During my bachelor’s degree I wanted to do a semester abroad, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. It was probably because I didn’t have time, too much to worry about, or some other reason…
Looking back, however, I can say that there was really only one reason: I didn’t really want it or not so badly, otherwise I would have become a ‘globetrotter’ as early as my Bachelor’s degree.
Take the opportunity and do a semester abroad as well!
Planning and application phase
All requirements and information about the universities are listed on the MicroEDU (MicroEDU) website and the application is really very clear and simple (MicroEDU gives you a summary of all the relevant documents that have to be submitted and further information ). I was able to write to the MicroEDU staff at any time on all questions and got an immediate response. Immediately after applying, I only concluded my learning agreements with my home university and the semester abroad could begin. Read more student reviews on Toppharmacyschools.
By the way, I started taking care of my semester abroad in Dublin from January 2015.
The flights there are very cheap and fly regularly. Since the flight does not take that long and Ryanair offers flights, you can easily get flights for around 120 euros (return flight, plus luggage) if you book early.
A visa or passport are not required. The normal identity card is sufficient.
Arrival and accommodation
Directly in front of the airport is the bus terminal, from where you can take the AirCoach (blue bus, approx. 7 euros), the Airlink (turquoise bus, approx. 6 euros), a taxi (too expensive) or with take the normal bus (yellow, including line 16A, approx. 3 euros) into the city. I myself recommend the regular buses (take about 35 minutes).
I took care of my room shortly before leaving. This may have been a mistake, because the absolute high season for apartments is between August and October. The housing market is very saturated and the prices are very high (mostly at a low standard).
My first room.
- Approx. 630 euros with additional costs.
- Right in the city center.
- Very old building and very low quality. I moved out there after almost 2 weeks.
- Window leaking.
- No secure entrance door.
- Two-person flat share.
- I recommend signing the rental agreement on site so that you can get your own picture of the apartment.
My second apartment that I kept until the end.
- Rent: The basis of the contract was the weekly price of 200 euros, every four weeks you had to pay 800 euros in cash to the landlord in person. (In Ireland rent is paid in cash.)
- Very clean and great location. There are about 50 apartments in the house and mostly only students live there. (There are three categories. I think it was 160 euros / 200 euros / 220 euros per week)
- 9 Buckingham Street, single apartment
The average price for a room will be around 750 euros. If you are looking for something cheaper, then I recommend the International Student Dorms (approx. 550 euros). But you have to take care of it at an early stage. Likewise, a security fee of usually 100 euros has to be paid when you accept an apartment (this will be offset against the rent when you move in. If you do not want to move in, the money will be lost).
Pages on which you can search for apartments are for example: www.rent.ie, www.daft.ie, and others.
The courses I attended there were:
Business Strategy, Marketing Innovations and Strategic Marketing Innovations (30 ECTS). The range of courses was sufficiently large and on site you also had the opportunity to look at the selected courses in the first two weeks before you had finally decided. I was very satisfied with all three courses. Both the support and the working atmosphere were great. Internationals who only stay one semester usually do not take any exams. Mostly it is more homework and presentations that are required. The grades are usually good.
The strongest represented are internationals from India and Germany. (in my days)
I received BAföG abroad. The maximum that can be paid out:
Maximum rate (670 euros) + flat-rate flight (500 euros) + foreign surcharge (see table online, for Ireland it is 0 euros) + one-time payment of the tuition fees (up to 4600 euros, at the DBS the fees were 3850 euros)
If I haven’t forgotten anything, in the case shown (study duration is four months, the enrolled period is decisive), you would receive around 1,757 euros / month.
In Dublin you have great opportunities to go out and have a lot of fun while studying. If I had to state the expenses for ‘ accommodation + food (man, mostly bought from Aldi) + going out + sport (studio, upscale) + short trips to neighboring places’, the average amount per month would be (which should be expected) at at least 1350 euros.
Culture and life
Ireland is a crazy country and Dublin is arguably not only the biggest but also the liveliest city. The shops are open 7 days a week, the city is always full of life, regardless of the weather there. The number of young people is comparatively high, so going out is a lot of fun. The nightlife is just as exciting and highly recommended.
Drinking is a strong part of Irish culture and after work or college most people are out and about socializing until late at night. The city therefore not only has a lot of sightseeing to offer, but also a lot of life.
Furthermore, the DBS offers various excursions, on which every student can see a lot of Dublin and the surrounding area at a very affordable price. There are also many student organizations ‘societies’ in which you can enroll and get involved at the DBS.
I recommend setting up an account with DublinBikes (approx. 20 euros / year). The stations are spread all over the city. This way you can get home quickly in the evening and don’t always have to take a taxi or even walk.
Despite the season, it was often rainy and cold in the evenings. A transition jacket and a winter jacket are recommended.
Overall, I loved and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Both my studies and my life were just great and a real enrichment for me. Anyone who is thinking of doing a semester abroad there, I wish them an unforgettable stay.