Ireland – the only correct answer to the question: what’s the link between the hugely popular Game of Thrones series, Guinness book of records, Leprechauns, Bagpipes and St. Patrick’s Day!
Home to the youngest population in Europe, this beautiful island nation is part of the Eurozone. The nation is the fastest growing economy aided by a highly skilled, young and educated multicultural population. Apart from its legacy of producing giants from literature like Y.B. Yeats and James Joyce, the beautiful island nation has much culture and openness to international cultures as it has scenic landscapes. Post ‘Brexit’, the island nation saw volumes of Indian students applying for higher studies in the country increase by an impressive 20%!
With eight universities, in the QS World University Rankings for 2018, Ireland’s prestigious Trinity College in Dublin features at #88 in the top 400 list of colleges globally.
The Emerald Isle is thus not only home to serious studies but also a great place to have ‘Craic’ (which in Irish language means to have fun!). Here’s a list of must-do things for international students in the vibrant nation:
- Start with locations in Northern Ireland where GoT was filmed, of course!
The 6th edition of the hugely popular fantasy drama series features locations from Northern Ireland (and now portrayed as Kingsroad for Westeros). Visit these cultural heritages starting with Cairncastle to the Glens of Antrim. Do make sure to collect stamps to show off to your friends and impress family too.
- Explore attractions from the capital city of Dublin.
The city’s picturesque and yet exciting nightlife has inspired literary giants and is home to some of the most unique experiences globally including the National Leprechaun Museum, the Guinness Storehouse (home to the Guinness brewhouse since 1759!) as well as the Book of Kells – an exhibition attracting over 500,000 visitors to the Trinity college every year alone.
- Watch and play Gaelic sports.
Be it, strong contact sports like Gaelic football and Hurling (field hockey), the Irish have a notable and active history as die-hard sports fans. Every year about 80,000+ people attend the All-Ireland finals for these two most popular games in the country. Make sure to root for your favorite teams and have some craic while doing this!
- Learn Gaeilge.
Try to memorize more than three Irish words every day. This will help you learn more about Irish history, language and will enable you many friendly conversations over tea/coffee. Gel more with the Gaeltacht community and add up potential skills to your vocabulary as well.
- Indulge in wanderlust and explore the myriad hues of the Emerald Isles.
Make sure to find some time out to surf around various beaches (remember the nation is close to the Atlantic sea!), and also find out more about the Western coast. Head to the Aran group of islands – a place signifying deep cultural, linguistic heritage with scenic beauty and meadows, museums and most importantly, have craic at the Aran Celtic Music festival to hear Celtic diaspora of artists.
Hope this small list is as helpful to you, as it was fun for us to put together. As they say in Ireland, May the road rise up to meet you (or as we interpret this – May God remove obstacles from your life to ensure you have a fun-filled journey towards higher education in Ireland).
Sláinte (Cheers, of course! )
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