Recipient of the Clete Daniel Memorial Medal
I decided to go to Ireland because I wanted both a great educational experience and I wanted to travel throughout the country. I went out a month early with a backpack and my fiddle and I played for tips (busked) all across the country, staying in hostels. I’ve had quite a few amazing experiences doing that; top among which was my visit to the Aran Islands. I returned there later in the semester as part of the International Student’s Society. It is truly a magical place.
I lived in what I called “off-campus on campus,” which was off from the main campus at Belfield, at Blackrock. If I were to do it again, I would definitely wake up with plenty of time to login before the 5:00 am sign-up for on-campus housing selection. It is in a very inconvenient location. In hindsight, I wish that I had lived off-campus, further towards the city center, although I do still keep up with some of the folks at the ol’ Blackrock Halls residence, even as recently as today (April 8th). Some of my friends that I left behind found my make-shift name placard for class floating around in the halls somewhere, and put it up on Facebook. It seems that my legacy lives on in Ireland, even if I don’t. At Blackrock East/West, you do get a kitchen, but I was rather disappointed to find that that does not mean that you get an oven! Despite this, I made a fair amount of awesome food while I was there.
As for the application process is concerned, Brigid is an absolute delight to work with. She goes so far out of her way to help students out. She certainly has done her share with me. I plan on doing the credit internship this fall and I can say that she has been just as awesome with that application process.
The strategy with which one approaches the coursework while abroad must be adjusted from that used at Cornell. There, the final exam was very heavily weighted, so I adjusted my hours of studying to be heavier at the end, and I studied for about sixty or seventy hours in the week before the end of the exams. I feel that this was critical to my academic success. How much of the reading done early on in the semester are you going to remember? You have to skim in the beginning of the semester and re-read before the final. As a whole, I really enjoyed the coursework, which focused on the EU and international issues in business. I took Money and Banking with Professor Karl Whelan. His perspective on the current economic crisis in the EU was really interesting and I really hope that his insights regarding the misalignment of incentives to the financial industry will one day be considered by policy makers. And hopefully this will be done before there is another crash in the financial markets!
Overall, the experience was fantastic and I am glad that I embraced this opportunity. I met many people from many different countries. The memories that I made and the contacts that I met will stay with me forever.
- Gregory Crawford, UCD Fall 2012