Studying abroad for me was always a priority while growing up. The plan initially was to do my masters abroad but somehow, I managed to fly out for my bachelor itself. I do miss home but I have been able to adapt to everything here, as I enter my fourth year in college. It's a tough experience in the beginning as you have to manage time between your studies and extracurricular activities, alongside the constant need to be in touch with your parents.
I decided to pursue my bachelor's at the Technical University of Shannon (TUS) because it offered a Mechanical and Polymer Engineering course which was exactly what I was looking for. Ireland was not my first option but all my other choices required me to learn secondary languages which was getting a bit tough.
After weighing my options, I decided not to learn secondary languages and sent my application to those universities or institutes that conduct their courses taught in English.
The bachelor's curriculum here is very different from what I have observed in India. Here, in the 1st and 2nd years, we have weekly assignments and monthly projects with midterm and final exams. The 3rd and 4th years require us to get 7 months of work experience in our field of study for each year. We all start applying to companies for work experience at the end of the second year and everyone gets a list of employers that are associated with the college. I genuinely found this method very unique as by the end of our course we come out having over a year of experience in our respective fields.
By the end of the third year, students start getting offers from companies they have worked with during their grad years. Students are also free to apply to other companies outside the list provided by the college as firms here tend to offer positions to students before their graduation, as long as their GPA is maintained and it is expected that the student will finish their course successfully.
My 4th year of college is underway and I have already accepted a graduate role in a Polymer Company which I intend to pursue once I pass out.
The author is a Bachelor’s in Mechanical and Polymer Engineering (Hons) student at the Technical University of Shannon, Ireland.