It really has to be said that there is nothing easier than applying to study abroad through your website. All of my questions were answered very quickly and competently. After I had submitted all the documents, the acceptance from Dublin Business School was pretty quick!
The Dublin Business School is very centrally located south of the Liffey. It is not a campus, but the rooms / buildings of the DBS are all distributed throughout the city, but all are easily accessible on foot. The two most important buildings are on Aungier Street. The nearby St. Stephen’s Green can also be reached quickly from the DBS and, in good weather, is great for spending your lunch break there.
The DBS offers a three- or two-week language course for all exchange students. Well, you can’t necessarily talk about a language course here. It is more of an orientation course in which everything is explained about the DBS and life in Ireland. At times very interesting, but sometimes really unnecessary. What is a great advantage, however, is that you get to know new people in this course and I have made friends with whom I was able to enjoy my time in Dublin. We were then able to bridge the time between this language course and the actual start of the semester with a tour of Ireland.
All DBS employees were very nice, hard-working and extremely helpful. In the first few weeks everything was very confused and disorganized, but that’s typically Ireland. A kind that is alien to us Germans, but makes the Irish all the more likeable. True to the motto: “It will go wrong” :).
Before the beginning of the semester at DBS, I was able to agree with my home university (University of Osnabrück) that several courses would be credited. I could have used the time more sensibly, because these courses were not offered after all! Unfortunately, we had the misfortune that the master’s courses were changed for winter. So I had to improvise, I looked at different courses in the first few weeks and afterwards clarified a crediting.
Since only 20 ECTS were credited to me, I only chose two master’s courses with 10 ECTS each. Check mcat-test-centers to see more reviews from current students.
In both courses, the performance was achieved through an “Individual” and a “Group Assigment”. These each made up 50% of the grade. As exchange students, we didn’t have to take the exam, which was written by the master’s students at the end of the semester.
The courses I took were:
1) Strategic Management and Leadership
This course seems to be of a higher level compared to all other courses. We had two sessions here a week. In the first session, “frontal teaching” was held and the respective topic was explained. In the second hour, “case studies” were worked on in groups and then presented by the group. Those who particularly want to improve their “soft skills” for presentations in English are in good hands here. This has brought me a lot.
2) Integrated Marketing Communications in a Digital Age
This course was offered in this form for the first time. This was particularly noticeable in the disorganization. In principle, the course was structured similarly to the course in Strategic Management, but you could hardly see a red path. The lecturer also seemed particularly hectic and spoke extremely quickly. So listening was not always particularly successful.
In this course, too, “case studies” were distributed to groups that were to be held on different dates. On some days, however, it happened that the lecturer needed a little longer with the actual “material” and therefore interrupted the group presentation after five minutes, because a discussion on this topic had to be carried out so that the respective group could do its work made it for nothing.
Despite all this criticism, the topic was very interesting and the assignments were a lot of fun, which is actually very unusual for a housework! 😉 The reason for this was that the level was simply extremely low and you got a really good grade with an average performance.
Attendance was not really compulsory in the two courses, there was always an attendance list, but it was not really checked.
Arrival in Dublin:
Dublin Airport is around 40 minutes from the city center by bus. Since I had my apartment near O’Connell Street, I took the Airlink operated by Dublin Bus. This costs 7 €. If you want it cheaper, you can take the normal bus (line 16 towards Ballinteer) for € 3. This bus serves the most important points in the city center and is a great alternative to the Airlink. However, it is important to know that the stations are not announced, so you should ask the bus driver in advance to announce the desired stop. That works wonderfully! 🙂
In the old experience reports on Dublin it was actually consistently recommended to look for a room on site. But I didn’t do this. I tried to get a room in advance. With approval from DBS, I also received an “Accommodation Guide” and wrote to several student residences. Fortunately, I was able to get a single room in a 6-person flat share in Archway Court (I was really early to apply for this in February).
The room cost € 550 a month. Do not be put off by this price, because for the location and the equipment of the apartment it is still cheap by Dublin standards!
The location of Archway Court on Mountjoy Street in the north of Dublin is almost perfect. In the immediate vicinity you will find all kinds of supermarkets (Tesco, Aldi, Lidl), with Henry Street a large shopping mile and with O’Connell Street an important transport hub in Dublin. The Temple Bar area is a 10-15 minute walk away. The DBS can be reached in about 20 minutes on foot.
For the first two weeks in September I lived alone in the apartment. Then my roommates gradually moved in. My other five roommates were all Irish. Who would have thought that possible for a student residence? 😉 My roommates weren’t straight from Dublin, they came from other parts of Ireland. It was mainly through my roommates that I got to know how different the accents of the Irish actually are. I still don’t really understand a roommate from Tipperary today! Haha!
Otherwise living together was really relaxed and we did a lot together. They were especially happy about alcoholic gifts from Germany when friends came to visit me. 😉 (More about the costs in Ireland later)
But it is important to know: The Irish don’t take hygiene and cleanliness so seriously, at least not my roommates;).
What I also found great was that many Americans lived in Archway Court. So you were constantly surrounded by native speakers, which was a huge advantage for my own English.
As an exchange student, I would always choose Archway Court and look for a room in advance. Many friends who were looking for a room on site sometimes had to live in the hostel for a long time and were sometimes offered really impossible apartments. I, in turn, could use this time with a round trip. Completely stress free! 😉
Life and leisure activities:
Life in Dublin is expensive! Extremely expensive! As I already mentioned, the monthly rent was € 550 plus electricity. Electricity was billed “prepaid”. Works in the same way as a prepaid card on a mobile phone. You buy a “top-up” from the caretaker for 50 € and use it to charge the electricity meter;).
I only bought groceries at ALDI, LIDL or Tesco. There the prices were still relatively humane compared to Dunnes Stores, Central or Spar. But you should get used to the fact that it is almost impossible to buy fresh bread in Ireland. There are one or the other “bakery” in Dublin, but the bread doesn’t taste good and it’s really expensive!
What you will also spend a lot of money on is spending your free time, especially in the pubs and clubs you will leave one or two euros. A pint of beer costs an average of 5 euros. In Temple Bar, beer is usually more expensive than in the surrounding pubs.
I can warmly recommend two pubs to you: One of Dublin’s best singers, Brian Brody, plays at “Peadar Kearney’s” every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Unbelievable how well he sings. There you always have a lot of “craig” right up to the end!
Another recommended pub is the “Auld Dubliner”. Here, too, really good singers perform every evening. Don’t miss out on something like that!
Otherwise there are also many good clubs in the city. You will also get to know these clubs if you go to the Erasmus parties that “I love Dublin” regularly offers.
For those of you who don’t want to miss the culinary side, I can recommend a lot here. Believe me, I’ve never eaten as good as I did in Dublin. I mean that really seriously. For example, if you are into chicken, you should definitely not miss the “Crack Bird”. For those who like burgers, I recommend “Jo’s Burger”. Incredibly delicious! In the south of Dublin, in the city of Bray, you can find the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten. Even Italians would be green with envy if they tried the pizza in the “Platform Pizza Bar”! 🙂
By the way, Bray is very easy to get to with the DART (Irish train company). In Bray you will find a nice sandy beach next to the restaurant. In addition to all the cliffs, a nice change! 🙂
In addition to Bray, the Howth Peninsula is an absolute must. Here you will find beautiful hiking trails along the steep coast and especially in good weather you have a special view of Dublin.
As I mentioned at the beginning, we did a little round trip through Ireland in the first few weeks. We rented the car from a car rental company. Here you should make sure, if possible, to have a driver aged 25 or over with you. Cars with fully comprehensive insurance without excess are generally not rented to younger drivers. And anyone who has ever driven on these narrow and winding roads knows that fully comprehensive insurance is essential. Fortunately, I am older and I was able to “enjoy” left-hand traffic :)!
The following destinations should not be missing on such a round trip: Wicklow Mountains (directly in the south of Dublin), the coastal region around Waterford (in good weather you could think you were on the Mediterranean Sea), Cork (beautiful city, which I enjoyed from my roommate, who Cork comes, recommended), Ring of Kerry (a beautiful coastal road with panoramic sea views), Cliffs of Moher (unique cliffs), The Burren (16 million year old limestone landscape) and the city of Galway (also known from the song “Galway Girl ”In“ PS I love you ”, I’ve never seen the film, but women rave about it;)).
It is also no problem to reach all these destinations by public transport (Bus Éireann approx. € 20) or by a so-called “guided bus tour”. There are many providers here who offer such day tours. We made such a bus tour in the direction of the Giants Causway in Northern Ireland (World Heritage Site; the giant Finn built a beautiful dam there;)). As a provider, I can warmly recommend “Extrem Ireland”. At least on this tour we had a really funny and courteous driver who spoiled his guests with Irish sweets.
Dublin itself also has a lot to offer. So you shouldn’t miss a tour of Kilmainham Gaol. This museum, which used to be a prison, tells a lot about the history of Ireland.
With the Phoenix Park you will find what is probably the largest inner-city park in the world in Dublin. This is also where the Dublin Zoo is located, although it is one of the oldest in Europe, it is not necessarily a must.
Otherwise you will find two more highlights with the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery. The tour in the Old Jameson Distillery is “guided” and also much nicer than that of the Guinness Storehouse. You also have the opportunity to take part in a tasting of different types of whiskey as a volunteer. In the Guinness Storehouse, in turn, you have the opportunity to tap your own pint of Guinness and then enjoy it in the Gravity Bar with a great view over Dublin.
Sports fans: Gaelic football and hurling! The two sports in Ireland! You should definitely take a look at one or the other game. Be it in the pub or, if you get tickets, in the stadium. Personally, I like hurling better.
The Irish go extremely steep in these sports and are extremely proud that these are “almost” only played in Ireland. If you want to know why the Irish are so proud of these sports, you should sign up for a tour of Croke Park. A tour that is also very touching!
Should then, which I cannot imagine, have enough of Dublin or Ireland. Ryanair is headquartered in Dublin and you can fly to England and Scotland for € 30. Warning: at least in England the people are not as friendly as in Ireland;)!
I have never regretted the decision to go to Dublin. I got to know so many new people and friends that I wouldn’t want to be without any more! So if you want a semester / study abroad with a lot of variety, you should definitely go to Ireland!