Daniel McFadden is an international student from America studying Computer Science & Information Technology.
Freshers Week, Petting zoo, Thanksgiving day, Poster sales, Mental Health week, and SHAG week, are some of the few events held throughout the year at NUI Galway that students can take part in. Both the university and the Students Union here are phenomenal at getting people together to make activities fun and engaging for everybody. In addition to campus activities, there is almost always a festival on every month around town or just a short bus ride away. Galway is considered the cultural heart of Ireland and thus there is always something that is new and exciting, whether that is a march/protest, or the International Oyster Festival, or the St. Paddy’s day parade, this is a town you cannot be bored in.
As an international student at NUI Galway is one of the best experiences I have embarked on. I consistently find myself torn between a RyanAir flight to mainland or taking a boat to the Aran Islands for a day. However, when I do stay in for a weekend on campus my friends and I usually spend the nights together out in town or eating Chinese takeaway gossiping until the wee hours of the morning. Just this past weekend I had a kilo of ham and baked dinner for one of my friends and I, together we ate dinner and watched a movie then headed out for Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds. Following that day I hosted a large breakfast with American style pancakes and some of my Corrib Village friends brought over the ingredients and we had our breakfast together.
Besides my experience as an NUIG student in terms of social life, the college atmosphere is equally as important and strong. While NUIG is a big school with 17,000 students it can feel small at times. In nearly all hallways you will always see someone you know or a friend of a friend. Even when I am in the Bialann (a cafeteria under the Arts Concourse) I always see someone I know through societies or Corrib Village, that I can chat with. In the realm of academics, each of my professors know me well as we are a smaller course (Computer Science) of about 50 people. NUI Galway’s small town feel but big city offers make it attractive place to live and study in.
Being an international student has allowed me to learn about other cultures, and in the process my own, and connect with people from all over. Opportunities and surprise come around every corner in Galway, making it a place your heart will fall for every new day.