I am a Spanish nursing student and I stayed 3 months in Cork doing an Erasmus programme in the School of Nursing and Midwifery of UCC.
I did my placements in different hospitals of the city and the experience was really amazing. I have learnt how nursing is in Ireland. I was able to improve my nursing skills and my English too. I did an English course at UCC completely free.
UCC is a university with lots of years of history where you can enjoy the buildings and the university’s social life. I joined some of the societies and sport clubs, being part of different groups like the Waterpolo team and the International Student Society. There are a lot of international students and the orientation programme for the Erasmus students was very useful and interesting. We got to know the parts of the main campus of UCC and were introduced to the programmes and activities we could take part in.
To sum up, I met a lot of people and made some new friends from all over the world. I learnt new languages and cultures. In my opinion, it’s worth it a 100%, and it was the best experience ever. If I could I would repeat it without any doubt.
Noemi Rodriguez, Nursing Student, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
I think participating in the Erasmus programme was a great experience. I undertook my Erasmus in Ioannina, Greece. It was the first time I was away from all my family living on my own for a long period. It was different not seeing my friends and family but I didn’t find staying in touch hard. While away we got the opportunity to travel around to different cities and experience what they had to offer. I enjoyed getting to see new places. I loved taking the sightseeing bus tour when we went to a new city so we could learn about all the attractions and museums that were there. In Ioannina there was also an Erasmus Social Network (ESN) . This consisted of Greek university students organising activities for the Erasmus students to do together and get to know each other. Everyone was from the university but even though we were associated with the institute of technology they included us in all events. It was useful to know students who were from the town if we had any questions about directions or other information. The one thing that stood out most was the language barrier. I thought the locals would have had a higher level of English and I had relatively no Greek. While there we were placed in a Greek lesson class. I liked learning a bit of the language class although I found it difficult because the class did not start till after a month of already being there and since we were in the hospital four days a week we could only attend the lesson once a week and were behind every time we went. If i was to take part in a similar situation again I would definitely learn the language to a fluent level before leaving. In Greece they have a very different culture and lifestyle to the one in Ireland I found everyone very friendly and welcoming and commented regularly how they liked Irish people and want to go on holiday here. I enjoyed the experience a lot and would recommend it to any student.
Isobel Neenan (General Student, MUH)