My decision to do a gap semester in Dublin was quite spontaneous. I had had the idea of taking a break between school and university and going abroad for a long time, but I had a different plan. However, when it was smashed, we looked a little on the internet and finally found the MicroEDU website. From there it went very quickly that I decided on Dublin. College wasn’t the major I wanted to study, but I thought it would be a good idea to try something different this semester. Learn more about Griffith College Dublin on andyeducation.
That’s how we got in touch with MicroEDU, and from that point on, I’ve been well taken by the hand. The responsible employee assigned to me was in constant contact with me and helped me to get all the forms together and then passed everything on to the college and thus established the contact for me. During the further course of the semester, i.e. before and during the semester, I could always turn to her and I was helped to the best of my ability.
The search for the property proved more difficult. Since I was a little late with the entire decision, the dormitory on campus was already fully booked. Nevertheless, I put myself on the waiting list, which meant, however, that I had to transfer the entire amount for the accommodation during the semester. This tied our hands a little because we would only have got the money back if college hadn’t been able to offer us a place. Eventually this happened before Christmas and so I was able to find another place to stay thanks to an email with links to specific websites I got from MicroEDU.
When the time had finally come and I flew to Dublin, the college took care of the airport pick-up, which is why at least there was no getting lost at the beginning.
In the first week there were two introductory days, which helped you to get acquainted with most things.
When the semester started, as a gap semester student I had the opportunity to choose four courses within the first two weeks. The number of courses varies depending on the result of the language test, which must either be completed in advance at home or upon arrival at college. I took the TOEFL test in Germany while my best friend there, who was in Dublin for a whole year, did the test in college. Both are possible, but I still had enough time to do it at home.
During the first two weeks I was able to attend all the lectures of the first year of study that seemed interesting to me and at the end of the two weeks I had to choose four. In the end, my chosen courses were all in the “Journalism & Visual Media” course, but I would also have had the option of looking for my courses from several courses together. For example, I would have some of my courses with courses from the “Business” area can exchange. However, I was very happy with my choice and had a good mix of practice such as photography and theory such as law and ethics of the media. However, I have to say that sometimes the strength of the college wasn’t in the organization. Sometimes I had to take care of a few things myself, but in the end it worked.
Because I didn’t live on campus during the semester, but in a house 20 minutes’ walk away from college, I had the advantage that I got to know more people, since my (after all nine) (chaotic) roommates are all at other colleges were than me. That’s why I came into contact with a wide variety of people and nationalities – from, of course, Irish, to Americans, Germans, Hungarians, French, Koreans, Swedes and Mexicans. In general, Dublin is a very colorful city in terms of nationalities and Griffith College in particular has a wide range to offer, which I found wonderful. So I was able to learn and experience a lot more than I expected.
One more point I have to mention is the cost. Ireland in general is more expensive than much in Germany. Of course, I don’t have the comparisons to everywhere either, but to the outskirts of Berlin. And it was also more expensive. Accommodation in Dublin is also not available for an apple and an egg, you should be aware of that. However, I was happy to have lived in the central district of Rathmines, which is why I was able to walk a lot. Because the Irish are not quite so with public transport. Either the bus arrives, usually too late, or it just doesn’t come. You get used to it, but I was glad I didn’t live on the outskirts of Dublin and therefore didn’t have to rely on the buses. Of course it’s cheaper there, but then you pay for the transport. Everyone can decide for themselves, of course, I was glad how it was for me.
I’ve also done a lot from Dublin, whether it’s close by exploring the coastal towns or further in the country visiting Cork, Westport or the Cliffs of Moher. I did most of the things with friends, but this also included a tour with other students offered by the College’s Student Union. This tour was really worth it, because you can get to all things better by bus than just by train.
In Dublin there are plenty of opportunities to party and have fun in the evenings. And if the ceiling fell on your head, you could flee into the surrounding area.
All in all, this semester was the best decision I could have made. I’ve made friends for life who come from all over the place. My English has improved a lot. I was good at writing before, but lacked the real usefulness of language for communicating. This subsided quickly as I was simply forced to speak. And everyone was very tolerant of you when you made mistakes, which of course could not be avoided.
So I can only recommend it to all people who are thinking about a semester abroad. Do it, it will help you wonderfully, whether in the language or simply by becoming more independent. Because if your wallet is stolen, you are simply forced to act alone because you are on your own. But this can happen anywhere, so you shouldn’t be put off by it. I can only say that this semester was absolutely worth gold for me and that I would do it again at any time.