Mid semester break and St. Patrick’s Day

So it has been awhile since my last post but that is for good reason. I have just been on our 2 week mid semester break and it was amazing. The best thing about going on exchange to Europe is you can fly to so many countries in 1-2 hours. There are always extremely cheap flights on the budget airlines like Ryan Air so it is great for travelling. Some tips for travelling on Ryan Air though…they are extremely cheap but they try and squeeze money out of you any way they can. They go around and measure people’s carry-on baggage and if your over you will get fined. You also have to print off your boarding pass before you go to the airport or it is 50 euros.

 

Anyway on our trip we went to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava,Budapest and Krakow. They were all amazing cities but I would have to say Prague was my favourite. The architecture and atmosphere of the place was awesome. Another highlight was skiing in the High Tatras mountains in Slovakia. I’ve only skied before in Australia and New Zealand and not only was this better snow but a lot cheaper.

If you are keen for a party I would definitely recommend Prague and Budapest. Not only are they cheap but they have some great bars. In Budapest there are a bunch of bars called ‘ruin bars’ which are literally in the ruins of old bars from the Soviet occupation.

We came back from our trip in time for St. Patrick’s day. As you may have guessed St. Patrick’s day in Ireland is a little bit of a big deal. If you are studying anywhere in Europe I would definitely recommend coming for the weekend. The whole city goes crazy and every pub is full. Make sure you book early though as the city is literally full for the weekend.

Finally I’ll talk about my exams. I’ve had two mid terms so far and it is a little bit different from QUT. They just cram everyone in the lecture theater and your allowed to begin as soon as your handed a paper. Me and my other friend from QUT were waiting for them to tell us to start before we realised. They dont record the time on the board either so you better hope you can see the clock on the wall (which I couldn’t haha).

That’s all for now. More updates soon.

Week 3 & 4

I’ve fallen behind on the old blogging so I’ll do two weeks in one post.

In the past two weeks we’ve been to Cork and Galway on the weekends and its been crazy. Galway is the city the Irish go to party so it is definitely not to be missed. UCD have a group called the Erasmus Exchange Network (ESN) which organise trips for international students so we went along to their Galway trip. I’d highly recommend it for anyone coming over as it is a great way to meet people and explore Ireland. The trip cost 100 Euro but that includes accommodation, breakfast, busses and all that stuff for the weekend.

One thing you definitely learn from going on exchange is not to be timid. I don’t consider myself a shy person at all but you definitely have to put yourself out there to meet people.  Makes you get up and out of your comfort zone. It has been great meeting different people all over the world, an experience you would never have if you stayed safe in Australia.

Classes are pretty much the same. All of my classes have 75% exams at the end of term so that’s future Nick’s problem at the moment hahaha. The lack of powerpoints/podcasts is really annoying though. I think I have been spoiled by QUT.

That’s all for now, I’ll update more in a few days.

Cheers

P.S I’d like to give a big thank you to QUT who just paid me my scholarship money. Thank you!

2nd Week

Hey all

So I thought I’d report on the latest happenings. I’ve had a few classes and it is quite a bit different from QUT. Only 1 of my classes use powerpoint and none of them are recorded so there is no podcasts/streaming. This means you really have to go to every class or you’ll miss something. Which is hard to do. Especially for economics at 9am on a Monday.

The classes are also shorter. Some lectures are just for 50 mins twice a week……why not do one 2 hour lesson? There are also no tutorials, just the 2 or 1 hour a lecture. This means its pretty much left to yourself to study/make sure your up to date on the material.

Overall, QUT seems to be pretty advanced in its use of technology and honestly I think UCD needs to catch up.

Guiness Factory with some crazy Canadians

On the social side of things Dublin is awesome. There is just so much going on every night of the week and so many trips you can take on the weekend. This is really good because on exchange you really want to meet as many people as you can. Going out every night and going on trips, while being tiring and expensive, is the best way to meet new people. Our motto for this trip has been to never say ‘No’ to any offer (within reason hahaha) and we are having a blast.

The only things is money. I’ve spent way to much and really need to start a budget haha. So whatever your planning to bring…add another 2000 on top to be safe I’d say.

And of course I can’t finish without mentioning Australia Day. We did the nation proud and hosted a party to introduce all our international friends to Australia Day and lets just say it was memorable.

 

The First Week!

Hey everyone this is my first blog post after 5 days in Ireland. I’m studying at UCD in Dublin and just started classes today. We arrived on Wednesday at about 11am after a long plane trip. The first thing you notice about Dublin is it is bloody cold! Being a used to 30 degree heat in Brisbane, the weather here was a bit of a shock. It’s quite a nice change from sweating in Brisbane though.

From the airport we got the Aircoach to UCD which was 8 Euros each, where as a taxi would be 50-60 euros we were told. The coach takes about 45 mins from the Airport and drops you right outside. From there we had to lug our bags across campus which was pretty tiring but we made it.

We are staying on campus at the Belgrove residence. It is the cheapest residence you can stay at 2400 Euros for the semester and is fairly basic. But we’ve been told by the Irish people we’ve met that it has the best craic (fun in Irish), so I’d recommend it if you don’t mind living a bit simpler and having a few parties ;).

Above is what a room looks like. This is Josh who is on exchange from QUT as well so he’ll be featuring in the blog a bit haha. He looks suitably impressed.

The cost of living here is quite good and i’d say probably a little bit cheaper than Brisbane, especially with the strength of the Aussie dollar against the Euro. Dinner in a pub is about 10 euro, a pint about 4 euro and bus 1.90. A cab home from the city is about 12 euros which is fairly good if you have 4 in the cab. The campus is about 15 mins on the bus from the city centre, with a bus stop on campus, so it is not too hard to get around.

Finally I had my first class today so i’ll finish on that. It was Economics of Public Policy, with about 50 people in the class. The classes here are a bit different to Brisbane. You take 6 subjects instead of 4 and there are more lectures but not many tutes. For example today’s lecture only went for 45 minutes and we have another one on Wednesday but no tutorials…kind of makes you wonder why they don’t just knock it over in one 2 hour session. My first impression is that it seems a bit easier than QUT and more focus on self study rather than lots of contact hours.

Thanks all for now

Cheers!