Sunday, 31 October 2021

Ulster University Coleraine

Hi, Eimear here. Living in Northern Ireland has been pretty plain sailing so far since I've been here. Its kind of like a middle ground in between living down south and living in England when it comes to how things work if I could come to a comparison. I moved up to Coleraine the week before lectures started so I could get the lay of the land and settle in and learn how to manage the transport system up and down as the reasons I chose the north were the college course and the friendly option of heading back home for a weekend if I wanted to. If you are interested in the world of food outside working in a kitchen, Coleraine is the place for you. It has given me such a wider perspective of the food industry and all the different angles you can go into when you graduate and its only been the first month. Im really glad I picked here for the modules as I find the business aspect of food really interesting. Our modules are Food Product Development, Sensory Analysis and Quality Control and Food Studies and Nutrition, and you work with some massive food companies that look very good on your CV, such as Mcdonalds and Finnebrogue. The free maccies hauls I dont protest against either...there was one point where we had a stockpile of Mayo Chickens in the freezer so if you were craving Mcdonalds; job sorted! You wouldn't be short of getting free stuff while studying here either, with goody bags and the uni giving out things all the time.

 The facilities in the Uni are fantastic aswell, anything that you could ever think of they're already 10 steps ahead of you. They have a gym, spar, starbucks, doctors office, restauraunt, bar and even a hairdressers just to name a few. There is also a forest walking trail and basically a whole park too if youre not into the gym and relaxed strolls are more youre vibe. Im a member of the gym on campus and a member of the Equestrian club so I can compete in Varsity Competitions. I'm off to Tetrathelon in a couple weeks representing the Uni. Its a great way to meet people with similar insterests and to keep going in the sport you play, if you play any. They also have a long list of societies you can join which are also good fun.
 I live in Halls on campus, which are great if you like your lie ins in the morning. 9am lecture? Wake up at 8.50 and stroll in no problem. Anyone who is familiar with Manor or Riverwalk the dorms the Cranagh ones are fairly similar, but in Cranagh where I am every room is an ensuite which is a big perk. The Residential Life team are great with any issues you have and they give out free food all the time and plan different events for every day of the month, from campus hide and seek to weekly movie nights. There is also a place called the hive, similar to the SU in WIT, where you can chill with friends and watch netflix or play pool or games.
There is also alot you can do when it comes to your social life, with fab restaurants in the Ramore Complex in Portrush (if you're a pastry person I highly recommend the wine bar), cafés in town and the go to night life spot of Anchor in Portstewart, about a 10min taxi from campus and they have student nights on Tuesday with a club upstairs. The Jet Centre in Coleraine is also fab, with an Asian restaurant, mini golf, cinema, bowling and arcade all under one roof.
Overall, my first month here has been quite fun and layed back, considering we only have lectures 3 days a week it gived you the time ro do what you want and go exploring and meet new people along the way!

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Navigating the Netherlands

Hi all, Adam here, life in the Netherlands isn’t quite what I expected before coming. In the 2 months that I’ve here there’s been 100 different challenges that I’ve had to overcome from living in a hotel for a month to moving into a house infested with mice and while none of these have been easy to deal with and at certain points i was tempted to call it quits and just fly home I can easily say that I’m glad I persevered, because while there have been many downs there’s been twice as many ups. While staying in a hotel that long wasn’t as fun as you might think, it did have its advantages such as its proximity to the city. The hotel Marianhage wasn’t even a 5 minute walk from the city meaning that I got to explore a new part of it every day such as the huge parks and the amazing night life it offered. While not being able to cook my own food within the hotel was a huge hindrance it did give me the opportunity to try a new restaurant almost every day, things that I otherwise never would have tried.
The house that I moved into may have had mice but laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation helped me to deal with that and there was no better bonding experience than 3 of us getting each other anytime we wanted to go to the basement to wash our clothes.
The college itself has been great, I love all of my modules and the lecturers have been nothing but helpful. It’s the perfect course for those who are more interested in the marketing and business aspects of the food industry. I live almost an hour away from the college which can be annoying but there’s no shortage of entertainment at the train station.
While all of this might sound negative, I honestly don’t think I would change anything that has happened so far, adapting and making the best of every situation thrown at me has been a learning curve that ill never forget and some of the things I’ve learned here I’ll remember for life. Although for any future student reading this I definitely recommended getting accommodation through the college. Until next time, Adam

Friday, 29 October 2021



As part of our international studies, we are required to write blog posts on living in a foreign country as part of our international studies. In this assessment we must talk about the are we live in, shopping and cost, the university and its’ programme, accommodation and transport.

Within the first two weeks of living in the Netherlands I learned an abundance. I would like to share some of the newly acquired information with you as I wish I knew all of this before arriving. I was lucky I had people with me to make it easier and to share the little burdens along the way so hopefully you who is reading this is in the same boat. When Arriving through the Eindhoven Airport I felt relief- relief to finally be at my destination to get through third year. Relief was felt because of the uncertainty around Covid 19 and if we would be allowed to go abroad. However, Covid was not our only struggle as you will soon find out! The first day was great- we were staying in an Airbnb and then a hotel until our apartment was ready, which is the 23rd of September. This would go to cause some trouble as we felt we could not settle or properly manage all our belongings.



There are a few things I would advise future students traveling to The Netherlands. One being sort accommodation out within the college. It may be expensive- but we were naïve thinking we could just find a little apartment for ourselves. How very wrong we were! There is a massive housing crisis in The Netherlands- especially Venlo and Eindhoven- not just that, but with a lot of the housing agencies we went with we found out that it is illegal to put students in a house without having the required licence. This went on to prove great difficulty in securing accommodation so much to the point we had no accommodation sorted the night before out flights. Do not let yourself be put in this position- go with Fonty’s accommodation as they have a few places where you live with other students but be quick. What did calm us down was seeing other students in the same position as we were in, I would leave the hotel and noticed other students walking to the train station too- so it wasn’t just us!

Bar accommodation, another problem we encountered was the fact that our bank cards did not work in certain places. I personally am with AIB and I also have a Revolut card. Both got declined so many times to the point it’s not even embarrassing anymore- just more of an annoyance. So be prepared for that, as it was something I had no idea of! To get a Dutch bank account you must provide a lot of documents and register yourself in the town hall. It is a lot of work so I would just try have cash on me as often as I could, however because of Covid some places do not take cash- so be weary before approaching the cashier. Avoid places like Albert Heijn- it looks fantastic, but it will not work out unless you have cash. We found that a shop called Jumbo accepted Debit card, so we have stuck with them. However a month into living here we found out if you change your address on revolut to The Netherlands you can be offered a Maestro card- which is widely accepted here!

That’s all for now- see you in the next Blog!


Tuesday, 26 October 2021


Exploring Northern Ireland


Hey everyone, Lauren here signing in from the UUC campus. As you may know by now I am one of seven girls studying in Coleraine this semester. One of the amazing things about Coleraine is the location. The town itself isn’t bustling with activity but you are only stone’s throw away from all the action. Before moving up here in September I had never been to Northern Ireland so I couldn’t wait to travel around and see it while studying up here. Today I am going to be talking about a few of the places I have explored so far while being here.


Portrush and Portstewart are two beautiful seaside towns only 10 minutes on the train with lots to offer even when its cold and windy. The water is cold, colder than at home I find but I did manage to get a few swims in while the weather was still mild in September. If freezing in the ocean isn’t your thing there is so many good places to go out to eat or for drinks but that will get its own post so stay tuned for that.


Went to Derry to do a bit of shopping and went for to see the Derry girl’s mural of course! The bank account might be screaming after your trip there but its so worth it.


Coleraine is only an hour and half from Belfast and the train journey does fly trust me! It was one of the girl’s birthdays the other weekend, so we spent 2 nights there and previously have been to Belfast for day trips. If you have some time free it’s a great option. We went to the Titanic Museum, which was interesting, you can do an audio tour or just walk through it. There is information that you can read and pictures for you to look and interactive displays and videos.

St Georges market is a must visit while in Belfast as well there is people selling handmade jewellery, candles and amazing food and drink stalls. On entrance there is a very strong fishy smell because there is a vender selling fresh fish right at the door but don’t let it put you off. It is a great spot to grab a quick and tasty bite to eat or just to have a browse and grab a coffee and maybe a freshly baked brownie while you walk around it.  


I am sure I have only scratched the surface of all that there is to offer up here but I cant wait to see more and report back.

Until next time



Hello from Coleraine

Hello there! Eimear here from Coleraine in Northern Ireland 😇 I am going to talk to you a bit about my experience in Northern Ireland so far. I am one of the seven students who decided to attend University of Ulster for one semester of study.

I was so excited to move up here for this semester and experience studying in a different college and I have to say that I really am enjoying myself. At the beginning of September, I moved into a flat here in Coleraine. I moved in with three other girls from WIT. We moved into one of the flats in Cromore Court (North Coast Property) which are located across the road from the University of Ulster, Coleraine Campus. For anyone moving up here in the future, I would recommend moving into these flats. They are very spacious and affordable. Everyone has a room to themselves with a double bed and desk. The bathroom and kitchen are shared. It costs £290 per month and that includes heating, bins and internet. The only extra cost is the electricity which we top up every week or two. It only takes a couple of minutes to walk to the college from where we are living and the train is situated behind our flat which we can take into the town of Coleraine which only takes 3 minutes or to the seaside town of Portrush which only takes 10 minutes.

We started college in September with an induction week. We attended a few zoom calls with different lecturers and the student union and activities on campus including a tour of the campus and a trip to the North Coast where we walked on the many beaches and had a nice lunch to help us to settle into life in University of Ulster. All the other students and staff are very friendly and approachable.

The modules, which were chosen for us, are Product Development, Applied Sensory Science & Quality Control and Food Studies & Nutrition. All of our modules are both practical and theory based and I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying them. We are based in the classroom, in the kitchens and also in the sensory labs which is all very exciting and fun. We are also given the opportunity in product development to work with food waste from different companies around Northern Ireland and then to create a product for the children healthy snacking market which we will then present to different companies to hear their opinions on our specific products. In applied sensory science & quality control, we are testing different vegan products in the sensory lab as well as creating focus groups and surveys to further our findings. Food studies & Nutrition is all about nutrition and food trends that are popular today and which food trends will continue in years to come or if there are any predictions of new food trends.

The Coleraine campus itself is quite large and contains many facilities for all students. Firstly, there is a
woodland walking trail around the college which I walk around on a daily basis. On the walk, there is also a waterfall which is a nice place to stop and sit on the benches there. There is also a library situated on campus which has many study spaces, computers, printers and books available for all students. The Riverside Theatre is situated on campus and there are a range of plays/dramas available throughout the year. There is also a sports centre available on campus where there is a gym, tennis courts, pitches and many fitness classes you can attend. There is also a frisbee course available around the campus, which is a different type of activity but it seems to be a lot of fun. Finally, there is a range of different clubs and societies available on campus to take part in.

Over the last few weeks, I have experienced the social life here. There are many restaurants and nightclubs situated in Portrush and Portstewart which makes for a fun night out. There are also many shops in Coleraine and cafes to go and meet up with friends. The Jet Centre is also in Coleraine which has lots of activities such as bowling, arcade, mini golf and of course the cinema. There are also many beaches situated in Portrush and Portstewart which are nice to go and walk on or you could brave the cold water and go in for a swim!!

Overall, I am really enjoying my time here in Coleraine. I hope to go and visit more places around Northern Ireland over the next few weeks. I will keep you posted in my next blog post 😄

Signing off

Eimear Dooley xx

my journey so far in Coleraine


My name is Joan Quigley and I am up in Northern Ireland. I am a level 8 Culinary Arts student from Waterford Institute of Technology. I am doing my study semester here at the University of Ulster from September to December.😃

The University of Ulster is amazing it is located in Northern Ireland. There are four local campuses that are in Belfast, Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee.

I would count it as a very much relaxed and easy-going campus with a lot of outdoor places to go and it is also very close to the North Coast. The town would be known as a seaside town because it is very close to Portrush and Portstewart and also, it is close to the famous Giant’s Causeway. Portrush is a lovely place to go; I would spend most of my time there. With looking out at the lovely beach. I have gone swimming out there a lot more than I would usually and especially in this weather. There is so much Greenland to go walk around. It is amazing to see the beautiful forest trees they have and all the windmills they have on the campus. It is also nice in the evening to go for walks around the campus.

The accommodation I am staying at is owned by a place called North Coast and I am staying with three other friends. We decided not to go with the on-campus student accommodation because we found a nice place to stay that is just opposite the campus and it is only a 5-minute walk. It is very different from what I am used to because I always had a one-hour journey into college every morning. From where I am staying it is only a 25-minute walk into the town so it is a good walk but it is nice and I have gotten used to it now.

The local transport is so much better up here in Coleraine. They have trains, buses and taxis from where I am living there is a train station right outside at the back of our house and the bus stop outside is as well. The modules I'm doing they're very exciting and I'm learning so much more than I thought would Getting to look at a different perspective of your kitchen with developing the product is sometimes different from what I'm used to, but I am really enjoying it so far. 😁

Hope you enjoyed listening to what I have done so far. 😄

Joan Quigley 

Life In Coleraine


Hi there, its April here, I am currently studding at Ulster University Coleraine. The course I am doing is called food studies and innovation and I am loving it so far. The Coleraine campus is situated on the north coast and is close to Portrush and Portstewart which are well known seaside towns. The Coleraine campus is also adjacent to the banks of the river Bann with eye dropping views of the causeway coast and the hills of county Donegal which is located to the west.

 The campus has two appetizing restaurants where we can go for lunch or dinner, there is also a Starbucks, which is important for your morning coffee, and a Spar for your snacks. Surprisingly there is also a hair salon on campus for both men and women which I haven’t tried yet but will let you know. The college grounds also have a waterfall which is very peaceful and beautiful, and I walk to it nearly every day. The Coleraine campus also has the facilities of a frisbee course, which is a new activity that I am trying out now, and it is very enjoyable with friends, I am not great at this sport, but I keep going back because it is very fun.

The one thing that stood out to me on induction week was that we got to meet up with lectures and other students for breakfast, lunch, we even got to go on a coast trip to Portrush and Portstewart where we got to go surfing and paddle boarding. I had an amazing time and I got to meet loads of other students.

I have decided not to stay on campus but instead I am living across from the college grounds in the complex of the North Coast Accommodation, which is situated in Cromore court, Cromore road, Coleraine. The flat I am living in has four double bedrooms, a reasonable size open planned living and kitchen. A property like this

would be amazing if you were to travel with friends to college. Where I am living is only a 5-minute walk to the main building on campus, and it is only footstep away till you hit the grounds of the campus. The train station is directly behind the flat which is a big bonus.

I want to finish up by talking about one of my modules, as a group we were asked to create and produce a plant-based product for children using waste from apples or the juices of chickpeas. Our ideas right now are to make an apple flavoured yoghurt pop or make an apple flavoured marshmallow. It is all very exciting, and I will keep you updated in my next blog.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Good eats in Barcelona!!

Buenos Dias!!! 

Semeehat here and today I’m going to talk to you guys about food, well most especially food in Barcelona! 

Barcelona is a busy and beautiful city filled with so many places to eat and have a good time. For those who love to eat, you’re in for a real treat. In this post, I’m going to recommend the best places I’ve eaten in so far in Barcelona! 

                                                              ¡¡¡Es hora de comer!!!

The First Restaurant that I would recommend is a Korean barbeque  called   Hanin. This restaurant is located in Gracia on Career d'Aribau. The staff  was lovely to us and the food came out quick. On every table was a hot plate where you could cook the meat ordered. The dish I enjoyed the most was the tteokbokki aka spicy rice cakes. The vibe in the resturant was great, the food was cheap and deliciuos. 

I loved the concept of being able to cook your meat.  

Overall: 7/10 



The next Restaurant I will be talking about is an Asian fusion restaurant called Kapa Adon. The interior was modern and aesthetically pleasing. The staff was friendly always checked to see if I was enjoying my meal or I needed anything. The picture shown was a meal I ordered, alongside a portion of kimchi and Ebi gyoza. The bowl in which the food was served was made of some type of stone. It kept the food very hot so you had to be careful. I stupidly burnt my hand from touching it :( 

The price range was a little bit on the pricy side but the food was good.

                                          Overall: 6.5/10

The next Restaurant that I will be talking about is a Japanese restaurant called Maguro. This restaurant was very rewarding I have to say. How so? you ask, well my friends, this restaurant was all-you-can-eat sushi and more buffet. They had weird flavors I had never tasted before such as salmon sushi with cream cheese and strawberry or mango sushi. The price was 17 as we went for dinner but the early bird is roughly about 14. 

The atmosphere was good, it got packed very quickly as they're always busy.

                                                Overall: 7/10

I am yet still to eat at more restaurants and try new food. We are on the quest to find good authentic traditional Spanish food but all will be revealed in my next post so stay tuned!

Semeehat signing off xx

Enjoy some pics at more of my favorite places 


Local and global cuisine thought in the University of Barcelona.

When we think of Irish food there is no doubt, we put our walls up and say we are proud of our cuisine, and we have every right to be. When we think of food outside of our country most people think of France which you can’t deny. They have built a base for a huge level of late 90s early 2000s cuisine. The world will always be grateful for pomme puree and beurre blancs. But evidently things can change, and new cuisines will shine through.
I wanted to talk about this Local and Global cuisine class because it has opened my eyes to this new idea that there is more then French cuisine, truthfully the only restaurant I have worked in is classically French in its style of cooking which had left me a bit narrow minded. This new module does exactly what it needs to do, it throws something new in your face. I had no real knowledge in Spanish cuisine the only thing I knew from here to tell you the truth is paella. After a few practical and theory classes I have come to understand the importance of local food, because every country almost every city, town and village have something they consider local cuisine. For Catalonia they cook food I have often looked past. Respecting an animal is important here when you are going to eat it every part of the animal must be used, trotters, tripe, etc. This is something that was done in Ireland but not as much anymore, maybe it has something to do with culture, classes, or money. One thing you would see in common now is the concept of stews just like we have an Irish stew, Dublin Coddle and Sheppard’s pie Catalonia have Boles de picolat, and Escudella barrejada.
Another huge learning curve in this class is the students, you can learn just as much from a student as you can a lecturer. I have noticed a lot of the students here have Japanese cooking influence whether its ingredients or techniques this is another eye opener as Japanese would be considered one of the top cuisines in the world not far behind the Nordic influence. Japan claims the top spot as the nation with the highest number of restaurants per resident with one restaurant for every 61,000 residents. Overall, in this short post I just wanted to shed some light on the diversity in food and how there is unending amount of information to learn about cuisine, it is without a doubt a culture that will never die.
Thanks for reading, Ryan McGowan.
Hola amigos! Evan in Barcelona here! I'm going to give you a few tips on what you can do in the city of Barcelona. Barcelona is a city full of history, from Architecture and art to Catalan cuisine, meaning if your interested in discovering the roots of Catalan history, your in luck! Many museums are scattered across the city like the famous Picasso Museum, Catalonia's National Art Museum, Gaudi House Museum and many more.
These Museums are surrounded by hundreds of bars, restaurant's and shops, meaning that if you visit one you can spend the rest of your day in that area and never get bored. Also you can get a metro which will bring you to any of these major attractions, making it easy to access. All these museums are places which can be visited by anyone as they are truly amazing, they are not just for people who usually enjoy museums. One sight which is certainly worth seeing is the Architectural masterpiece, "La Sagrada Familia", known as one of the most beautiful buildings on earth.
If your looking for somewhere to socialise and have a good nightlife, Barcelona is the perfect spot for you! On the beach alone there is an array of nightclubs which can be a lot of fun, and are also very different to the nightclubs we are used to at home, ranging from beach clubs to Japanese nightclubs. Opening at 12am and not closing until 6am, your sure to get you moneys worth for that night.
Overall Barcelona so far has proven to be a city of endless activities and excitement. So far I would really recommend Barcelona to anyone looking to go abroad and especially to future 3rd year students of WIT. Tune into the net blog to hear about Bars and Restaurant's in Barcelona. Adios!!!