Haley M Bonner
Q: A brief introduction of yourself
A: My name is Haley Bonner. I’m a small-town girl from Portales, New Mexico. My goal in coming to UCC was to study English Modernities in the School of English.
Q: What attracted you to study University College Cork?
A: The postgraduate programme I found here fit my undergraduate education remarkably well, and I was very keen to study outside of the States.
Q: What was it like adapting to Ireland, It’s people, culture and surroundings?
A: The adjustment period after coming here wasn’t bad at all. Honestly, the biggest ‘culture’ shock here was related to school, because it was such a different environment than I was used to. The people here are lovely and it’s Ireland, so obviously the surroundings are great, too.
Q: If you had to choose your best experience in UCC, which would it be?
A: I think that the best part of UCC, for me, was working with my thesis advisor during the summer term. My primary advisor, Dr. Lee Jenkins, was absolutely lovely. She was wonderful to helpfully guide my thesis progress and give constructive feedback on my work. She was also great to just have a chat with!
Q: Do you consider that your experience in UCC has enhanced your abilities and qualities on a personal and professional level?
A: Studying at UCC has definitely been beneficial for my personal aptitudes and capabilities in managing time, organisation, and communications. It also enhanced my writing skills, which is beneficial for professional development and future study.
Q: Did you find it easy to make friends on campus and outside of UCC?
A: As a postgraduate student, my interactions with campus were decidedly limited and my programme cohort was very small, but all of our cohort was very friendly with each other and we often went for drinks after seminar classes. I did become very good friends with two other girls in my cohort, and am so grateful to have found them! Most of the friends I made were from outside of UCC, and I found that making friends in general was fairly easy.
Q: What is your favourite place on UCC’s campus?
A: I have a couple of places on campus that I claim as ‘favourites.’ I’m very partial to the small courtyard behind the ORB. There is a Starbuck’s café inside where I can get a tea or a chia latte and then go sit outside in the quiet. My second favourite spot is the river walk near the main entrance to the campus. It’s always very peaceful along the walking trail and makes a nice spot to spend time alone with your thoughts.
Q: What is your favourite place in Cork or elsewhere in Ireland and why?
A: My favourite place in Ireland is absolutely the Cliffs of Moher. There’s nothing more magnificent in nature, to me. If you ever go, I highly recommend staying in a little village called Liscannor, which is 8km from the Cliffs. You can get a taxi up to the Cliffs and then take the Cliff Walk down and back into the village. The entire walk should only take two-to-three hours, although the road back into Liscannor can get quite narrow, so bring a sense of adventure for that part!
Q: Would you encourage other international students to study at UCC and why?
A: Honestly, yes. I think there are enormous benefits in studying in a country that’s not your own. It causes you to gain a wonderfully wide world perspective. Especially for students of our generation, that’s very important, because it encourages us to understand cultures outside of our own. You meet so many new people and make so many new friends that any languages and cultural barriers don’t matter, and that is great place to be.
Q: If you could give other international students advice what would it be?
A: Take your time abroad from what it is--an experience. Don’t get so caught up in school stuff that you neglect to take time to enjoy being in a different culture, but also don’t enjoy the culture so much that you forget to study ;) Above all, take a breath and relax. Everything is going to be fine.