The idea of pursuing a masters in a foreign country struck me while I was doing my Bachelors in Engineering in India. Hearing from my seniors about their experiences when they came back home or phoned, I would sit and think “how I wish I could also do my masters in a foreign country”. However, for that to happen was not as easy as it seems. When I discussed it with my parents they did not agree at all. Convincing them took a while but, eventually, everything fell into place.
Experiences of a foreign DIT student in Ireland
That said, the confusion then was in choosing the country and college to attend. After a great deal of research about my various options I finally decided on Ireland and DIT. I was so keen on joining DIT that I just waited until I heard from them and did not apply anywhere else. Luckily I got accepted and registered myself in DIT, Kevin Street, in the energy management course.
Like a balloon, I flew to Ireland with lots of hope and looking forward to exploring a new place. The thought of meeting different people and experiencing a different culture also excited me. I arrived in Dublin on 14 September, 2014 and so started my new life. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to adjust to the difference in climate from 35°C in Chennai to 10°C in Dublin. This was my first time away from home and of course I was homesick. But soon I realised that this was my choice and this was all I wanted and I can’t be weak now. I got adjusted to everything in no time.
I was lucky in three things – college, friends and accommodation.
College I started my classes the very next day after my arrival. My class numbered 22 and I was the youngest in my batch. I got to see peoples’ interest towards learning despite of their age. I saw the passion that each of them had for learning rather than simply to get a job. It inspired me a lot.
I selected many interesting modules regarding renewables and the professors were friendly and helpful. The Students’ Union organised many interesting programmes and events. It took a while for me to adjust to the different education system and to my new environment. In this student life, apart from academics, it was a great opportunity to learn a new culture and traditions.
Friends I remembered a famous quote by Mark Twain who said “Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life”. This itself conveys everything. Dublin gave me loads of international friends who can walk with me throughout my life.
Accommodation Finding accommodation in Dublin is a tough task. I found accommodation close to the city centre sharing with others from India. Though we are from the same country and different states by destiny, we got to know each other. We celebrate all Indian festivals and share our happiness.
Dublin life People in Dublin are kind-hearted, polite and helpful. Once I got lost on my way to college and asked an old man for help, not aware that he was also new to the city like me. But he made sure that he checked on the maps for my college and guided me. That was really kind of him. I like the way people treat and respect women. Like this, there are loads of memories that are close to my heart. I have been to other counties and I personally like life in the country rather than in the city. Sports impressed me and I found a liking for sports like hiking and other activities that I had never tried back home.
Dublin helped me to improve my skills and also to recognise my hidden talents. I am planning to learn a foreign language. The year passed very quickly and it was the time to get my results. Successfully, I graduated and my dream finally came true on 17 October, 2015. My graduation ceremony was the most awaited moment of my life. I dressed in traditional attire, which is a Sarie, and the only thing missing was my parents. But the best part of the day was that I had a job in hand while I was graduating.
Career I was impressed by this host country and decided to seek work here. Finding a job in Dublin is a bit difficult as companies have to sponsor a visa for international students. But everything depends on the efforts you put in and your own luck. I got an opportunity to work on an interesting project for a leading electrical company. I wanted to visit my family before starting my work and planned it in such a way to fly back for a period of three weeks, the very next day after my graduation.
It was such an amazing feeling to go back to India after a year away, and with a masters degree. I am the first graduate to hold a masters degree in my whole family. I felt like I achieved something in life and received a warm welcome from my entire family and friends. The days at home passed just like that and I was pampered with full love and Mom’s food. Nothing is best in the world other than having food prepared by Mom. But now it’s time to fly back to Dublin and to have a new start.
Life in Dublin gave me loads of good memories to look back on and cherish. I took this opportunity to travel and explore the world without any commitment but also to study and learn new things. I recognised my independent nature of living all by myself in a new environment and adapt to diverse situations.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents, friends and teachers who helped me realise my success. I remember a saying in Sanskrit – “Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam” (Mom, Dad, teacher, God). Mom gives birth, Dad comes second as Mom knows that he is best, and teacher comes next to parents. I follow this and respect all three of them in my life. I convey my sincere gratitude to Mr Pat who gave me an opportunity to share my experience in Ireland with the building services community and finally thanks to Dublin for giving me wonderful moments. ■