Céad Míle Fáilte – University of Johannesburg students attend Irish summer school in UCD

Each year UCD’s Bord na Gaeilge hosts a summer school, ‘Tionól Gaeilge UCD’, aimed at adults from Ireland and abroad who are interested in the Irish language and Irish culture. This year, eight students from UCD's U21 partner, the University of Johannesburg, attended the summer school.

Being a member of Universitas 21, the students had an array of summer programmes that they could apply for but chose to study here at UCD, citing the uniqueness of the Irish language and their love of exploring different cultures as some of their main reasons for applying. For all the students – who were selected for being the highest achievers in each of their respective faculties - it was not only their first time in Ireland but their first taste of Europe!

Excited to see all that UCD and Dublin had to offer, the students took part in classes in Irish history, media, athletics, dancing, and linguistics. South Africa is a multicultural country with many official languages; for some of these students, Irish will be their 8th language. They described UCD as peaceful, however our Irish heatwave was not up to par with South African summers, with some of the students describing the weather as cold! We are thrilled that the students enjoyed their time here at UCD and we hope that they share their U21 experience with those back home to encourage more of these amazing cultural exchanges.