My journey to University College Cork
- 04 Dec 2016
Nothing is easy to get in this world, including getting your dreams!
Getting to University College Cork has been a long journey. What I mean by saying “getting to” rather than “joining in” forms the main crux of the story. When UCC offered me a place in its institution, I reached Cloud Nine!
Like every student who aspires to do higher studies in their dream University, I loved University College Cork from the minute I saw it. The old stone structures, the Boole statue, the wide range of courses offered and the green campus; green everywhere treating my eyes! Believe it or not, I stopped looking further. I wanted my footprint to be the one amongst the many that had already imprinted the quadrangle.
With great excitement I applied for my visa to Ireland. As per Indian rules, the time allocated to process a visa is up to five weeks. The thought of waiting for such a long time seemed horrendous, but I had to wait it out. By the end of the fourth week I had the jitters. I wasn’t like this even for my exam results!
I kept reviewing the process over and over in my head. It was nearly time for the term to start in UCC. With so much confidence, I started packing my bags as I wanted to fly as soon as my visa arrived. The ticket was also booked a long time back. My family were equally excited as they helped me with the packing. Still no visa. By this time, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. At last the results were out. I remember eagerly scrolling down for my number. I checked it out so many times that it was tattooed on my brain, 26777652 – Refused.
It took me a full five seconds to process the word “Refused”. I was so shocked that I couldn’t make an emotional statement. My family was equally devastated. This was going to be my first experience outside my comfort zone and this couldn’t be happening. I refused to give up. I knew the appeal could take up to ten weeks. I corrected the documents that were the reasons for my refusal. I contacted the International Office UCC for an extension where Ms. Coyne and Ms. Phelan were equally supportive of me and contacted the representatives of my course to acquire an extension. My dad, like me, refused to stop anything that prevented me from living my dream. The relentless explanations and getting the documents for my appeal made me start with renewed vigour.
In one week, the documents were ready and posted. Prayer and faith were my two unshaken pillars of determination during this period. Wonders of wonder, I got a call from the Embassy of Ireland within three days! Nothing could stop the tears that were now flowing unstoppable. I thanked the Embassy again and again. By now it had been three weeks since the college started. Without wasting anymore time, I booked a ticket and repacked everything that had to be packed. Frantic phone calls and farewell messages were sent to my relatives and friends. Now nothing could stop me from reaching my beloved University.
I left my home in India on the 28th and reached Dublin on the 29th September 2016. Three hours of bus travel brought me to Cork. It was mesmerising to see the city live before my eyes. The friendly people, calm atmosphere and the relative quietness of the city made me feel safe in spite of me being completely new here. I met Ms. Coyne and Ms. Phelan on reaching the International Office UCC and a warm hug from them put a seal to all the struggles I faced before reaching here. I am happy now, in spite of my busy schedule, to still reminisce about my journey to this beloved city.