We’ve been talking to our existing students from Latin America and they have put together some recommendations for new students coming this September. Take note everyone!!!
The weather in Ireland will be very different to what you are used to. Even your Brazilian warm clothes won’t be warm enough for our winters so our current students advised us that it’s best to pack the warmest clothes you have and you can buy more items when you arrive quite cheaply. Don’t worry too much though, it’s not all rain and we get sunshine in Ireland too – at times!!
As you will be adapting to a new academic environment, this means changes in assessment, exams and grading for some students. Continuous assessment is used in UCC but the main assessment for your grades will be an exam at the end of term/year. Essay-style answering is common. Students can have many exams at the end of one academic year and this could be a change from what you are used to. Courses are delivered through lectures and tutorials (smaller group classes). Independent learning and self-direction is expected from students. Lecturers are extremely approachable and open to meetings throughout term to discuss your course work. Please make an effort to make an appointment and talk to your lecturer. Grading is also different. We grade between 40% (pass) and 70-75% (excellent) in UCC. These differences are nothing to be concerned about but something to be aware of.
Formal or informal?
We are told that interaction with teaching staff in Brazil is less formal than Ireland. You might find relationships with lecturers in Ireland are a little different and more formal but this is just a cultural difference that will take a little getting used to.
You will be sharing a house or apartment in Cork with other housemates. This may be a change from what you are used to. It’s a great opportunity and hopefully on top of making great friends you’ll be more tolerant and sharing by the end of the experience. Try to share with Irish students and students from other countries while you are here. Doing so will really enhance the experience and help with language skills.
Weather influences our lifestyle in Ireland and because we don’t get as much sun as Brazil you MIGHT find yourself indoors more often. Rain is no excuse to stay inside though!! Ireland is buzzing with outdoor activities from surfing to mountain biking. Buy some warm, rain proof weather gear and embrace our great outdoors!
Similarities to home
There is comfort in knowing that when you come to Ireland there will be some similarities. Here a few that have been noted by previous students:
- Sense of humour – We have been told that we have a similar sense of humour to some Latin American countries
- Social life – Irish people have a healthy social life
- Family is important – Irish people have close family ties