 4 years and radiotherapy is 4 years too. Irish radiographers seem to study more image reading but I wouldn’t say they’re superior to finnish radiographers. Finnish way of doing things, especially in healthcare is more strict. In Ireland, radiographers wear jewelleries and use strong perfumes, image quality is not as good and phone usage during shift is not a weird thing to do. Radiographers role has some differences between these two countries in some modalities but basic principles are the same.
I spend my spare time exploring the city and Ireland. Dublin has so many things to see and do! Museums, cafes, pubs, restaurants, parks, shops, historical sights, monuments… Ireland is a small island which makes seeing places around Ireland easy. Buses and trains are not that expensive. Tourist bus tours are convenient for a day trip to see places that are hard to get via public transportation. During my time in Ireland, I got to know Dublin and Ireland’s history as much as I could. I also visited Northern-Ireland (Belfast, Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede-rope bridge). I visited west coast (Galway, Wild Atlantic Way, Cliffs of Moher) and other places like Kilkenny, Cork, Wicklow mountains. I have gone hiking for some really beautiful places, visited fishing towns, experienced Irish music and dancing and cheered for local sport teams in a hurling match.
In early 2018 I was nominated by TAMK to exchange studies in Cork, Ireland. I heard the news when I was in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands on an international branding project. The few months of arranging my study leave from work, accommodation, government money and all that good stuff is something that I would describe as terrible, challenging, dragging me outside of my comfort zone and absolutely awful.
But it was totally worth it – and some.
“The Rebel City”
Cork is a little bit smaller city in population than Tampere, located in the southern coast of Ireland. The counties in Ireland are usually named after the biggest city in that county, hence County Cork, Cork city. Simple, as most of the things in Ireland. The name “Rebel City” characterizes the city quite well. Just like in Finland we have the love-hate-relationship between Turku and Tampere, it is the same with Cork and the capital city Dublin. They are rivals in sports, drinks – pretty much everything in general. All in good spirit, though.
The River Lee runs through a city that was founded in the 6th century by Saint Finbarr. The country is very catholic, though the younger generations have seemingly grown much more distant from religious beliefs.
Studies at Cork Institute of Technology
As the name suggests, CIT is very notorious from its technology studies. Business study programs were added later, when the school decided to expand in order to supply the demand in business experts. In Ireland, the academic year is split into Autumn and Spring terms from early September to early January and from January to May. Both terms end with “final exams” from each module (module = course, like “Accounting 1”) and during that exam period, there is no in-class teaching. Not every module (=course) has a final exam. For example, I participated in five different modules (5 credits each = 25 credits) and only one of them had a final exam. The final exams are very much like the matriculation examinations in Finland, which I found a bit amusing.
The classes are always 45-minutes long and there are 3-5 classes per module per week. Most of the modules did not require prior learning, but that might have been just my luck. During class, the lecturer usually arrives a few minutes late, talks for a good 35 minutes where a new subject is taught (like “Atkinson’s Model”) and then the class ends. Lecturers always have time to discuss with students after class and often continue with follow-up emails if necessary. There were individual reports, individual presentations, group-work reports and group presentations as assessments on those courses. I am a third-year BBA student so I joined the classes in the third year of Bachelor of International Business with a Language -program. The studies were very easy to be honest and did not require hardly any studying at home. Subjects covered in class were asked in the exams, nothing more. There were no requirements to attend classes. The students can decide whether to join the classes or not, the ability to master the learning outcomes were then tested in the exam. Therefore, I had a lot of free time to experience and travel in Ireland!
Lunch at school was 4-6 euros per meal, depending on how healthy one wanted it to be. I had a salad with bread (9,99 per kg + bread 0,35e) 3 times per week that cost around 4,50 each. Amazing cappuccinos with 2 euros. There were also two tiny stores at the campus, were one can buy office supplies, candy, lunch, chips, soda and condoms. Oh, and a bank.
The house crisis is a real thing in Ireland and one should really consider that before applying for exchange. Even regular families with stable jobs and children are unable to find accommodation. CIT does not have any student accommodation, nor can they make any contracts for you before arrival. They only have contacts to local accommodation providers. Bare this in mind when applying – the accommodation situation is terrible, expensive and over-priced in general. I feel like I won the lottery when I had my own private room with a semi-private bathroom in a hostel for the whole exchange period. It cost me 20 euros per night, which was even less than most of the rents of sharing a room with two or more people. To find out more about my lottery winning ticket, search for “Stay Cork hostel”. Hostel is a great way to avoid cleaning and bills from gas, electricity, internet, trash etc.
The public transportation works very well in Ireland, when traveling from one city to another. You can get by bus from Cork directly to any other city. The train is a much more convinient way to travel, so use it if possible. Student return tickets to Dublin by bus were 25€ and by train 30€. In Cork, the bus system is a total mess. A 6 km busride from city centre to CIT can take anywhere between 20-70 minutes based on traffic. The bus timetables are also not to be looked at. I suggest you just go to the bus stop and hope for the best but expect nothing. Another alternative is to use the city-bike rentals, they are pretty cheap. The weather can, however, be a bit challenging at times. You can get around the city nicely by bus however. One can also travel around County Cork by bus, but the fares vary. Traveling inside the “red zone” is 1,70€ per single ticket and does not include connecting to another bus. Going to the town of Kinsale is 6€ single ticket.
When I was not studying, I…
I brought my skateboard with me to Cork, which turned out to be an awesome decision. I made a good handful of great local friends at the skatepark who showed me around, invited me to parties and were always up for some skateboarding, neglecting the weather challenges. It really does rain in Ireland. From late September to Christmas it is +8 celcius outside on average. It is almost always windy, as Cork is one of the windiest cities in Europe. So, on a rainy day, the wind combined with rain makes umbrellas completely useless and if you have a rain coat, your legs will be totally soaked. It is pretty easy to get used to it and later in December I went back and forth to Lidl for groceries completely soaked and didn’t even care.
In Cork there is world-famous Guinness beer available (not always though), but the locals do not drink it, because it is from Dublin. They drink Beamish or Murphy’s, so bare that in mind when ordering the drink. You don’t have to pay tips anywhere, except for fancy restaurants, but there are tip jars at bars. There are over 200 pubs to choose from and the famous Irish tradition of “12 pubs” should be tried (at least) once. Amazing whiskeys, gins and beers. Beers are usually 4-6 euros per pint. Alcohol tax is the second highest in Europe, so going out partying costs roughly the same as in Finland.
Groceries are bought from Lidl.
I do not want to spoil any good travel destinations so I am just going to make a bucket list for you:
Kinsale (walking around)
Every church in every city (they are OLD)
Cliffs of Moher (90 meter cliffs)
Aran Islands (choose any of the three)
Galway City (amazing)
Rugby match (tickets sell out usually in a day)
Mizen Head (go there before the Cliffs of Moher)
Blarney Castle (Kiss the stone!!)
Lucky for you, the International Student Society (ISS) at CIT organizes trips to these places. They are usually weekend trips and you can save hundreds of euros by visiting these places with other exchange students in a big group.
SO IT WAS WORTH IT
As a summary, I really loved Ireland, the people, the culture, the green grasses, everything. Ireland is very much like Finland history-wise, so the culture is very easy to get used to once you do some studying on the history. Watch the “Michael Collins” movie (just don’t listen to Julia Roberts, her Irish accent is terrible) and learn to trust that Ireland will take care of you. I personally regained my trust in good will and happy people during my exchange. So yes, Ireland is a perfect location for someone who wants to go to an English-speaking country, have time to explore and experience and have a really, really good time. To be completely honest the accent in Cork is a little bit hard, but only like for two weeks. Then you will get the hang of it and smile (and possibly even giggle) every single time someone says “carpark”.
I was really happy when I got accepted to Institute of Technology Tralee. It was exciting toknow that I am going to study abroad during the autumn 2017.
Tralee is a small town in the south-west Ireland. The dialect is pretty strong in County Kerry and sometimes it is challenging to understand the native speakers. Anyway, it is easier to understand the dialect after living in the country for a while. Studying in different language is not easy in the beginning but after all, it is really enchanting to see how much my own language skills have been improving during the exchange.
IT Tralee is smaller institute than TAMK but there was also modules of social services. My main goal was to learn English and it is quite easy when all studying and communicating are happening in English.
The Irish are not so precise with time so sometimes the class starts about 10 minutes later than it should but all students are still expected to be on time. That is the reason why the lectures feel short but on the other hand school days can be longer in its entirety. In Finland the lecturers are usually on time and also students should be. Our lectures are three hours with a break but outright our school days are usually shorter than in IT Tralee. Also the style of study is different. In TAMK we typically write a lot of essays and we have less exams but in IT Tralee they always have final exams (which remind matriculation examinations) in the end of the module and some essays or exams in the middle of the module as well.
We have been traveling with other exchange students and we have seen so many beautiful places during this experience. The scenery of Ireland is breathtaking in some places, even though the weather is often cloudy and rainy. Pictures tell more than my words here so I decided to add pictures about my free time in Ireland.
I am so happy that I had the courage to experience something like this abroad.
Hello from Ireland town call Tralee! I’m almost over my 3 month internship here in University Hospital Kerry. First I was so nervous how I’m going to survive here and I wasn’t so confident of my English because I have never been alone abroad. Even before I came here I got so much support from Institute of Technology Tralee so I was sure that everything going to go just fine. When I got here I had to come 2 weeks earlier so I have the time to finish my Garda Vetting before I can go to work at the hospital. Everybody was so kind and supportive so all that paper work went flying. Meanwhile when I waited the results we went to Dublin with my boyfriend who came with me to stay for the first week. Even we were there only couple nights we saw Guinness factory and Natural History Museum. We also saw some lovely church and parks.
After that it was time to say goodbye to my boyfriend and head back to Tralee. When my first day started at the hospital I was nervous about how I’m going to cope. After a while I started to get some confident and my speech was getting better. Irish people speak very fast so that can take a while to learn but after first two weeks I was coping just fine. I also notice that most of the words that they used in health care was familiar from latin. Even the learning was more of listening than doing I still saw and learn so much. Even the shifts could sometimes be 12 hours they wasn’t still too bad. After all you get Friday off so more time to explore Ireland! The hospital staff was so kind and ready answer any of my questions. We got along so well and I was feeling so welcomed. Hospital full of gold.
We also got some snow in here and everybody was panicking about that because they don’t usually get snow in here. Luckily in Tralee we didn’t get as much snow as in Dublin but I still got to make a snow(wo)man under my window.
Even here is raining a lot it didn’t stop me to go out and see the beautiful Irish nature every weekend. Because I love taking photos I have now over 2500 pictures taken but I’m still feel that it is not enough. I think the best place where I got my best pictures were Killarney and Dingle. These were places were I visited more than once because there was so much to see and so lovely scenery. In Killarney there is a National park where you can find lovely walking paths and breath taking views. You can also get cabriole ride around the park but I prefer walking. I visited Ross Castle and Muckross house which was lovely places to see. I saw also all kinds of animals and birds.
In Dingle I ate best seafood plate ever! And I climb to see the big sea.
Also I took a part of Tralee park run which take place every Saturday. It was so fun event and I haven’t run as much and when the nurses were telling about this at first I wasn’t so keen to go there. But luckily I went because it was the best! Even I didn’t know the people everybody was cheering for everybody and they didn’t care did you walk or run as long as you had fun. In Tralee I went to walk every change I could get and near to my apartment is a nice forest where was calm and lovely to walk.
My apartment is a Kings Court (http://kingscourtapartments.com/). It is nice shared flat we have our own rooms and bathroom is en suite. We all share a kitchen/living room. Right next to us we have Tesco where you can buy everything that you need and not so far is a pit cheaper Aldi. One of the problems every time I had to wash my laundry was that the machine takes only 1€ coins so I have to hoard every 1€ coin that I can get! My roommates are two men and one woman. Mens are studying health care also and they were really nice to me. Girl was in Spain so we had so much in common to figure out things. We went together to Killarney to celebrate St. Patricks day and we had so much fun. And you can’t forget the pubs what they have here! With a good beer there was often a live music.
I have seen a lot but there is still so much to see and I have less than 3 weeks left. I have plan to see northern coast with my boyfriend when he comes here for the final week. I have learn so much in this trip about my internship and myself also. I have said that it is not so crazy idea anymore to think that maybe some day I could live and work abroad. I would not change this time for anything.
Last days in Ireland. 3 months went by quicker than I expected. There was so much to do, see and experience, and so much was still left undone.
I came to Dublin at the beginning of January. First 4 weeks was spent studying Radiography in UCD. We had courses on Irish Culture and Cardiac Interventional Imaging. The first course was more about getting us Erasmus students familiar with Ireland, Irish Health Care System and what’s the role of Radiographer in Ireland. The course also included some trips and cultural events, like trying out Gaelic sports and a bus trip to Wicklow Mountains. The Cardiac course was an interesting one, as we don’t have a course specializing to Cardiac Imaging back at home. We covered subjects like anatomy, CT imaging, MRI imaging and Cardiovascular imaging in CV lab. The theory was interesting, especially since we had quite a lot of guest lecturers who were professionals at their own field.
After the month in school we had clinical practice for 7 weeks in a local hospital. I was in Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin. It was fun and interesting to see how the Irish health care system and Radiology department works. We had practice in several modalities, the modality was changing every week and sometimes even faster than that. It was great practice, although the role of a student is more like an observer here in some modalities. It was also very good opportunity to practice my English skills, although sometimes it was a challenge to understand the thick Irish accents… 🙂
My free time was spent mostly by traveling. I wanted to use the opportunity to see the country beyond Dublin, now that I’m here. So I tried to travel a lot. I went to see Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange, Hill of Tara, Waterford, Cork, Galway, did a roadtrip around Connemara… I also went to Scotland and visited Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling. The pictures are from those journeys:
Good luck to anyone going on exchange to Ireland, you’ll love it. It’s a great place with amazing, lovely people.
Eramsus exchange in Dublin is nearly over. Three months in Ireland just flew by. I’ve been studying, working in a hospital and most important of all, meeting new people and travelling.
We had two courses here: Irish Radiography and culture, and Cardiac Interventional Imaging. There was seven weeks of clinical training included in cardiac imaging course. We had most of the lectures in January, and from February on it was all clinical. There weren’t many schooldays, but when there were, the days were long with multiple lecturers and not so easy subjects. You just had to try to keep up and make some notes. All the assignments we had was clinical related and had to be done during or at the end of clinical (at the end of Erasmus). And there was A LOT to do. More work than I would have ever done if I’d just stayed in Finland.
I had my clinical training in Mater Misericordiae university hospital in the centre of Dublin. It’s a big hospital, and about 60 radiographers work there. I worked in different modality every week, and it was nice to see so many different things in just seven weeks. Radiographers work in Ireland is basically the same as in Finland, so it was easy to start working in Ireland. In some modalities the work differs from Finalnd, and as a student I couldn’t do as much as I would’ve done in Finland, but on more familiar ones I got to do even more.
In my spare time I’ve travelled around ireland, and tried to see as much as possible. I’ve been to Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Limerick… Just to name a few. So pretty much travelled all around Ireland. Surprised myself with the fact that I like everything outside Dublin better than Dublin itself. Much to do with the fact that Dublin is so big, and it takes ages to get anywhere. So I’ve also spent a lot of my spare time sitting in Luas, trying to get somewhere. There is still so much to see in Ireland, so I will definitely be back someday. 😊
I have been living in Ireland for four months now and I got to say that I love it! Beautiful evergreen Ireland stole my heart. (Actually now even more, but my blog never loaded here…)
My Erasmus experience didn’t start as well as I hoped but at least it wasn’t boring at all! The second day after my arrival I fell down the stairs in Dublin and sprained my ankle. First three weeks I walked with crutches and a boot on my leg. Through that accident, I got to see how helpful and kind Irish people are. I met so many nice people during those weeks who helped me in different kind of situations.
I’ve been studying in Tralee which is a cosy little town with little under 24 000 people living there. It has everything you need and pubs actually more than you need… but that’s Irish…
Institute of Technology Tralee is quite a big college and also a really nice one. It has two campuses (North and South) and I’ve been studying at both. North campus is bigger and a new one and basically all social service classes are there. It is about three kilometres from the centre and south campus is about one kilometre away from the city centre.
In the beginning, it was hard to catch up with the Irish accent, but surprisingly I got used to it really fast. The way of studying is different comparing to TAMK. There a teacher usually speaks the whole hour and your job is to make notes. Usually studying is not practical, but sometimes we had the possibility to talk in groups about a topic set by the teacher. We got a lot of assignments, actually I’ve never done that much assignments in one semester in Finland. But in the end, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The most important thing there is to listen and make notes during the classes.
I lived in Tralee Town Centre Apartments. The rent wasn’t expensive at all but the electricity bill was really high during winter time. The owners are super nice people and the most of Erasmus students lived there and I would say that it was definitely the best part of it!
During these months I’ve been travelling a lot around Ireland. I’ve been spending time with my new friends, enjoying pub culture and Irish music. I was also a member of college music society where I met a lot of talented local people too. I also got to see Northern Ireland through Irish Experience Tours which I highly recommend because of their student prises. Ireland is amazing country and I love the atmosphere there. The most beautiful place was definitely Giant Causeway! Unbelievable.
For me, Ireland feels like home. This country is so outgoing and relaxed! I don’t feel like going back to Finland at all, but unfortunately, I have to come back to do my thesis. This time here has really opened my eyes, I’ve learned so much about myself and about life itself that I’m forever grateful for this experience.
I’m currently doing my exchange study period in Cork, Ireland. I study Business Administration and was happy to hear I was accepted to CIT. I live in a student accommodation at Edenhall with my three roommates. I’ve been here since September and have only three and a have weeks left. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by!
Cork Institute of Technology
Here at Cork Institute of Technology I’m mainly studying marketing. I had some problems with the courses at the start of the semester but I got everything sorted out. I have four courses including: Emerging Markets, Digital Marketing Management, IT skills for Marketing and Digital Advertising. I’ve been very pleased with liked my course choices and learned so much about marketing. I have for example set up a digital marketing blog, learned and did AdWords campaigns, set up a professional Twitter and Facebook account.
The first semester here lasts for 13 weeks and after that are the final examinations. Studying here hasn’t seemed too hard. The lecturers were easy to understand even if they had strong Irish accents. All of them were really friendly and helpful. It was nice to notice that some of the lecturers were really interested in Finland and asked us a lot of questions for example about Finnish companies and their ways of marketing. This made the lessons even more interesting.
Most of my free time I spent with my friends. We have spent a lot of time just here in Cork but also been to many trips around Ireland. We have an International Students Society at our school and I was a member of this society. The society arranged a lot of trips that I was on to places like Blarney Castle and gardens, Mizen Head, Mahon Falls and Cobh.
My roommate from Germany came to Cork with her car and this was really nice because we had a chance to do trips by ourselves also. With the girls, we had a weekend trip to Galway on Halloween and we also saw the Cliffs of Moher. Also, when my parents were here we drove around the Ring of Kerry and with my Finnish friends we had a two-night trip to London.
What is Different
The school here is a lot bigger and It took some time to get used to the lessons. They only last for 45 minutes which is really short compared to Finland. It is a little weird to me that many of the Irish students wear track suits to school.
The people here are very different compared to Finns. It’s awesome when you enter a pub and people come to say hi and ask where you’re from. I think this sentence sums up the Irish culture very well: “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet.”
I have been studying here in Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland now for seven weeks. The first semester lasts 13 weeks and after that there are final exams. I have chosen four courses, which are Digital Marketing Management, Digital Advertising, Emerging Markets and IT Skills for Marketing. All of the courses have been really interesting. For example we have created a digital marketing blog, professional Twitter and Facebook account and learned how to use Google Analytics. I think that these things are really important when finding a job in Finland.
Compared to Finland the lessons here are really short, only 45 minutes. It goes so fast. We have every course three times a week. Another difference, which I have noticed, is that the students always dress up in their tracksuits at school. Almost every boy wears Adidas sweatpants and girls wear some gym leggings.
The school feels a lot bigger than TAMK. Here are many different societies, anything you can think of, from karate to Muslim society. I have only assigned to international students society. They arrange really nice trips almost every weekend and the trips are really cheap.
At spare time we have been to trips around Ireland. I have seen so many beautiful places here, for example Mizen Head and Blarney Castle. I also visited Dublin last weekend. The city was similar to Cork but bigger. One thing I still must see, the Cliffs of Moher.
We have also gone shopping to city and for a cup of coffee. Here are so good shops and almost every clothing store has a student discount. This should also be in Finland! In few weeks we will also visit London, which will be fun.
I spent nine months in Ireland, more specifically in Tralee. The town is small, yet it has everything you’ll need: Penneys (Primark) and other shops, lots of pubs ranging from traditional Irish pubs to nightclub-like venues and restaurants. There’s also a beautiful, peaceful park in the middle of the town and it can be used to hang out or for sports.
On the first semester I was an exchange student in Institute of Technology Tralee, studying social care, early childhood education and youth & community work. One semester lasts about 4,5 months, the first semester started in the beginning of September with the orientation week (parties, bbq and all kinds of events every day) and we had some of our final exams in the end of December and the rest of them in the beginning of January. On my second semester in Ireland I was doing an internship at Kerry Parents and Friends Association. KPFA offers residential care and day services for people with intellectual disabilities. Doing an internship in Ireland was also really great, I am happy that I got to experience that.
Tralee is quite small, yet lively town in Kerry. Anyway, without all the other students to spend your time with, you’d be bored. Getting to know other students is easy – IT Tralee has lots of different societies and sport clubs such as rock climbing, surfing and gaelic football, most of them for free. There’s also a water park (Aquadome), cinema and lots of pubs with traditional Irish music.
Kerry is one of the best-known counties there on the southwest of Ireland, with lots of mountains and beautiful nature. The national park in Killarney is definitely worth a visit, for sure. Anyway, Tralee is not such a big city, so even from the town centre, you will be able to see the mountains and the beautiful Irish nature. You don’t have to go too far from the centre if you want to see sheep, mountains, cows and get to know the countryside of Ireland.
Institute of Technology Tralee is quite small, but they’ve got a lot of international students from all around the world – there are about 3500 Irish students in ITT and 400 international students. During my Erasmus year in Tralee I got to know people from so many different countries even though you wouldn’t expect that!
Studying in ITT felt more like being back to secondary school again – you need to know lots of things by heart, always attend all the lectures and in the end of the semester you’ll have the final exams. Anyway all my lecturers were nice and extremely helpful, they also helped me a lot with my internship even though they didn’t need to. That’s what Irish people are like – they’re kind, helpful and always up for a good craic (=fun)… and that is exactly the reason why Ireland is such an amazing country.