University: Griffith College Dublin
Field of study: business administration
Study type: bachelor’s degree
I spent the winter semester 2007/08 from September 12, 2007 to January 21, 2008 at Griffith College Dublin in Ireland. The GCD is a small, fine and incredibly international college. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see California State University Fullerton CSUF.
Our courses are divided into full-time and part-time courses. Part-time courses take place in the morning and afternoon and consist of two 1.5-hour lectures and one hour of tutorial, i.e. practical exercise per week. The number of students is around 20-80. The internationality of the college is clearly expressed: A colorful mixture of 8-10 nations, 70% Chinese, 15% Indians and Pakistanis, sometimes only 5% Irish and the rest from all over the world could definitely occur.
The evening courses for part-time students, i.e. those who work during the day and also study in the evenings, were then somewhat more Irish. The lessons impart the same knowledge that is imparted in the full-time courses in 4.5 hours per week, in one evening of three hours, ie the pace is correspondingly higher and the tutorial is omitted. In my experience, however, they correspond more to the imparted knowledge per time ratio that one is used to in Germany.
Anyone who has studied at a German mass university will first have to get used to working in class again, to being on first-name terms with the lecturers and not only to be recognized, but even spoken to;-). The lecturers (or teachers, the whole system is more reminiscent of a school) try very hard to help the exchange students in particular and to include their origins in the lessons. Thanks to many nations, examples from the countries of origin provided an insight into other cultures and international perspectives. The personal contacts in the International Office as well as in the individual faculties were always available to answer questions.
Anyone studying at the GCD should find out about the possible subjects beforehand. Since the course is not organized in semesters, as in Germany, but in academic years, not every subject is offered in every semester. In my case, it was possible to combine courses from different majors. As a business administration student, I had courses in business studies, accounting and finance and hospitality management.
CONTACT WITH STUDENTS
As already mentioned, the course is organized in fixed academic years. Comparable to the German school system, there are classes that usually have the same subjects together. If, as an exchange student, you have every subject in a different class, it can of course be more difficult to establish lasting contact. In addition, many of the students live further away and commute 2 hours a day to the university, among other things – there is then less opportunity to “just meet” outside of the lectures. However, what promotes getting to know the other students is the fact that you spend much more time per subject at the university than in Germany and that the lessons are much more interactive. As an exchange student, you quickly feel at home among all the international students.
Not wanting to jump into the unknown, I decided to live in the Griffith Halls of Residence, the dormitory right on campus. The international flair continued in the dormitory. My roommates came from Norway and Spain, so I got an insight into their way of life at the same time. Some people probably have to get used to the double rooms, but with my uncomplicated roommate it was not a problem. Despite completely un-Irish flatmates, you came into contact with the Irish “way of life” in a different way in the dormitory: while as a German you expect a clear degree of planning/organisation/coordination/formalities, you are quickly taught otherwise and with confronted with the endless serenity of the Irish. But somehow everything worked out. The apartments were (if they were fully stocked) equipped with everything you need, unfortunately without an oven. More information is available on the dormitory’s website.
Dublin is an incredibly international city. People from all over the world live, study and work there. The economic boom of the last few years and decades is still noticeable: new things are being opened and built everywhere, etc. At the same time, the signs of “old” Dublin have not disappeared either: old workers’ housing estates, horse-drawn carriages between modern limousines and, of course, a few old pubs.
Since Dublin is by far the largest city in Ireland with two million inhabitants, there is of course something for every taste. The only drawback: many pubs close at midnight or 1 a.m., while the night clubs last a little longer. But what’s open where and for how long, you learn very quickly in the first few weeks : -).
In order to get to know the actual Ireland, i.e. far away from the big city, you should definitely do a few day or weekend tours. Since Ireland is not a particularly large country, you can easily be at the other end of the island in four hours. Places and areas that I particularly liked are Belfast, Galway and the coast around Dublin.