UCD Global Blogs
Read on to hear all about studying in UCD and life in Dublin, written by international UCD students and our UCD Global Guides Anam, Des, Mary and Teerna.
Across the globe, St Patricks Day is celebrated on 17 March to commemorate the life of Ireland’s patron saint.
The Man and the Myth
St Patrick was actually born in Wales. However he was taken to Ireland as a teenager by Irish raiders. He worked here as a shepherd for many years. Despite escaping his captors and making his way back to Wales, he returned to Ireland on a mission to bring Christianity to the Celtic people.
There are numerous other, slightly more dubious, myths surrounding his life. The most famous of all of these myths is of course that he banished all the snakes from Ireland! In my home town of Skerries, it is said he took giant steps to escape to a nearby island when locals tried to steal his goat. His footprint is (supposedly) still visible!
Traditions and Celebrations
Ireland has endless traditions for our national holiday, with the most famous being the annual parades. People travel from all over the world to visit the celebrations in Dublin, but there are also smaller parades to be found in towns across Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is famously celebrated internationally, with the parade in New York being the largest in the world.
There are other St Patrick’s day traditions beyond the parade. People dress up in the traditional green, and you will notice shamrocks and Irish flags decorating houses everywhere. Of course, one or two pints of Guinness are enjoyed by some! Since 2010, famous landmarks in over 50 countries have also been lit up in green for the day. The landmarks include the Sydney Opera House and the Colosseum. Perhaps the most unusual international tradition takes place in Chicago, where every year the Chicago river is dyed a bright green to celebrate the day!
Virtual St Patrick's Day Festival
Although there will not be any traditional parades happening this year, you can still enjoy the Irish virtual St Patrick’s Day Festival at https://www.stpatricksfestival.ie. You’ll find a full programme of festival events, created by hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, creators and community organisations across Ireland.
I hope you will enjoy St Patrick’s Day despite the COVID-19 restrictions. You can still wear your greenest clothes, check out Teerna’s blog for tips on a hearty Irish meal and Anam’s blog for tips on Irish music and movies – and be sure to check out the virtual festival. Hopefully by next year we’ll all be back on the streets of Dublin again!
By Des - UCD Global Guide
St Patrick’s Day is the best day for celebrating Irish culture at home – no matter where you might be in the world! Ireland’s national day is traditionally a day where we’ll sample a Guinness, wear green and immerse ourselves in Irish culture and traditions. My favourite part of this Irish culture is the talented musicians and Irish movies we produce! And I love to take time on St Patrick’s Day to enjoy both.
I hope that you might also enjoy some of my favourite Irish musicians and movies as you celebrate St Patrick’s Day virtually this year!
The legendary Dublin rock group, U2, has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. The Irish rock band has been a global success since forming in the ’70s. Their lyrics often reflect their political and social views leading to 22 Grammy Awards, making them arguably the most famous band in the world! If you haven’t checked them out yet, put their Greatest Hits on Spotify in the background as you enjoy St Patrick’s Day at home!
The Cranberries is an alternative, post-punk band who also managed to incorporate Irish folk music into their songs. Their music is widely enjoyed across the world and especially in (pre-COVID) Irish pubs and nightclubs a Cranberries hit will always get the party going. The iconic lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan (who tragically passed away a few years’ ago) was the first Irish artist to reach one billion views on Youtube. When you listen to their music you’ll understand why! If you only listen to one Irish band on Saint Patrick’s Day, make sure it’s The Cranberries. Check out Zombie or Dreams to get started.
Now for some true pop-cheese!! Westlife is Ireland’s best-known boyband and have earned global fame and success over the years. These down to earth lads have won numerous awards - and continue to be one of the most successful arena acts of all time with their concerts selling out in minutes! Their up-beat and easy to listen-to music is definitely one that I would recommend you add to your St Patrick’s day playlist
The Corrs are an Irish band of three sisters and a brother and their music has a pop-rock twist! They have become an international sensation by combining traditional Irish music with modern-day pop-rock. While they may not be everyone’s taste, you have to listen to at least one of their songs on St Patrick’s Day! They have produced seven albums which have sold 40 million copies - so you’ll definitely find one song to listen to!
If you’re relaxing with some movies on St Patrick’s Day, make sure you include 2016’s Handsome Devil on your list. It’s a popular Irish comedy that follows the schools years of an Irish boy at a rugby-obsessed boarding school. The coming-of-age film follows the tale of the young boys developing friendships in the most unlikely of places.
Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope is another one of my favourite tv shows. This is a dark comedy-drama about two women from Cork that share a house in Dublin city. One is a fund manager and the other is an art student. One of the girls spirals out of control and reality comes knocking.
Whatever you fancy listening to or watching this Saint Patrick’s Day, there are many Irish bands and movies or shows to check out. You can also read Des’ blog on this page for some more Irish movies and shows available on Netflix! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!
By Anam - UCD Global Guide
St Patrick’s Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year in Ireland! Although we are cooped up at home this year, it doesn’t mean we can’t make the day exciting by celebrating with some delicious Irish food.
Traditional Irish Breakfast
Start the day with a cup of what the Irish love the most – tea! Do you know that there is an ongoing debate as to which is best tea; Lyon’s Tea or Barry’s Tea? Now is the best time to try both and decide which side you are on! Why not drink your tea with some traditional Irish breakfast. It is pretty much a culmination of all my favourite breakfast foods. You have bacon/rashers, sausages, fried eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns, black or white pudding along with some bread (soda bread is a favourite). You could select a few of these or go for the entire spread and enjoy!
Fun Irish Recipes
Why not do some baking with family or friends to celebrate the day at home? There are lots of great recipes for you to try. If you are looking for something authentic, definitely try baking Guinness bread or an Irish tea brack. You could have the Guinness bread with a hot bowl of soup or just with slathered butter and jam, whereas the Irish tea brack is a really moist fruitcake best enjoyed with a cup of tea. Alternatively you could try some fun and green-themed baking too! You could bake some shortbread cookies with exciting icing. This could be the Irish flag or some shamrocks or anything that you think represents Ireland.
Favourite Irish snacks
Throughout the day don’t forget to treat yourself with snacks! Tayto chips are a staple in every Irish family. You must also treat yourself to some chocolates of course. Cadbury is a definite favourite with Irish people. You could always really splash out and treat yourself to some Irish Butlers or Lily O’Brien’s handmade chocolates! You can usually pick this up in most supermarkets. Speaking of sweet treats there are loads of options that you can also make yourself. You could try some delicious and green desserts like a trifle, mint chocolate lasagne, shamrock shake cupcake or a shamrock shake fudge.
Finally why not end your day with a hearty bowl of Irish stew. Traditionally an Irish stew would contain literally anything you had in your fridge. It is really a great way to use up those leftover veggies and meat. There are now loads of vegetarian and vegan recipes that you can check out as well! If you are not a fan of cooking, the easiest thing you can do is add a big helping of potatoes to your meal. This could be mashed, fried, baked, literally anything – you must know by now that the Irish people love their potatoes!!
I hope you have a yummy and relaxed St Patrick’s Day and try out some of the scrumptious food that Ireland has to offer! Don’t forget to check out Des’ blog for tips on the virtual St Patrick’s Day festival this year, while Anam has some great tips on the Irish music and movies you can enjoy!
By Teerna - UCD Global Guide
Cead Mile Failte! (Phonetically: KAY-D ME-LAH FALL-CHA) This is the Irish way of saying welcome! And of course Happy St Patrick’s Day!
I’m always so amazed as to how the majority of the world takes part in celebrating St Patrick’s Day with us. For such a small little Island we certainly know how to make a big impact! So how are we going to get involved with St Patrick’s Day virtually this year?
Virtual Celebrations – Irish Style!
Well, the great news is that there will be a St Patrick’s Day Virtual Festival! An entire website https://www.stpatricksfestival.ie will be streaming live events from 12 – 17 March! Make sure to wear, or drink or engage with eat something green while you are enjoying the virtual celebrations. St Patrick’s Festival 2021 will feature more than 100 events, created by artists, performers, makers and dreamers across Ireland. The theme for this year is Duisigh Eire which means to Awaken Ireland. As we leave those dark and gloomy days behind and move into longer and warmer days – I for one couldn’t be more excited!
If you’re interested in celebrating St. Patricks Day virtually with fellow students, be sure to check out UCD’s Cumann Gaelachstudent society for their virtual events, or follow Gaeltacht UCD for more info on other initiatives! You could even organise for you and your friends to challenge each other’s Irish knowledge and see who knows the best cupla focal (Irish Vocabulary).
St Patrick’s Day is also a great opportunity to learn how make traditional Irish food, such as an Irish stew or soda bread and you could even sample a cheeky little Guinness at home. Guinness also makes a non-alcoholic version which is reportedly as good as the real thing! Or you might just opt for a cupán tae (cup of tea) with your friends over Zoom and share how your experience is going in Ireland so far. Check out Teerna’s blog on this page for some great green-themed recipies, as well as recipies for Guinness bread and a traditional Irish breakfast!
If you manage to take any pictures or you just want to share your experience of St. Patrick’s Day with us, please tag us on Instagram @ucdglobal so we can share the festivities around. Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!
By Mary - UCD Global Guide
My name is Mrinalini Pramod, and I’m a Stage 1 student, majoring in Languages, Linguistics and Cultures. To me, getting career ready means developing a set of skills in university that will enable me to move successfully into a career.
Due to the nature of my major, I can take classes from a large variety of schools, whether that is the School of Classics, the Applied Language Centre, or the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklor. I am currently unsure of where I’m headed in my career, which is why it is important that I can explore my options and engage in a wide range of modules that can help me decide on my future career.
Many of my linguistics modules have sparked an interest in research. We cover the foundations of the specific field, whether that’s ‘Sounds in Language’ in my first trimester, or ‘Words and Sentences’ in my second trimester, but we also expand on this to learn about currently unexplored areas in linguistics. This makes contributing to the discipline an exciting career opportunity, as we are taught to be aware (from as early as stage 1) that the things we are taught may have gaps that can be filled with further study.
While it may not seem very obvious on the surface, this kind of flexibility stops me from boxing myself into a career immediately, which then allows me to decide what path I should be on more organically. And once I have made my decision, I can avail of the really important professional development I need before my last year through the internship that is part of my course.
Internships help professionally of course, but they also strengthen character, and provide networking opportunities. Even if I don’t know where to look, the UCD Careers Network provides guidance and aid with the process of getting one, whether that’s through individual help or through career fairs.
It is reassuring to know that my time at UCD is helping me jumpstart my career this early on. Working full-time may seem like it’s too far in the future to worry about, but the awareness that my classes, and by extension, my course, is preparing me for it nevertheless is comforting.
The Jumpstart Live career events for international students take place from February 15 to 23. Register now for your free place using your student logins at UCD CareersConnect.
As a final year student, this is my last trimester at UCD. Over my years here, I have learned a lot about the range of UCD supports available to us students to help to make our journey through university easier and more enjoyable.
UCD Maths Support Centre
The UCD Maths Support Centre is located on the ground floor in the James Joyce Library on the Belfield campus. It’s an incredible service where students can drop in and drop out with maths homework or maths problems that they are having difficulty with. A maths tutor will assist you in helping you solve the problem and walk you through the solution. This is an incredibly popular service and a saving grace for the many students accessing it. The Maths Support Centre is still open via an appointment-based system where you can book a session which specifically caters to level 0,1 and 2 modules.
UCD Writing Centre:
The UCD Writing Centre is also located on the ground floor in the James Joyce Library. Students can book an appointment online and have a tutor go through sections of your essays or assignments to help you improve the quality of your work. You can use the centre as many times as you like. The Writing Centre is still open online.
UCD Student Counselling
Everyone goes through tough times and it’s perfectly okay to seek the help of a professional who can provide guidance and support. The UCD Student Counselling service is still open and available via telephone sessions. Whilst it may not be the same as an in-person session, the advantage of this is that you can create a comfortable ambience in your own home – maybe light some candles - to make a safe space for you during your session. You can make enquiries here about counselling via their website.
By Mary, UCD Global Guide
It can be a challenge for all of us having to cook our own meals every day when we moved out of home. As a novice cook, I know for a fact that if I can do it then everyone can. So here are some of my basic tips on cooking on a student budget
First and foremost, I would spend some time over the weekend brainstorming on all my options. I narrow down on a menu for the week. I make sure to look into the fridge and make a list of all the things I need. This way when I am at the shop, I know exactly what to buy. Obviously you tend to add some snacks and cheat meals - but with a list and a weekly meal plan you will definitely save money!
Spice Up Your Life!
You can buy a wide range of canned food like tomatoes, chickpeas, beans and legumes for quite a low price! These are really useful for the week to add to pasta or curry dishes to make them really hearty - but often these are bland and unappetising. My solution is adding a few spices of your choice and seasoning them to my liking. Herbs and spices can also be bought for a very low price in supermarkets here. This is a super easy tip to add flavour to your winter dishes - so I would really suggest adding some herbs and spices to your shopping list!
Learn a few basic recipes
You only need to learn a handful of basic recipies to start cooking up a storm in the kitchen! Let’s take for example a simple tomato-based pasta sauce. Every time you make it, change one thing, you can add or subtract ingredients and keep tweaking it until you find your favourite variation. You could first start by making the tomatoe sauce and adding some roast vegetables and sausages. Next time, you could add some minced meat or a veggie mince and adapt it to a Bolognese sauce. Or, you could take it up a notch and make lasagne. Essentially it’s the same basic recipe, just with a few adjustments. Although it seems really simple, it’s a great place to start!
Don’t be afraid to cook in bulk, especially on days when you have no pressing deadlines. This way you have enough food for a couple of meals during the week. Store your food in air-tight containers in the fridge, or you can freeze them and then simply heat up for lunch or dinner! Meal prepping definitely does wonder to your pockets and health on those busy days.
You will hear many people say that the freezer is your friend, they are absolutely right! Most cooked meals are good for 1-2 months once frozen. A tip is to write the date down on the freezer bag or container. This tip has helped me enormously during exam time as I am saving on take-out while eating really healthily to give me that extra boost during exams!
These are my tried and tested suggestions that really work for me – and I hope they work for you too. You can also follow me every week on Instagram Stories @ucdglobal for more tips on delicious food, drinks and treats!
By Teerna, UCD Global Guide
My favourite aspect of life at UCD is the wide range of societies and their events that are available for students. From the Harry Potter society to Amnesty International to Draw Soc - there really is something for everyone.
Students can join societies during the week-long Freshers Week in September or the Refreshers Day event in January. (Refreshers Day takes place exclusively online on Tuesday 26 January this year). You can also just go along to the Student Societies website and click the ‘Join Here’ tab this will take you to your Sisweb account where you can log in to join.
When you join a student society, you will get weekly updates of upcoming events, opening committee positions and competitions. This year joining clubs is completely free so feel free to join to your heart's content!
The range of society events that will be held is endless. You can search for all the upcoming events on the Student Societies website.
For example, the UCD Law Society hosts weekly house debates where accredited speakers debate topical issues from currents affairs to comedy debates. This society also hosts regular debating competitions for novice and experienced debaters, alongside negotiation competitions.
The UCD Amnesty Society is the university branch of the human rights organisation Amnesty International. This society hosts regular discussions about topical issues such as direct provision, sustainability and climate justice. The UCD Amnesty Society also works closely with Amnesty Ireland to promote their goals and visions amongst UCD students.
There are also student societies for Drama, International Students, Jazz, World Aid and so much more! You will find student societies for each of the different programme areas also across Science, Engineering, Architecture, Social Sciences, the Arts and Health Sciences.
Despite the challenges student societies have faced this year, each society has gone above and beyond to bring you enjoyable, unique events to keep students from all over the world connect. Societies play an essential role in creating a community feeling in UCD, which we would not be able to do without individual students' support and engagement.
By Anam, UCD Global Guide
While staying safe at home during the current COVID-19 restrictions, why not experience the best of Irish film and television from the comfort of your living room or bedroom? Here are some of my top picks of the Irish offerings on Netflix!
Since Derry Girls was launched in 2018 it has been nothing short of a sensation. The sitcom follows 4 teenagers living in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the 1990s. Despite taking on a number of serious themes, such as discrimination and terrorism, Derry Girls still succeeds in being a wonderfully light-hearted and funny show. Derry Girls has also had huge international success, as evidenced by its pick-up by Netflix in the United States. You will find it impossible to not fall in love with the iconic characters. I simply cannot recommend this show enough!
The Young Offenders
The Young Offenders is a short movie about two teenagers from Cork who have a somewhat loose relationship with the law. This slapstick film follows them across Cork on a journey to find some rumoured lost narcotics. Although the whole film was made for under €50,000, it proved to be a stunning success, spawning a sitcom which has since been renewed for three seasons. While understanding some of the strong Cork accents may prove a challenge, this film is hilarious and will provide you with an excellent introduction to some of Ireland’s lesser-known cultural quirks. After watching this film your knowledge of Irish slang will rapidly improve, and you will have a great laugh along the way.
Bobby Sands: 66 Days
Bobby Sands: 66 Days could be described as the exact opposite of The Young Offenders. This 2016 documentary will teach you about some of Ireland’s most harrowing times, as it details a famous hunger strike by Irish Republicans in the 1980s. Still a somewhat taboo topic, the 1981 hunger strike was a seminal moment in Irish history that continues to be debated and discussed today. Ireland has a complex history that continues to have a very large impact on our culture and politics. This movie is a great way to begin to learn about how Ireland got to where it is today.
PS I Love You
I am probably cheating a little with this one! While this iconic rom-com was an American production, it was based on an Irish novel, and filmed in Co Wicklow (as well as New York). The 2007 film was widely panned by critics, however that has not stopped it becoming an beloved classic and is a truly heart-warming story. It also features a healthy helping of gorgeous Irish scenery. I really recommend giving it a go, even if you are not a romcom lover!
By Des, UCD Global Guide
As Ireland, like much of Europe, is currently under COVID-19 restrictions a lot of us are feeling the need for a getaway at the weekend! You may not think there is much to do within your 5km zone – but you would be wrong! Here is a list of some amazing places to check out within 5km of UCD campus.
Dublin’s parks are great places to go for a walk or even sit and read a book once you’re all wrapped up for the weather! We are really lucky that we have some gorgeous parks near UCD. St Stephen's Green is beautiful, historical and so relaxing, right in the city centre. Close by are the Iveagh Gardens, also known as Dublin's Secret Garden. Merrion Square park is also a wonderful visit. Finally, Herbert Park right on the doorstep of UCD is stunning, and has a market every Sunday. It’s a great place to get your exercise or just sit by the pond, have a coffee and feed the birds. Even closer to UCD is Deerpark, it's is great for a stroll or a run and has panoramic views over Dublin city.
If the weather is good and you just need to get away for a bit, there are many scenic places within walking distance. The Grand Canal Docks are a gorgeous walk from UCD and perfect to get some takeout and sit by the canal and admire the interesting architecture. Blackrock is a beautiful seaside village with great ocean views, a shopping centre, a nature-filled park and is really close for Smurfit students! The walk on the beach in Sandymount is perfect and can be followed by a visit to pretty Sandymount village. All these places are great for a socially-distanced trip for your weekend. You can get some exercise, fresh air, maybe some delicious food and you are guaranteed some Instagram-worthy views!
Finally, to stock up on all your essentials, there are some great shopping centres very close by. When restrictions are lifted, you will find an even wider choice of shops in these centres! Definitely check out the Stillorgan Village Shopping Centre where you can find the very affordable Dealz shop, delicious Base pizza to takeout and three different coffee take-away options! There is also a big Lidl just across the road. The Merrion Shopping Centre has a huge Tesco. Dundrum Town Centre has a great variety of big stores. These shopping centres have all your grocery and hardware needs for now, and once restrictions are lifted you will also find clothing and charity stores, restaurants and entertainment facilities as well.
I hope you will enjoy some of these trips in the coming weeks. Remember, it's really good for your mental health to get outside, get some fresh air and treat yourself to a nice coffee or take-out food.
By Teerna, UCD Global Guide
With the cold and dark weather at the moment, a warm and hearty meal is the best part of my day! Comfort foods and hot foods can really keep you snug, elevate your mood and keep your immune system healthy! So here are my go-to meals on these chilly days.
One of the easiest things to do is roast all your favourite veggies and meat. Drizzle some olive oil and season with salt, pepper, paprika, herbs or whatever you like. A small thing I like to do is add some honey to vegetables like carrots, giving them a really nice caramelised taste. You can easily add your roasted vegetables and meat into pastas or just have them on their own. This is such a simple dish to make for yourself especially if you are having a hectic day. You can also make it slightly fancier by stuffing vegetables like peppers and mushrooms, or wrapping a chicken fillet with bacon. Eating it hot out of the oven truly makes a huge difference on a chilly day.
Soups and Gravies
My favourite foods to have on a cold winter evening is a big bowl of hot soup or rice with a good topping and a rich gravy. Being from India, I grew up eating lots of different curries and gravies. There are a lot of different Asian cuisines with fantastic dishes to choose from! If you are looking for a vegetarian/vegan alternative to meaty gravies, lentils are my favourite pick. When it comes to soups, there are so many options from veggie soups to more hearty soups with meat or pasta. As I mentioned, roasting your vegetables is a great place to start. All you need to do is blend, add some stock (or cream) and season! It is easy, filling and healthy!. Pair this with some garlic bread and you have a delicious meal after a tough day of online lectures.
Growing up, whenever it rained we would make a hot cup of tea and some deep fried snacks like peyaji (Bengali style onion fritters). That is one thing I think all Irish people share with me - the love for tea! Another great alternative is hot chocolate. Loads of cafes and coffee shops around UCD do a great hot chocolate during this season that you must try. I need to mention that Pi does one of the best hot chocolate for when you are having a hard day and really need to treat yourself (yes, get the whipped cream!). There are also delicious coffees in so many coffee shops in and around UCD if you prefer your caffeine fix!
As we stay at home during these cold days and COVID-19 restrictions, it can be challenging to stay enthusiastic and cheerful. So I hope this helps you to make some easy and yummy food to look forward to after Zoom calls, online lectures and remote learning! You can also follow my weekly tips on Instagram Stories on @ucdglobal for more delicious food, drinks and treats!
By Teerna, UCD Global Guide
A big part of UCD student life is getting involved in the student clubs and societies social events. With the current health pandemic, these events have now been reimagined for an online world. UCD Global is also hosting many fun, interactive events for students every week through the Virtual Global Lounge!
The Virtual Global Lounge
Every event is hosted by one or more Global Guides, and they include Netflix watch parties, quizzes, Pictionary and so much more. There is something for everyone's interests.
At UCD Global, we take pride in fostering inclusivity and diversity. We regularly collaborate with other UCD Societies, especially those based on different nationalities and cultures. We have co-hosted events with the Indian Soc to host a Chai and Chats event, together with Gaeltacht UCD we hosted My First Gaeilge, and we have held cooking events with UCD French Soc.
These events are open to every student – you don’t have to be a member of the specific society to take part. It really is a great way to meet other people from your home country and Ireland, but also students from different backgrounds and walks of life. I found that attending these virtual events helped me learn more about different cultures and even gave me a deeper understanding of the country I call home.
Along with events, we also regularly host competitions like Pictionary and themed quizzes. These are always really fun and very popular! Our themed quizzes range from language, geography and general knowledge. My favourite quiz so far has been the Controversial Poll quiz. This involves polling students on highly controversial topics, like whether pineapple belongs on pizza or not!
We have so many exciting events planned for the upcoming months. Whatever your interests are sure to check out the Virtual Global Lounge Facebook page for all the updates, or send us a DM with your queries or suggestions for events. Everyone is more than welcome. I can't wait to see you there!
By Anam, UCD Global Guide
Whilst we are all studying hard remotely, we might find ourselves missing the fun of our friends and the company of our families. It’s important to ensure that we stay connected with those closest to us during this time. Here are some tips that have worked for me for having fun and connecting with my friends and loved ones virtually!
There are numerous online events on Eventbrite right now, from botanical garden painting to comedy clubs. Suggest to a few friends that you join an online event – and have a Whatsapp chat ongoing in the background – it’s the best way to simulate a real-life event. Why not tag @ucdglobal on Instagram in all your activities you get up to?!
Remote Dinner Parties
I know it sounds very weird but trust me – it’s fun! Organise via Zoom or Google Hangouts, decide on the cuisine for the night, get dressed up and even light a few candles and choose some background music. Food is the ingredient that binds us together and even remotely it still works!
Netflix Watch Party
I’ve tried it, it’s incredible! The closest thing to going to the cinema with your friends. Pick a movie and invite people to join with you. There’s a chat bar along the side so you can even chat over and back during the movie. Make sure to bring popcorn and your favourite treats! if you don't want to organise your own, why not join one our watch parties through the Virtual Global Lounge? You can stay updated on all the upcoming activies on our Facebook page.
Start or join a virtual book club
If you’re not one to want to communicate on a daily or weekly basis, joining or even starting a book club is a great activity. Typically you will take a whole month to read the chosen book and then re-group and discuss all the elements of the book with the others involved. It’s a great chance to make new friends and even pick up a new hobby.
Just remember, we’ll soon be out of lockdown and be able to enjoy the holiday season. And I really hope these tips help you engage with others until then.
By Mary, UCD Global Guide
It can prove challenging to structure our time productively when so much of our student days are now spent studying remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. There are some tips and tricks I have found helpful over the past few weeks – and I’ve shared them with you below! Hopefully these will help in structuring your day over the coming weeks.
Get up at the same time each day
This was something I failed to do during the first lockdown in the Spring, but I have found during this trimester that it makes a huge difference. The exact time is not important, rather it is the consistency that I have found to be key. By getting up at the same time each morning, you will settle into a routine, which will make planning your days so much easier! On that subject....
Make a morning plan
In the mornings, before you start on any course work, make sure to set out exactly how you plan to use your time. I have found with pre-recorded online lectures in particular, if I don’t allocate an exact time window to watch them, I might put off watching them for hours!. Likewise, if you have a lot of lectures to virtually attend, it can be easy to forget about coursework and study. If you plan out your day each morning, you will find it much easier to tackle the less time-critical tasks.
This one might seem obvious, but without your friend beside you in the library convincing you to go for a coffee, it can be easy to forget the importance of taking a break. Everyone has their own timing system when it comes to putting the books away, but I like to take at least ten minutes away from my desk every hour. I have found if I don’t take my regular study breaks my productivity really dips, especially during the days where I have a lot of screen time.
Get fresh air
It’s so easy these days to go from your bed to your desk - and then at the end of the day back to your bed! It goes without saying that this is a terrible way to work, both for your productivity and your mental health. Even if it is lashing rain, getting out in the fresh air for just 15 minutes will be energising and motivating!
Give yourself something to look forward to each day
I realise with the current restrictions this one can be a challenge, but there are still many ways to give yourself something to look forward to. Schedule a group call with friends, start a new series on Netflix, or see what events UCD societies are running on the UCD societies events page. Or, why not check out why myself and the rest of the Global Guide team are doing through the Virtual Global Lounge. Knowing you have a bit of entertainment at the end of the day makes getting through the study an awful lot easier!
I hope these tips help over the coming weeks as we progress through the lockdown. Remember, you can connect directly with myself and the other Global Guides by sending us a DM on the Instagram or Facebook page.
By Des, UCD Global Guide
We are all trying to adapt to our new world – and as we do, it’s extremely important that we prioritise our mental health. It can be difficult to navigate through online lectures and endless Zoom calls without taking some time out to focus on yourself and give your busy mind a rest! I’d like to share with you a few ideas that could be helpful for taking care of your mental health.
UCD Student Counselling
UCD’s counselling services is currently being conducted via telephone and you can find out how to book appointments here https://www.ucd.ie/studentcounselling/faqs/. I availed of the counselling service regularly during my third year at UCD. When we switched to telephone sessions, it was super important that I made my environment as relaxing as it could be. I made sure that my room was really quiet and sometimes I even lit a candle. I would put my phone on loudspeaker so my hands were free and often I would knit! Or just lie down and relax. I genuinely valued the time I had with my counsellor as they allowed me to see certain aspects of my life from a completely different perspective. They also offered invaluable coping methods and tools to navigate throughout final year of university!
I’ve also found that journaling is a really great tool to help take care of your mental health. ‘Day One’ is a journaling app that can be downloaded in both Apple and Google Play Store. You can add in journal entries, pictures and use different fonts to express your creativity! I found that being able to write out my thoughts and reflecting upon them was a healthy way of venting!
Above all, while we are all trying to live with this pandemic, getting out for a walk for thirty minutes to an hour can be so positive for mental health. It has genuinely helped me in more ways than I could even imagine. If you happen to be on campus, the woodland walks are an incredible escape from reality, and you might even stumble across the secret lake. A Harvard study shows that just doing three hours of exercise per week can reduce the risk of mental health issues. I noticed a huge difference in my mood and attitude when I incorporated walking into my daily routine!
I really hope some of these tips will be useful for you too. And don’t hesitate to access the student counselling service: https://www.ucd.ie/studentcounselling/faqs/.
By Mary, UCD Global Guide
Starting university, or even a new trimester can be daunting. A few weeks in and you might feel a little overwhelmed by assignments and submissions. To make sure you are on top of things, I have compiled a few tips that I find very useful in my own studies.
I am a sucker for some good stationery! Make sure you have a set of all the essentials. You could buy a big master notebook and create partitions for your various modules, or get smaller notebooks for each of your modules. Often labs and tutorials have specific requirements for taking notes etc. so do look into them. Check out the Book shop or SU shops on the UCD Campus, as well as stores like Easons or Dealz in Dublin.
Organise your Laptop
Given that a lot of this semester will be online, I highly recommend creating a college folder on your laptop. You could have separate folders for each modules with further divisions like lectures, labs and assignments. This definitely makes things easier as you will be downloading a lot of material. If your laptop doesn’t have space, don’t worry, Google drive is a lifesaver! And in case you didn’t know, you get free unlimited storage with your UCD connect email address.
Use a Journal or Phone Calendar App
This is one thing that I cannot stress enough. Even if it is just updating your Google calendar or setting reminders on your phone, it is worth the effort. Keep a list of all the classes and deadlines you have, this way you won’t forget important dates. Colour coding your activities and crossing off finished items makes it more pleasing. Definitely review your calendar every Sunday as this will give you a better idea of your week ahead.
Know your Coursework
It always helps to have a master document that includes the schedule and workload for every class. You could also update your grades here to have a better understanding of which modules you may need to prioritise. Make your sure to check Brightspace and check your UCD Connect email as this is how your professors and lecturers will get in touch with you.
I really hope these tips help. It may seem like a lot of work but they definitely reduce my time and stress!
By Teerna, UCD Global Guide
As students, we are all trying to save money where we can and get the best deals possible! Dublin can be costly at times, but the good news is there is a wide range of student discounts available. Read on for my top picks, from transport to food to streaming music!
The Student Leap Card is probably the most important student discount you’ll need as a UCD student!. Costing €10, the travel card will save you hundreds of euro. For the full list of discounts check out https://www.studentleapcard.ie/traveldiscounts The best thing about the card is that it will cap your travel fares. Your bus fare will be capped at a maximum of €5 a day and at €20 a week, no matter how many journeys you take!
Once you have got your Student Leap Card sorted, you’ll see a whole host of discount offers listed on the back. The discount that I have used the most so far is the McDonald’s student deal. Go into any McDonald’s show them your Student Leap Card, and you’ll get a full medium meal for €5. This deal is so good you might find yourself getting McDonald’s a little too often!
I spent far too long paying full price for my monthly Spotify subscription before even realising that they offered a student discount. This offer will give you one month of Spotify for free, and then the service is €5 from then on, half the price of a standard subscription! Just head to https://www.spotify.com/ie/student/ and register using your UCD details to avail of the offer, and enjoy unlimited music free of ads for half the price.
While not quite as big as some of the discounts mentioned above, Size is a great on-line shoe shop that offers a 10% student discount. Given the shop's excellent selection and competitive pricing, I have made use of this discount every year when getting a new pair of shoes. This one is definitely worth checking out!
This is another shop offering a 10% student discount online. It’s a great place to go if you are looking for a few wardrobe additions. This offer can even apply to sale items, meaning some serious bargains can be found.
Captain Americas is a Dublin city centre institution located on Grafton Street. This old-school American diner has been a go-to spot for food and drink for students since the 1970s. A big reason for that is the amazing discount they offer all students. Buy one main course from their a la carte menu, and you get another one for free. While the restaurant is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, you can still order on-line, so call them up and ask about using your student discount if you fancy some top-quality American style food.
I hope you can make use of some of these student discounts also!
By Des, UCD Global Guide
No longer do we enjoy the luxury of face-to-face relationship building and networking as much as we did before COVID-19. It is important for us as students to learn about effective engagement, networking and personal branding during the times of webinars, Zoom calls and virtual breakout rooms!
Master LinkedIn Conversations
Never underestimate the power of LinkedIn. If you want to leverage its potential, start off by engaging with your virtual community. Get started with updating your profile, comment on posts with meaningful insights, get on five-minute calls with people who repetitively show up in your comments, interview people doing big things in your network. As you experience a new chapter of your life at UCD, there are many lessons you may learn. Reflect on these experiences and bring your voice to LinkedIn -- some of the best performing posts on LinkedIn are personal anecdotes from daily lives. Your writings may attract the interest of employer. Start small, maintain consistency and build your online personal brand – it is important now in a virtually connected world more than ever before.
Make your Presence felt in the Virtual Classroom
How do you start a conversation in a breakout room or a virtual classroom? I have observed some of my classmates starting small with the simplest of gestures. This can be complimenting things they see in others’ backgrounds – their dog, a book shelf behind them or just their coffee mug. If you look closely, these are just digital translations of what you would otherwise do in the physical world. Don’t stop there – add value to classroom discussions with meaningful participation. Did you learn something interesting in class today? Your LinkedIn community may love it too, share it with a short post!
Real connections are built with Follow-up Effort
People appreciate when you take the time to notice and remember what they say. Did your professor say something quote-worthy that you admire? Follow-up with an email appreciating it. Loved something you learned from a friend during your virtual coffee meet? Text them to let them know! The pandemic is also an ‘infodemic’ and in these times of virtual information overload, you can stand out when you demonstrate that you actually paid attention. Don’t we all love it that someone actually cares? You can do that digitally too.
Create Opportunity to Virtually Engage
It can be daunting to spend time alone during the pandemic. Don’t shy away from scheduling an informal Zoom call with a classmate you want to learn more about. Take the lead to organise a Zoom class social, until you can do so in person again. If you can’t, then just show up when someone else takes the lead – we just need to distance physically, not socially. Social connection is more important for our emotional well-being during these extraordinary times.
Start small, take baby steps. Amplify your digital voice and connect to opportunity. Begin today!
Rohit Ahuja is an MSc Marketing student at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
College years are undoubtedly a time of personal growth, new experiences and learning more about who you are. With this can also come stress – and the stress of our academic lives can take a toll on our mental health as students. By taking care of your mental health, you can ensure that you are staying happy and positive about your time in UCD.
I check in with my mental health regularly by staying connected with family and friends, keeping in touch with lecturers and sticking to a routine. Studying during the coronavirus pandemic has certainly been challenging. Still, after much trial and error, I have figured out what works best for me, and hope some of these tips might also be helpful for you.
Now that my classes have been moved online temporarily, I feel that it is more important than ever to stay in contact with friends and family. I always make time to phone one or two friends during the week. I also try to meet up in person with a friend - while staying outdoors, wearing a mask and keeping our two-metre distance!
Many lecturers have created facilities to connect with students online one-to-one. I have contacted my lecturers through scheduling a time to video chat during their student office hours, and using dedicated chat rooms through Brightspace. Doing this has reminded me that lecturers are always willing to help out where they can and all I have to do is ask.
Stick to a Routine
The most helpful skill I have learned while remote learning is sticking to a routine. I have dedicated time for when I need to attend my online lectures, work on assignments and hang out with my friends. This has allowed me to prevent work from piling up and becoming overwhelmed. I set a workable schedule by waking up at roughly the same time every day and following my lecture time table.
Above all else, I remind myself that it is okay to not be on top of everything all the time. We are going through a global pandemic, and it is an entirely new experience in our lives with changing situations every day. Remember, you can also get in touch with the Global Guides, and UCD Global directly, through DMs on Instagram @ucdglobal. We are always here to help and answer any questions you might have.
If you want to find out more about UCD student mental health services, you can also check https://www.ucd.ie/stuhealth/
By Anam, UCD Global Guide
Did you know there are a few mysteries, secrets and hidden locations on UCD campus? If not – read on to find out the things they never told you about your university campus!
While there’s no shortage of lovely walks in Dublin that you can travel to from UCD, don’t forget that there are eight kilometres of woodland trails within UCD’s Belfield campus itself! Keep walking in any direction long enough and you will soon find yourself cut off from the hustle and bustle of the main campus paths and surrounded by nature instead. Check out our woodland walk video for more.
While you are probably familiar with the two lakes in the middle of UCD campus, there is a lesser-known third lake, affectionately referred to as the ‘secret lake’. Although you won’t find this lake on any map of UCD, if you walk through the campus woodland trails on a sunny day and follow the sound of laughter chances are you’ll come across this gorgeous spot!
Not only does UCD have an incredible gym with world class facilities, but it is also free for all UCD students to use. To access it, all that is needed is to take a quick orientation course online, and then you are ready to go. Book an appointment with one of the great staff members there and they’ll even make you your own workout plan and show you how to use the machines (very useful for gym novices like me!).
Inside the Student Centre, UCD has a wonderful 88-seater cinema. There is a fantastic selection of films every week and all the bells and whistles that a commercial theatre has. The added bonus is that it is much cheaper! The cinema is a fantastic amenity that everyone should try out. I went to the cinema nearly every week in first year!
Giant Irish Deer
On the second floor of the sprawling Science Building, you will the gigantic skeleton of the Megaloceros, or the Giant Irish Deer. This huge animal went extinct 15,000 years ago, but its skeleton was excavated and rebuilt for UCD students to admire. If you want to see the Giant Deer’s closest relative, its current-day ancestors live on in the Phoenix Park – which is well worth a visit.
Piano at the Top of O’Brien
If you climb the long spiral staircase to the top of the Science Building, not only will you be treated to sea views on a clear day, but also a stunning grand piano. You will regularly hear students performing in the early morning or evening. If you’re feeling confident, you can book a slot to show your talents as well!
While UCD has no shortage of architectural quirks, perhaps the most unusual is the vast network of tunnels that have been built below campus. No one is exactly sure of the purpose of the tunnels! You can see the entrances to the network in all the major buildings. Next time you’re in Newman, take a look down the winding staircases between lecture halls!
By Des, UCD Global Guide
Navigating local transport in a new city can be confusing to begin with. I hope this guide will provide you with simple, easy to follow information on using public transport in Dublin.
An essential item for easy travel is the Student Leap Card. This card allows you to travel without coins - and you’ll benefit from many discounts! Dublin Bus requires you to pay exact fare and doesn’t issue any change, so I would strongly recommend that you use the Leap Card! I love using mine – as it is accepted on all the main public transport systems in Dublin and Ireland. The Student Leap Card also comes with some great discounts for shops like Boots and McDonalds - which I love to use!
Student Leap cards can be ordered online; however, they must be picked up from a Leap Card station. At the moment, the Leap Card station is in the city centre where you can pick it up after showing a form of ID. Currently, wearing a face mask is required on all public transport in Ireland.
Dublin Bus provides many routes to the UCD Belfield campus. There are two on-campus bus stops, firstly located at the rear of the Sports Centre and the main stop close to Merville Residence and the Sutherland School of Law. The on-campus stops provide routes to the city centre, Dundrum Town Centre and Stillorgan shopping centre. There are multiple bus stops located at the front entrance of the Belfield campus.
To stop the bus, you have to put your hand out. Dublin Bus also offers free WIFI while traveling which makes the journey a lot easier!
In Dublin there is a tram/light rail system called the Luas. There are two Luas lines; the red line and the green line. Both lines go through the city centre, with the Greenline coming closest to the UCD Belfield campus. Windy Arbour is the nearest Luas stop to Belfield campus which is a 20 – 30-minute walk depending on where on campus you are going to.
When using the Leap Card, you tag on at the start of the Luas journey and tag off at the end of the trip. You can check out our transport video for more information. There is also an option to buy one time tickets from the Luas stop. Luas trams are regularly checked to ensure that all passengers are travelling with the correct ticket.
The Dublin Bikes are a set of bikes in the city centre. You have to register online with your Student Leap Card and yearly membership costs €25. Once you are at the Dublin bike station, you tap your Leap card to release the bike. The bikes are free for the first 30 minutes and then 50 cents for the next 30 minutes. Since they are everywhere around the city, you can put the bike back in a new location and replace it to avoid paying more. They are a super handy way to get around the city.
By Anam, UCD Global Guide
Wondering how can you spend your free time in the afternoons? If you are looking for places to spend a couple of hours close to UCD, then look no further. I bring you the 4 Best Afternoon Trips from UCD!
Dún Laoghaire Pier
If you fancy getting a bit of fresh air and being blown away by immaculate views of the sea, with the Dublin mountains in the background, Dún Laoghaire Pier is what you’re looking for. Roughly half an hour journey via bus 46a, which you can catch opposite the front entrance of UCD (going South). An picturesque place that also comes with a strip of coffee shops and restaurants. It’s definitely a favourite with students and locals alike!
Photo Credit:Dónal Sweeney
St Stephen’s Green
In the Autumn months, the weather in Ireland is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the company of others in St Stephens Green. St Stephens Green park is located at the top of Grafton Street. It’s only a short, 20 minute bus journey from UCD via buses 46a/39a/155. Bring a couple of friends, some speakers, some snacks and it can really turn into an amazing hang out location. Feeling like you’ve been inside for too long? Bring your laptop, bring a book and find some shade to enjoy the benefits of being out in the fresh air! I love going to St. Stephen’s Green because there’s ample space (perfect for social distancing). Also, there are numerous photo opportunities! Tag #UCDGlobal so we can see all the lovely photography you have of your trip to St. Stephen’s Green.
If you fancy nothing but a walk about in a shopping mall, look no further than Stillorgan Village - a 10 minute bus journey from UCD via buses 46a/145/155. Stillorgan Village also has the classics restaurants such as Eddie Rockets and Mao, making it one of the perfect places to grab a bite to eat with friends! There is also a Leisureplex nearby, so you can challenge your friends to a bowling match!
Dundrum Shopping Centre
The biggest shopping centre in Dublin, with over 100 different stores and 40 different restaurants to choose from and even a mini golf course! Take the bus 17/175 from UCD and enjoy the mass array of choice the shopping centre has to offer. Remember to bring your face mask, as it is a mandatory Covid19 guideline to wear a mask in shopping centres at the moment.
Photo Credit:Dónal Sweeney
By Mary, UCD Global Guide
There are so many great places on UCD campus to grab a bite to eat. I have made a list of my top picks and my favourite menu choices. Hope you enjoy and you get to sample some of them! During COVID-19 restrictions, campus restaurants and eateries will be operating as take-aways only.
Centra is great for some quick groceries but their deli is a lifesaver. They always have great baked goods to get with our coffee or tea. The most popular option is probably their chicken fillet rolls and individual pizzas that you can customize however you like!
Pi, located in the Science Building, has great coffee. They have scrumptious hot lunch options - but they are slightly more expensive. My favourite thing about Pi is their breakfast menu. It has rescued me on multiple busy mornings!
The Clubhouse Bar
The Clubhouse is always so lively and the go-to place on campus. They also do a delicious hot lunch, my favourite being their lasagne. They also always have hot fries and chicken goujons for a quick snack. Of course, being the college bar, you can always get a cheeky pint if you’re finished lectures for the day to supplement your meal!
Poolside Cafe is great to grab a quick bite. Being in the new Student Centre, it is ideal for a coffee or late snack. My favourite things off the menu would be a Panini with two sides for a filling lunch or brownies with ice-cream for a cheat meal.
The SU Shops have everything you need when you are stuck in college. Be it stationery or a healthy snack, it has it all You can also get a meal deal for an easy lunch. They have a deli too, which serves hot sandwiches.
Blue Bird Coffee Roasters
Located in the Newman Building, the Blue Bird Cafe is great for a break from studying. They have various tea and coffee options with fresh bakery items. My favourite thing to get is their cheesecake.
Of course you always have the main restaurant located upstairs in the Gerard Manley Hopkins Building (the same building as the UCD Global offices and UCD Global Lounge). There are a huge range of hot, cold and ready-made food options here, as well as a coffee station and lovely views over UCD campus!
By Teerna - UCD Global Guide
So you are in your senior year. Your ACT and SAT scores are in, your transcript more or less describes your achievements during your past four years, and all you have left to do is apply to university. Specifically UCD of course!
Applying to a college anywhere can be overwhelming, let alone applying to a college in a completely different country. Well there is no need to fret, because this easy step by step guide will explain the application and admissions process just for you.
Step 1: Do Your Research!
If you have an idea of what you would like to study, check the the entry requirements for your desired course. While the requirements vary from course to course, the minimums for UCD include a CGPA of 3.0/4.0 unweighted along with either a 22 on the ACTs or a 1090 on the SATs. UCD also requires you to be proficient in the English language; you would have to harbour an average of a C or above in US High School English Courses.
Finances play a huge role in deciding if a college is a perfect fit for you. First, you will need to know what category you fall into when paying tuition fees. If you think that you qualify for an EU rate, you will have to fill out this form for the Student Records team. If you are unsure about which category applies to you, you can check through this assessment which will correctly categorize you after you answer a few questions.
Once you know which fee rate applies to you, check this link which shows the fee list for all the courses offered at UCD. This link will show you the fee list if you are classified as an EU student. Please note that fees vary from course to course.
Please also check to make sure that you do not need a visa to enter Ireland. If you are an American citizen, you do not need a visa before entry, and will simply have to register with the Irish Department of Justice and Equality upon arrival. If you are a citizen of another country, check with INIS to see if you need visa.
Step 2: The Application Process!
If you find yourself being a Non EU Applicant, you will begin by heading to www.ucd.ie/global and click the Apply Now button on the top right of the page. You will be redirected to sisweb.ucd.ie. This is the UCD student portal where students access files and important information while studying at UCD. Here you will fill out your application by clicking the first option on the page; My Applications. Then choose the Create New Account option.
Once you have created your account, you will receive an automatic email – this will contain your UCD ID.
Next, on sisweb.ucd.ie, you will select the option – Start a New Application. Then click on Create a New Course Application. You will be asked to fill in some personal details first, then you’ll be asked to select a course. There are options on the page to assist you with finding the course you are looking for. Select your course, and if you happen to make a mistake, no need to worry, you can use the Edit button to change.
Once you have finished this step, ensure to attach any additional documents, as well as the €50 payment fee.
Now you are all set to go! It is that straightforward. If you have any other queries on the application process, simply send your enquiry to the team at UCD Global. They are really friendly and will do all they can to help you! You can also check out the UCD Global team based in the USA if you would like to reach out directly to them.
Welcome to UCD!!
Hi, my name is Mary and I am a final year Commerce student! I was born in Nigeria, but have lived most of my life in Ireland. I have a passion for experiencing different cultures and meeting new people. My time in UCD so far has been incredibly fun and rewarding, from being part of the Africa Society Committee to winning cultural events held by the School of Business. In UCD, I love the multitude of events, societies and clubs to engage in!
Mary Ishabiyi, Nigerian-Irish, Global Guide