Daniel McFadden is an international student from America studying Computer Science & Information Technology.
My morning routine usually consists of waking up early and heading to the gym for a cycling class. After I head back up to Corrib Village accommodation and take my shower and get dressed, followed by either making myself some breakfast or stopping by the cafe for some coffee and a scone if I’m running late. I head in early to class for around 9:00AM and write a few notes down, send a few emails, or just hang with friends.
Everyday of the week my classes start at 10AM and usually last for an hour or two, but most are split between days if they are two hours. The mornings are usually spent in the classroom with a lecturer learning about the subject we’ll need to know for our weekly labs. In our class we have about 60 people and are quite a close bunch. After class, 2 of my Irish friends here head to An Bialann (the canteen on campus) for some lunch. My favourite place for food is Sub Central for the Bacon Lover’s sub. It’s really filling for the hours I spend after class and labs and is a good deal.
My friends and I usually head from lunch straight to our programming labs in the afternoon together. Some of our labs this year have been group projects so I’ve gotten to know other people in my course that I may have not spoken to. But one of the really good advantages of group work in programming is that it looks good on a CV/resume and you do learn a lot from your peers and it does help you improve your coding and technical thinking.
Around 5 o’clock, all of my classes are done and I head back to my apartment in Corrib for dinner. Generally, I cook some pasta with meat, or on weekends, some type of meat as the main course. Sometimes I am able to catch one of my friends Alex into dinner and we have dinner together. Usually we end up talking for 2 hours together and then we split and head off on our own ways.
Societies generally start around 7 and go for about 2 hours. Wednesday and Thursday are good days to go to The College Bar as a lot of societies meet there and you get to see all your friends. If not, there is always something going on, a fundraiser, a party, or some karaoke in the back. I am involved in the International Students Society here so we generally meet and have tea and chats, then after our meeting, we head to the college bar. Societies are amazing here at NUI Galway, it is where I made most of my friends and grew skills in public speaking and team leadership. I’d highly encourage everybody to join a few societies – you also sometimes get free pizza!
On days when societies do not meet I get work done so on the weekends I can travel. As Ireland is cold and rainy, there is nowhere else better than the warm Library to do work. So I head to the library to do some work and study. I have this particular seat that I promise is more comfortable than the rest, but I won’t tell you which one it is! I generally like the 2nd floor (3rd floor for my American friends – the floor numbering system is different!) as it provides a nice view of campus while also being sparsely occupied.