Leah Fitzgerald

Studied Sociology & Politics and English at Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland in 2018/19 (BA International)

By the time I got to Finland everything that could’ve gone wrong had gone wrong. Delayed flights, broken luggage, key to my apartment didn’t work and so on. I was about ready to turn round and go back to Ireland.  And then orientation week started, and I changed my mind immediately.  My experience in Finland was incredible; I met people that I know I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life.  I took classes that were interesting and different and gave me a different perspective. Not only was I immersed in Finnish culture, but in the cultures of all those who were also international students. I participated in my first Passover, Ramadan and Sitz (a traditional Finnish students’ academic dinner party), I volunteered with the Swedish People’s Party during the parliamentary elections, I learned to salsa dance, I learned to cook Chinese food with my neighbour …


Going on Erasmus allowed me the opportunity to travel. I travelled to 15 different countries, both with friends that I made during my studies and by myself. It’s an experience, both for learning and culturally, that I would never want to take back. I couldn’t recommend it more, and I would definitely recommend going to Finland - it’s a beautiful country with incredible people.

 

Emma O'Reilly

Emma with friends at Scheveningen beach in The Hague

Studied History and English at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands in 2018/19 (BA International)

The Erasmus experience is unique to each individual and you get out what you put in.  Be ready to step out of your comfort zone and rise to the challenge.

I spent my year abroad studying History and English at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and I can say I left a little part of myself in that wonderful city.

I was initially reluctant about integrating into a city where English is not the mother tongue, however both the Dutch locals and internationals couldn’t be any more accommodating.  Groningen’s diverse community allowed me to experience not only the Dutch culture first-hand but to meet people from places from Barcelona to Tokyo.  Swapping the large lecture halls for the small classroom environment provides the perfect opportunity to speak out and voice your opinion with confidence.  Living abroad was a massive learning curve for me, both academically and personally, and partaking in the Erasmus programme offers you a window to a world outside the regular college lifestyle. Whenever you have a free moment, travel with friends, volunteer or just try something new because, before you know it, the year will meet its concluding days. The friends, laughs, photographs and memories are things I will cherish forever.

Aaron Fahy

Aaron visiting Berlin

Studied at Y Schools, Troyes, France in Semester 2 of 2018/19 (B.Comm. Global)

My time in France proved to be a unforgettable experience.  Although daunting at first, it was a great opportunity to meet and socialise with students from every corner of the world. I got the chance to understand their cultures and ways of life.  This gives you the chance to make lifelong friends. There was always something on or something to do, whether it was to go to the cinema, party or go on a day trip somewhere.  You definitely have to make an effort mixing and socialising if you want to make the most of the experience.

In addition, our university focused on group work and continuous assessments, which took some pressure off when sitting the final exams, as we had a substantial mark heading into our final exam.

Erasmus is also the ideal chance to travel, especially in mainland Europe where everywhere is so accessible.  I had the opportunity to visit Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Lyon.

Testimonials from Engineering students

We'd love to receive some contributions from NUI Galway Engineering students who did their placements through the Erasmus programme!  Please send them to erasmus-office(at)nuigalway.ie. 

Testimonials from Medical & Nursing students

We'd love to receive some contributions from NUI Galway Medical or Nursing students who studied or did internships abroad through the Erasmus programme!  Please send them to erasmus-office(at)nuigalway.ie. 

Victoria Petruk

Victoria at Prague Castle on a weekend trip

B.Sc. Biotechnogy student who completed an Erasmus Traineeship at BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences), Vienna in 2019

The 3 months I spent on my Erasmus experience were absolutely exciting and challenge-loaded.  It was a nice change from the usual college rhythm where I could choose my own working and learning style. My lab environment was fast paced and therefore helped me recall huge amounts of college material.  Of course spending this time abroad was a priceless opportunity to meet people and experience many foreign cultures too!  All in all, it was a refreshing educational adventure.  I feel confident to take on 4th year more than ever now.

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