Sunday, 18 February 2018

Ulster University - Coleraine Campus

I gotta say the process to get into the University of Ulster was quite easy. No visas needed, closer to home and most likely the cheapest option out of all the other choices. Choosing this university was a last minute choice I made due to finance problems. London was a very expensive city to live in, which I should have considered in the first place. The University is located outside Belfast in a relatively small town, Coleraine. The university has three other campuses which are Belfast, Jordanstown and Magee.

Image result for university of ulster coleraine map

Being International Students
The Coleraine campus university does not have a Culinary Arts course. The modules they were offering for us were Food Innovation, Food and Wine Tourism, Corporate Events, Business Planning etc. I chose Food Innovation, Food and Wine Tourism and Corporate Events. These are all theory classes which will be new to me. They do have a domestic style kitchen on campus which will be useful for us on our upcoming projects. They have amazing facilities here on campus, from what I noticed in the first few weeks I have been here.
We are known here to be international students, which I still find weird, and are part of the international student group on facebook. A lot of events are organised for international students for us to be able to see and explore the Northern side of Ireland. Just recently, we got free tickets to the Belfast Giants game of ice hockey located in the Arena. That was my first experience of going to a game and it was great fun. There is also a trip organised to Rathlin Island in the next few months. Tickets for a tour of the Game of Thrones filming locations are also given at cheaper prizes.

I was given a choice to apply for student accommodation or rent a private housing. Private housing is a cheaper choice but it is a lot of job to look for one especially during this time of the year. There were times where rent a house websites would give zero results. The town is relatively small as we figured. The campus is also located around 20 minutes outside town which made housing rentals more troubling as most were located in town. This left me with no choice but to apply for the student accommodation. This process was done online through their website. They have a lot of student accommodation available on and off campus. More choices would have been given if I applied early. I applied for an off campus accommodation which was a two bedroom but they replied back with an on campus which meant these were my only choices. Thinking about it, it is very handy to live on campus as it is only a 3-minute walk to class. One thing I do not appreciate is that we have very little privacy here as accommodation officers with access to keys to these apartments can come in any time they want. They do knock and ring the doorbell but before we even get to answer, they've already welcomed themselves in. This is the first time I am staying on a student accommodation so I do not know if this is what it's like in this type of accommodation. 

Journey from/ to home
The journey from Waterford to Coleraine was quite a long one. I had no choice but to take public transport throughout. It took me a total of 6 hours altogether. Yes. 6 hours! I decided to take the train throughout as taking the bus would take me the whole day or maybe even longer. There were 3 changes to this journey and costed me around £40.

So far, I am enjoying my studies here with the modules I have chosen. Let's hope this will last.

BACA Student,
Marcia Lechoco


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