Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Time in Coleraine Surely Passes by Fast!

So one month has passed since my last blog post and its certainly been a busy one. It’s been a month of travelling, trips and events. The month began with a trip to the Giants Causeway, it’s such a picturesque area. We took some time to walk around and take pictures and of course take a seat in the ‘Wishing Chair’. Next on the calendar was a trip organised by the University for us to go and see the Belfast Giants play at home in the SSE Arena. This was my first time to see a hockey game in person and it was an amazing experience. The atmosphere at the game was unbelieve! It didn’t take long for us to learn some of the chants so by the end of the first period we fit right in with the home crowd! Every Monday we go to the iCafe which is a small café that welcomes International students to the area. Each week there is something different, there has been board games, scone making and even pumpkin carving for Halloween. At the end of the night there’s always tea and chats and the locals are very helpful, so if there’s anything you’re looking for in the area they’ll tell you where to find it! On Tuesday nights The Anchor is the place to be for all students! Every Tuesday is Karaoke Night and the best three acts on the night go through to a final before Christmas, let’s just say neither myself or my flatmates are holing out any hope of reaching the final!

Settling in to life on campus has been pretty easy, I’m only there two days a week! Having so little lecture time is very strange for me. I’m use to have 4/5 days of college every week. Having such little contact time with my lectures means that for once I’m ahead of the deadlines for all my modules, no cramming from week 10 this semester! The clubs and societies here are great, they’ve really got something for everyone here. Joining a team sport is really encouraged here, no matter how short a period you’ll be here for. This is a great way to spend the free time that I have.

           Living so close to the campus is great, most of my classes are within a 5-minute walk from my front door. My accommodation is pretty decent, has all the basics and is very warm and cosy. The kitchen however did leave a lot to be desired… After a week or two myself and the girls I live with decided a trip to IKEA was needed so we could gather a bit more equipment for dinner time. Flats here often take it in turns to cook for each other and were planning a big Thanksgiving dinner with some of the students from America. Making friends here has been very easy. We were all in the same situation when we arrived here, a new area where we don’t know anybody and trying to fit in to a class which may have been formed a year or two ago. We’ve all managed to make great friends, some would even call us a family. One thing I’m sure of is that I’ve made life long connects with people from across the globe!

            Halloween without a break from school/college is a strange feeling, I’m so use to being home for the Halloween break with family and friends. However, having college isn’t going to stop us from celebrating Halloween. The International Office here in Coleraine has organised a bus for all of us to go to Derry for the Halloween festival there. When talking to anybody in the area they’ll tell you that Derry is the place to be for all the spooks and horrors! So as I sit here writing this blog post I’m also trying to put the finishing touches to my Halloween costume, we’re all putting in a big effort because you’d never know what competitions we’ll enter once we get to Derry!

            So I’m half way through my time here in Coleraine and I’m loving it! Yes, there’s times it hasn’t been easy but making friends and having a smiling face greet you at every lecture has certainly made it easier. For any of the second years thinking about their term in college abroad, don’t look past Coleraine, it’s a wonderful place! I know I’ll certainly miss it when I move on…

            That's all I've got for now folks, I check back in soon!
               Áine B.

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