Tuesday, 26 October 2021

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

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