Georgina - University College Dublin

B Commerce/Business Management
Semester 1, 2019
It is an opportunity that provided many more possibilities.

Academic experience

During my time at UCD, I studied six subjects total across three different faculties. These subjects included Introduction to Negotiations, Groups and Teams, Managing Diversity, Introduction to the Archaeology of Ireland, Digital Business and Social Media Strategy and Spanish General Purposes 2. 
One brilliant aspect of the academic system at UCD is a pass starts at 40%. Since exchange is a pass/fail system, I found the workload for six subjects at UCD to be similar, if not less than, to four subjects at UQ.

For most of my subjects there was only one lecture a week. Unfortunately, none of the lectures are recorded at UCD and the lectures were set on certain days. I would end up going to UCD most days for a short set of time. 

One piece of advice that I would like to impart is to spend time researching the assessment guide of the courses offered. It is quite normal for the subjects at UCD to have a final exam that is weighted at 70% or above of the overall grade. By doing some thorough research before selecting the subjects, I was able to select four subjects that did not have a final exam. This paid off because I was able to spread out my assessment around my travel plans.

Personal experience

Before going on exchange I had never been to Europe and the thought of backpacking solo across Europe was something I never thought I would be doing. Before the start of semester I backpacked in the Winter for two weeks and at the end of the semester I backpacked for a month and two weeks. This was the highlight of my exchange. For anyone doing exchange, I suggest travelling before and after your studies, if you can. Try and experience Europe in both seasons!

Two years ago I was working in America and met people from all over the world. By going on exchange I was able to reconnect with friends I had not seen in three years. I also was also able to see family members that I had never met before. 

These possibilities are a sample of the opportunities going on exchange offers.


I lived off campus. I missed out on the opportunity to live-on campus and I started to question whether exchange will be any good if I was not living on campus. It turns out that there were a couple other students from UQ who also missed out. We ended up reaching out, providing information to one another on alternative accommodation options.

I ended up living right in the heart of Dublin city. The amount ended up costing a price similar to if I had lived on-campus. By living off-campus you do spend more money on public transport and the transport is not cheap in Dublin. I did meet a lot of people who lived on-campus and they would not go on a night out because they could not justify spending money on a taxi home. Since I lived in the city, I could walk home in 10 minutes. My social life would have not been the same if I had lived on-campus. 

I found the city had a really chilled atmosphere. I liked that I was located near all the major shops, the buskers, the pubs and St Stephens Green - perfect place to chill out!


Dublin is definitely a very expensive city. Rent was my biggest expense at approximately $6,000 - $7,000. The airplane tickets would have been the next biggest at slightly less than $2,000 return trip. I opted to buy additional insurance for travels outside of Ireland for before, during and after the semester. This costed approximately $500. 

When it came to living in Dublin, I was spending on average $30 a week on transport to get to uni (luckily the transport card is capped at 20 euros per week). On food and entertainment, I would spend somewhere between $100-$200 per week.

I actually found it to be cheaper to fly to England for a weekend than to train to parts of Ireland. Definitely check out Ryanair (budget airline), the have so many cheap deals. Be careful when booking because they charge an excessive amount of money if you need to change a date, name etc. on your boarding pass or if you don't check online, they will charge you 55 euro at the airport. 

Of course travelling also is pretty expensive but how much you spend on that is entirely up to you!


My biggest challenge was travelling solo for the first time. I was anxious and a little petrified. I did try to prepare for my trip as much as possible. I made sure to have locks with me (for the hostels), printed maps and the cities downloaded on offline maps. However, no amount of preparation can really take away the apprehension. I did not overcome it before leaving. Instead I dived into the challenge and once I was on my way my concerns slowly started to disappear.

Professional Development

One major attribute that developed in myself and many other students on exchange was our confidence. For myself, most of the confidence developed was due to travelling solo. The amount of confidence an individual has would strongly impact on future relationships personally and professionally.


I have mentioned it previously but my highlight was definitely the travelling before, after and during the semester. One of the places I was fortunate enough to travel to was Iceland. It was there that I was able to see the Northern Lights;  a dream of mine for many years.

Top tips

1) To do research on the subjects you select.
2) Consider living off-campus and in the city. 
3) Make most of your weekends to travel.