Tips and Tricks for AIFS Students in Limerick, Ireland

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Arriving  at University of Limerick was so nerve-racking. I didn’t know anyone or where anything was. Even after orientation week, I was still confused on where to go and what to do; I had so much information thrown at me that I couldn’t keep it all straight. Despite knowing people from my home school that studied abroad in Limerick last spring, I completely forgot the advice they gave me. I was so overwhelmed and excited to be here. I wanted to provide a quick crash course on adjusting to life at the University of Limerick!

Here are 4 tips for students who plan to study abroad in Limerick, Ireland:
1. Get a Leap Card

A student Leap Card is used for the Bus Éireann buses that go into the Limerick City Center and other places around Ireland. The regular price for a one-way ticket into the city is €2.40. If you get the Leap Card, you get discounted fares and the price goes down to €1.70.

I worked out my class schedule so that I have Thursdays and Fridays off. This way, when I have free time, I can take the bus into the city to get lunch or go shopping. The buses are really helpful and can take you to several places around Limerick. They run about every 15-20 minutes and stop at three places on campus, so you’ll always be able to catch it to go somewhere! Buses usually run until about midnight, so if you go out during the evening you can still take the buses back.

2. Join the International Society

The International Society is kind of self-explanatory. but it’s a club on campus for all the international students. They offer great trips around Ireland, fun activities during the week and have their own dedicated night at the on campus pub.

The trips they take you on are all over the Emerald Isle. Some trips are just for the day and others are for a whole weekend.  I went on a few and they were so fun! I got to meet new people and see the beautiful views that Ireland has to offer. I went to Glendalough, Dingle, Kenmare and a few other towns. The day trips cost about €12-20, which is a fair price considering the amazing places you get to see.

On Friday nights at the on-campus pub, Stables, you are able to get in for free as a member of the International Society before a certain time. Each Friday has its own theme, some being “wear your country colors,” “decades night,” and “stoplight party.” The International Society is a great way to get to make friends and meet people from all over the world!

3. Take the Classes for International Students

There are certain classes that are only offered to the international students at the University of Limerick. They are the classes that are about Ireland, Celtic history, folklore and other things relating to the Irish culture.

This semester I am enrolled in Irish Music and Dance. We have a lecture where we learn about both, and then we got to chose which of the two we wanted to learn in a more hands-on way. The options were the tin whistle, the bodhrán (a drum), song or dance. My friends and I chose dance, even though we have absolutely no dance experience.

I definitely recommend this class to anyone who is looking to learn about the history of Irish music and dance, but and wants to learn in a hands-on way. At the end of the semester, the whole class puts on a performance and anyone is welcome to come!

4. Go to The Shack in the City Center

The Shack is an amazing donut shop. It’s right in the City Center and there are banners outside so you can’t miss it! They have deals for student and loyalty cards. If you get a loyalty card, you have to buy 8 donuts and the 9th is free. Let me tell you, its very easy to get those 8 donuts so quickly. On Wednesdays, they have a BOGO deal for students; I recommend taking advantage of that. Another great deal they have is 3 donuts for €8 euro. Each donut is €3 so if you and 2 friends are looking for a snack, go to The Shack.

This post was contributed by Laura Prioletti, a student from St. John Fisher College who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Limerick, Ireland.

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