Liam - University College Dublin

Bachelor of Economics
Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

I studied electives towards my economics degree. 6 courses was equivalent to 4 at UQ and I would say the workload was easier. I did Economic History, Economics of the EU, Financial Crises, Environmental Economics, Public Economics and Advanced Macroeconomics. 
It was interesting learning about the economy from a different perspective, especially with the focus on Europe, and meeting local students. It was tricky to interact with students in lectures at first but this became easier. Watch your emails from UCD and enrolment is okay, sometimes courses may fill up but places become available again so it is worth it to keep checking if you miss out on one.

Personal experience

The best thing about exchange was meeting so many new people from all over the world. I feel I became much more confident and have gained a much broader perspective on the world. 
Travelling around Europe was great, and my highlight was travelling around the north, west coast and south of Ireland. This included Belfast, the Antrim Coast, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow and two trips to Galway. It is a beautiful country, people are very friendly, music and culture is brilliant and there is nothing better than an Irish pub.

Accommodation

I lived on campus at Glenomena residence. It was great living with and meeting other students, and having so many friends close by. It's very convenient. The common area was smallish for 6 people but I'd definitely recommend. Again, costs and details are easy to find online, and follow the emails from UCD and you'll find what you need.

Costs

Overall Dublin is not cheap but it's a lot cheaper than London, Paris etc. Music gigs were great value, train and bus travel around Ireland and Europe is pretty good. 
I would budget at least 15000 or a bit more for the whole semester including everything. Ask some other people too. Registering with immigration is expensive - 300 euro - so watch out for that. Alcohol is cheaper than here, food prices are similar overall, and going out is way cheaper outside of temple bar area. 

Professional Development

Communication skills, confidence talking with people from heaps of new places, and a new perspective on the world.

Highlight

International Students society trip to Galway. Really the highlight was travelling in Ireland, meeting new people from all over the world, and enjoying the scenery, the Guinness and the music.

Top tips

Travel in Ireland and spend time living in Dublin. You can travel Europe too but this is your chance to really discover and embrace a new city and country. 
If there is a Galway trip with the international students society early on, try to go on it - get there to queue for tickets to it like an hour early and be patient, it'll be worth it. Regardless, go to Galway.