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Ireland: Destination Guides

A student perspective on studying in Dublin

Our guess is that you've been thinking of studying in Ireland? If so, keep reading to find out what international student, Yash, has learnt from his time at University College Dublin.

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What made you choose economics and finance for your degree?

For me, I always wanted to pursue finance, that was the one thing I was very clear about since the very beginning.

In India you can’t pursue economics and finance at the same time because one is counted as an arts subject and the other as a science.

My options were quite limited, but UCD was a place which offers both of them together so that was why I chose it.


What kind of career do you hope your course will lead to?

I’m a little bit unsure about my career path, but I know I want to do something within the field of finance. I want to keep economics as well but most probably somewhere in the sector of banking, investment banking or portfolio management, that’s what I’m aiming for.


Would you like to stay in Ireland after your degree?

Once I’ve graduated, I’d like to stay in Dublin to work for a while, for at least 3-4 years, and get some experience. Beyond that I haven’t actually decided.


What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

Apart from studying, the people and the Irish culture is the best part. Study-wise it’s quite good, the lecturers are amazing and the teaching quality is good. The atmosphere around the school of business and UCD itself is also great, so I have enjoyed my course.


What have you found challenging about the course?

The challenging part would be the transition from India, because the Indian teaching methodology is quite different. In India it’s more book-based learning and teaching, whereas at UCD it’s more practical, research-based and there’s more participation so that was one challenging aspect I found. Apart from that economics and finance is a challenging course, I wouldn’t say it’s easy.


What made you decide to study in Ireland?

So, the prospects in Ireland are pretty good because for me once I’ve done my studies, I want to settle down and work there for quite a few years at least. With the UK, the problem was being Indian. I was at a disadvantage because once I’m done with my studies, I would need to leave the UK and apply for a work visa from India. In Ireland once I’m done with my studies, I can stay there for years just to find a job and once employed the company could handle my visa, that’s one aspect of it. The other element is the job opportunities in Ireland, with it being quite a large market for tech and finance especially.


What do you enjoy most about Dublin?

At UCD there are a huge number of societies and the nightlife is also amazing. Once a week I am out clubbing with my friends and on other days I am either with the cricket society, investor and entrepreneur society or playing games with my friends. So, Dublin itself is a student hub and there’s always something going on. On campus they have so many events going on every day, there’s no time when you could say that you actually have nothing to do.


The investor and entrepreneur society is also something I really like because they’ve got these experienced alumni who work at Microsoft or Lloyds and someone from the company comes in every week to speak about how to get through college or how to apply.

How have you found accommodation in Dublin?

Finding accommodation can be quite scary because the rents are high and finding a place is quite difficult, but there are quite a few places that you can actually go.


How are you funding your studies?

I am on a 50% scholarship from the university, so the university pays for 50% of my fees and the other half of it is covered by my parents and grandparents who are helping me fund my studies. For my daily expenses and stuff I have a part-time job. Last month I was working on campus where they have a lot of options if you are looking for part-time work. You can work in a grocery store, as a student ambassador or in the pub on campus. 


I was a student caller for the UCD foundation, which is a not-for-profit organization of the university and basically asks for donations from alumni over the phone to help fund current students who are having financial difficulties.


How did you apply for your scholarship?

Once I made the UCD application and they accepted me with a conditional offer I was allowed to apply for a scholarship. The application was online, and it was just a series of essay type questions which I answered, and I think a couple of months later just before I left, I found out that I was going to receive the scholarship.


How have you found being an international student in Dublin in particular?

Before I left Mumbai, I was all excited for a new place, a new country, new friends and stuff but as soon as I landed in Dublin that’s when it hit me like, ‘oh, I’m in a new place and I have to do it all by myself’. Actually, the way UCD helped out with the transition was very good. They had this orientation week which helped me a lot just to see the campus, make new friends and meet all my course mates. During orientation week all the societies have a number of events you can go to just to socialize and meet new people.


They also have a peer mentoring scheme at UCD, every school has a peer mentor which they assign to you. During orientation week the peer mentor is with you throughout, so this definitely helps you get to know people and just to find where the library is or what the procedure is for certain things. So, in that sense UCD has a lot of things to help you.


What advice would you give to future students thinking about studying in Ireland?

I’d say if you know the course you want to do then don’t think twice, just go there because the majority of the city is students and the opportunities there after graduation are huge no matter which field you are studying, whether it’s finance, medicine or science. One thing I’d say is that the people are amazing. I think the biggest positive about going to Ireland is the people and the culture itself. To anyone who’s planning to go there, I’d say don’t think twice, just go.



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