University: Griffith College Dublin
Field of study: media, journalism
Study type: semester abroad
It was clear to me from the start that I would like to spend my semester abroad in Ireland, in Dublin to be exact. I have attended a number of trade fairs on this topic in advance and informed myself thoroughly. That’s how I became aware of MicroEdu. After reading through some testimonials, I contacted MicroEdu directly to clarify any remaining questions. The support from MicroEdu was always good, uncomplicated and fast. I recommend you to keep an eye out for scholarships, because that way you can save yourself quite a bit of money. Also MicroEdu offers a scholarship that you can apply for. Check mcat-test-centers.com to see California State University Monterey Bay.
The application went through MicroEdu, who are directly linked to Griffith College. You can contact the staff at any time and get an immediate answer and a solution if you have a problem. Therefore, the entire application process was problem-free and you had nothing to do other than fill out the application documents and send them back to MicroEdu, who then took care of everything else.
The International Office was then responsible for us exchange students on site and was always there to help and advise us.
I needed 18 CPs for my semester abroad, so I chose a total of 4 courses, each with 5 CPs, from the extensive range of courses. In the first few weeks you can also get a taste of courses you are not sure about and then deselect them again. However, you have to make sure that the courses do not overlap. I chose the Introduction to Photography, Digital Photography, Visual Communication and Ways of Seeing courses. I have been absolutely satisfied with my choice of courses and also the teachers. I learned an incredible amount in the photography courses in particular. In all my courses, there was no exam at the end, only projects, reports or short tests on design programs were carried out in class. The projects varied in difficulty depending on the course, but can all be mastered with a little creativity and the reports are also quite feasible, since the teachers on site know who an exchange student is, they pay less attention to spelling and grammar and more on the content. The number of participants was manageable with about 10 – 20 participants and so the students could be addressed directly. The grading system in Ireland However, it takes some getting used to at first, for example you can never reach 100% and 70% is still a 1.
Leisure & Travel
At the college itself there are a variety of sports and teams for which you can qualify. Some celebrations, such as at the beginning of the semester, at Halloween or Christmas, are also organized by the college. From time to time even smaller trips or day trips from the college are offered, where you can get around within Ireland for little money and thus also meet new people who are also studying at Griffith College. Of course you should make sure that you don’t have a course on those days.
There are also many bus companies from Dublin that offer day trips to a wide variety of places in Ireland. I can recommend Paddywagon Tours to you for this. The tours were always entertaining and you could see a lot in a short time for comparatively little money. My roommates and I took part in a few tours over the course of the semester and all of them were really recommendable. I particularly enjoyed the Giant Causeway, Connemara and Cliffs of Moher Tour. You can easily book these online or in one of the branches across Dublin.
If it gets too much for you within Dublin, I can recommend the Phoenix Park, it’s a great place to switch off and if you’re lucky you can even admire the local herd of deer.
The beautiful Howth Peninsula is only about 1 hour from Griffith College and one change by regular bus. There is incredibly good food here (The Abbey Tavern for a cozy atmosphere and Besoffs Bros for the fast food in between), a small cute market and in my opinion the most beautiful hiking trail in all of Ireland, which takes you directly along the cliffs along the coast around the around the island.
There are a lot of good bands and musicians in Dublin who perform in all sorts of pubs, on the streets or in the 3Arena right on the River Liffey.
After much deliberation, I have decided to move into the Griffith Halls of Residence. At first I wasn’t too sure as the rental cost seemed a bit overpriced, but in the end I have to say that it was the best and most economical decision I could have made. Since bus travel in Dublin is anything but cheap, despite the so-called Leap Card for students, and the college is not directly in the city center, it was great to live right on the campus. It should also be noted that the buses sometimes go on strike for several days or even weeks a month. So you were always quick to your lectures, quickly made friends and you can also access the library at any time or eat in the cafeteria. Through the experiences of some fellow students, I know In the end, accommodation with a host family is not cheaper and it is more difficult to maintain contact with other students.
I shared an apartment with three students from the same course. We stayed in twin rooms and each of us shared a bathroom. We also shared a kitchen with a living room. In the multi-storey car park of the dormitory there is a laundry room, whose washing machines and dryers can be used after inserting small change.
Life in Dublin is not exactly cheap, which is mainly reflected in drugstore products such as deodorant (6€). But the groceries are also more expensive than in Germany. However, if you go shopping at Aldi and Lidl, the whole thing is still within reason.
There are a lot of student discounts in Ireland so I would recommend always checking if there is a student discount.
You should definitely take out international health insurance before you start your semester abroad.
Here I can recommend the travel insurance for students from Hansemerkur.
As far as your mobile phone contract is concerned, I would ask your German provider if there is the possibility of booking an EU flat rate for this period. Otherwise you can of course look for a new provider on site.
Despite the high costs, you have to consider that you can save a lot on the flight compared to other countries, for example, since flights to Dublin are rather cheap.
Ireland is one of the greenest countries I have ever seen and there are many wonderful places to explore. The impressions I gained in Ireland will stay with me forever and I am sure that such a stay abroad is an enormous enrichment for everyone, as you discover sides of yourself that you did not know before and more open to the world.