Orientation makes you feel like a freshman. You don’t know anything about where you are, go on a campus tour, and attend sessions about how to be a student. These are “freshman” things. But, I guess they are “international student” things too.
Day 1: Engagement & Timetables
In the morning, Tailor and I went to the session on the UL Practicum related to civic engagement and service learning. I REALLY want to take this class, though only 28 will be accepted. Hopefully with my background in participating in these types of engagement as well as working at the Center for Civic Engagement gives me a leg up in being accepted to this class. You are all probably wondering what you actually do in this class. Basically, there is a list of about 10 different really cool sounding projects you can be a part of. You are accepted to one of the projects and you work with that Irish community for the duration of the semester. Projects range from making an info center/brochures for the Mungret Heritage to being a tourist ambassador for the Adare community helping to figure out why people visit Adare to helping the O’Malley Clan Association do outreach to find more O’Malleys and work on a monthly newsletter. There are way more projects as well, but those are a few examples. Almost every project sounded very interesting to me, so hopefully! I’ll find out this week.
After the UL Practicum session, we learned about timetables (aka class scheduling). Their scheduling is so confusing and makes for schedule creating a pain, but it was helpful to learn how the University of Limerick does their classes. I’m still trying to figure out what classes I want to take. Well, I had a list of 9 (we take 4 or 5), but ALL of them conflicted with each other, so I can only take 1 of the 9. So, I need to solidify 3 or 4 more. But, I have a little time because we have the first two weeks to test classes before we register.
That evening Tailor and I went to Scholars Bar on campus to listen to traditional Irish music. Tailor got me a Heineken. Eh. Not necessarily my favorite. I still think water is my favorite 😉 I’m sure I’ll find something I like, but if I don’t, that’s okay. Afterwards, a group of us headed over to Stables to get dinner. My friend Katie and I talked to Carly, a girl we met that evening, about Ireland. She’s from California and studied here last semester, but last minute she decided to study a second semester here at University of Limerick. So, she has gotten to know Limerick and Ireland in general very well, allowing her to provide very valuable knowledge about where to visit.
Day 2: Campus & “The boring, but important details”
We got a tour of campus! Well, since campus is so large, we got a tour of part of campus (that’s where exploring comes in). Did you know there are no goldfish crackers in Ireland? Or they at least aren’t common. I was talking about goldfish crackers with someone else on my tour who was also from the U.S. and our tour guide had to ask us what we were talking about because we so confused as to why we were eating live goldfish.
*Fun fact I got way too excited about: I learned something about cars. I know NOTHING about cars, so I’m proud of myself. If you look at a license plate of a car in Ireland, the first 2 or 3 digits tell you when the car was manufactured. If the car was made before 2013, the first 2 digits tell you the year. If it was made 2013 and onward, the first 2 digits tell you the year and the the 3rd digit (1 or 2) tells you if it was made in the first half of the year or the second half. That’s my fun fact of the day. 🙂
Tailor, Katie, Alyssa, and I skipped the session after our “boring, but important info session” because we needed food otherwise we would have been grumpy. We then explored the rest of campus after eating. The four of us made our way out to the boathouse (one of the farthest places on campus) and then wandered back on the trails (read my previous post is you want to hear more about campus). I think it’s super cool there are old ruins sprinkled throughout campus and the city.
Day 3: Clubs, Societies, and Partying, oh my!
This was a full day! We started sessions at 9am and had lots of little 15 minute presentations until 12pm. Presentations were on safety, counseling, chaplaincy, IT, President’s Volunteer Award (you can have an award on your transcript for volunteering), clubs/societies, Outdoor Pursuits (Tailor and I were very excited to hear them talk. I bet you’re surprised), International Society, and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. After our lunch break, Andy Steves (the son of Rick Steves) talked to us about Weekend Student Adventures and how to efficiently travel on a college budget. Though, it was a little more of a sales pitch for his organization, but that’s okay. He shared some valuable info as well. Also if you watch Shark Tank, he was on it last year. The episode supposedly hasn’t aired, but it could!
That evening we were provided dinner at Stables, one of the on campus bars–first meal provided! There are chips (aka French fries) with almost every meal it seems! That evening there was a school sanctioned international student party at Stables. A group of us went, but Katie and I were a little overwhelmed and out of our atmosphere. Though, it’s great for people watching! But, we think we need to find out own Friday night adventures for the two of us because they have an international party every Friday. Personally I think that’s a little much.
*Sorry there weren’t as many pictures, but orientation isn’t exciting to photograph. Next post will be on my weekend adventures, so there’ll be pictures-galore!