University: Griffith College Dublin
Field of study: interior design
Study type: bachelor’s degree
Hello dear reader,
My name is Bianca, I’m 22 years old and I’m studying Interior Design at Griffith College Dublin. However, I’m not only studying here for one semester, I’m spending the entire study period of four years at the GCD. Last summer, 2013, I successfully completed my first year and meanwhile also another semester. Now that I’ve gotten to know the GCD, Dublin and Ireland, it’s time for my experience report. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see California State University Long Beach.
Although I found out about Griffith College through Google Search, I immediately turned to MicroEdu when it came to applying. I got a lot of help here when I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen to me after I graduated from high school.
In the beginning, it worked like this: you apply directly to the college itself with your normal application documents, a letter of motivation, which, by the way, MicroEdu helped me a lot with, and a small portfolio.
After I had sent everything off and already besieged my mailbox for mail from the GCD, the message came from the college that I should apply through the CAO. The CAO, Central Applications Office, is certainly a well-intentioned Irish system that you can use to apply to all universities and colleges in Ireland, but it totally confused me and I was a bit panic-stricken with this news. Luckily, MicroEdu was there too, and I wasn’t the only one facing this problem.
In the end, all the panic was unnecessary, because the decision was made to accept my application without the CAO, and shortly afterwards I was sent the confirmation of acceptance. I also have to say that Florian Burkhardt, contact from the Germany Office at the GCD, was an incredibly reliable and helpful contact person.
So the preparations for moving to Ireland could begin.
Having been to Dublin shortly before, I knew my way around and had a certain orientation. For example, I knew that Spar was not the supermarket I should go to if I wanted my money to last a little longer. In Ireland, as in Germany, there are also Aldi and Lidl (20 minutes from the college). However, Tesco (metro and not express!), in my opinion, is cheaper and has more choice.
The dorm, on the college campus, I could rule out for myself from the start. A single room was too expensive for me and I didn’t want to share. But everyone has to decide that for themselves.
I have some friends who stayed there last year and were quite happy. You just have to stand on tiny wet cells and don’t need an oven to cook. No, seriously, it also has its advantages, such as unbeatable proximity to the course rooms and security through campus security, but there are also many disadvantages.
I booked myself into one of the numerous hostels in Dublin for the first week and looked for a room from there via daft.ie. My budget was a maximum of 400 euros gross. If you are on such a low budget for Dublin, expect to find some very interesting housing options. Also, I have the feeling that insulation and especially moisture proofing are foreign or swear words in the construction industry in Ireland. So keep your eyes open for mold and strange smells! I then searched for about 4 days and finally found a shared house, which is quite common for Dublin, and was a 15-minute walk from the college.
Since I moved in August and classes didn’t start until mid-September, I had plenty of time to settle in and get to know Dublin without the stress of college.
Freshers Week & Coursework
Freshers Week is in the first week of enrollment. It is organized by the Students Union, SU for short, and offers the opportunity to make initial contacts, to get to know the Irish world of celebrations and to experience all sorts of things. Here I would advise, even if you don’t know anyone yet, to just take part. Meeting people, especially students, is incredibly easy and straightforward, even for someone who is shy. You just have to take a little initiative, because we’re actually all in the same boat.
In the first week we received lists of materials, overviews of the respective module and everything was explained to us in detail.
Of course, I can only speak for my course, but the various modules have nothing in common with the German lecture style. In my course we are plus minus 20 students. Normally we have one teacher, but in Studio we have two teachers who walk around and talk to us personally about our work. In general, even in the modules that are less practically oriented, we can always ask if we don’t understand something or just share our opinion if we feel like it. It’s more like a conversation. In addition, there is a Head of Year responsible for each individual vintage, who specifically takes care of this vintage
The year then ripples along with homework, projects and trips, although the rippling can often turn into a raging river. However, I have learned that as long as you talk to your teachers and keep a halfway organizational overview, any problem can be solved here. In general, I can say that I have never felt alone in any way throughout the year.
Because the GCD is so small, the atmosphere is much more personal and you have the chance to really get to know the people. You can always find a point of contact, be it the Head of the Year, the Course Admin, MicroEdu or SU. If you ask, you will be helped here, at least in my experience.
Throughout the year, you never really get bored at this college. If you are not busy enough with your studies, you can join one of the numerous clubs and scoieties, but parties and trips are also regularly organized by the SU and offered at reasonable prices. Last year there was even a marathon that you could run as part of a charity event for Crumlin Children’s Hospital. It is also important to mention that all clubs and societies are free. Admission prices in clubs, if you go out together with the college, for example on Halloween, are usually 5€ in advance at the SU, in the evening even in front of the door they are a bit higher.
Something that I particularly appreciate here is the internationality. Here I have the opportunity to get to know people from all kinds of countries. My circle of friends is so multicultural that I can learn something new about a country and its culture every day.
Ireland, Dublin, the Irish and their language:
If you’re able to accept the Irish serenity and put aside the German seriousness, you can be very happy here. I personally think the Irish are great, a bit scratchy and sometimes disorganized, but nice and very helpful. Of course, there are exceptions here too, but I have rarely come across these.
Personally, I like Dublin a lot because it’s not too big, but also not too small, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Compared to Germany, it is more expensive here in terms of living expenses and you have to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to walking alone through certain areas, but if you are a bit careful and attentive, this is also limited.
Because the college is not directly in the city center, you can avoid the crowds of tourists, but also indulge in the hustle and bustle of the city center.
At first it can be difficult to understand the Irish. You speak quickly and somewhat slurred. But you listen and if you ask, everything will be explained to you again in class. There are a few colloquialisms that put a little frown on my face when I first heard them, but you get used to them too, and you’ll soon find yourself using them yourself.
All in all I can say that Dublin and especially the GCD have become my new home and that I feel very comfortable here. My course and friends have become my second family and I look forward to the rest of my time here.
If anyone wants to know more about my course or has any other questions, they can get my email address from MicroEdu.
Thanks for reading and I hope I was able to help you with your college decision.