Testimony Lode Van Dijcke (2018-2019)

Cork City is an ‘island’ like city on the river lee. It’s very nice because Ireland has lots of natural green, like woods and grasslands, which gives even the biggest city a green feeling. The cost price for everything is about the same as in Belgium. There are plenty of small shops around and also some big supermarkets like lidl. Finding a room however is very difficult. I had to send 200 emails and even then I still was very lucky to get a room for 2 months. The UCC can’t help you in that, so you have to find a room on your own. My advice is just to respond to anything you can find on the internet, and don’t be too picky on the room. Even native Irish people have a hard time getting a room in Cork. Also, since it’s hard to find a room, you have to get lucky as well to get some nice roommates. A room in a student house where other Erasmus students are staying is not possible here, so to meet new people you will have to either go out on your own or hit people up on social media. This was something I was not used to, but I got used to it pretty well. You’d pay around 500 euro/month for a room. Ireland has a lot of nature to discover, as well as cultural activities. You can take bus trips to anywhere, enjoy the Irish coastal line, go to the famous Jameson distillery, etc… There is even a local zoo here which I visited. Afterwards, you can go and relax in one of the many pubs here. My workplace at the UCC was wonderful. The colleagues were amazingly friendly and helpful, and would always have a chat with me at lunch. The lab of Pasha has it’s own procedures, and every Friday there is a lab meeting. If you’re too late for this meeting, you will have to do push-up, be aware! My colleagues even took me out to have dinner or to watch a movie. They really made my stay here very enjoyable. The biggest con of a international experience is that it’s expensive, even with the Erasmus grant. But the pros outweigh the cons. You will meet new and exciting people here, see things you have never seen before, learn about different culture, and all-round broaden your horizon. I would advise everyone to do an international experience if you can. This really matures you as a person. It is also a good way to practice and develop your English speaking and writing skills.

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