..a friend of a friend recommended UCC...
Arwa's story in her own words
My name is Arwa Alsufyan. I am a Saudi female who was born in Riyadh, on the 14th of August 1989. I did my BA at Imam University in Riyadh in English language and translation and got employed after two years at the same university. I was sponsored by Imam University to do my postgraduate degrees in Ireland. It was when a friend of a friend recommended UCC. So, my family and I decided to move to Ireland for a few years since my brothers wanted to do their graduate degrees abroad. I was happy to study at UCC language centre from September 2013 to the end of June 2014. The staff were so welcoming and did their best to make us feel comfortable. I set my goal to do my MA and PhD in applied linguistics. Fortunately, I passed my MA in 2014 with an honour’s degree and was accepted to do a PhD with Dr. Martin Howard, the Head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. I completed my PhD in June 2019. Indeed, the language centre was a pathway to achieving my postgraduate degrees. I am now happily teaching at Imam University in Riyadh. I hope to have the chance someday to pass by UCC and greet the wonderful staff and meet students from all over the world.
Best Regards Carolyn and keep in touch!
It's very good to hear from you.
The plan was to finish my course and go back to Greece...
Bessy's story in her own words
"My main tutors were Richard Masterson and Cathy Gannon- they were absolutely brilliant and were there for me whenever I needed help and support. I also attended a variety of lectures from the Linguistics course on offer, as well as the TOEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) class. The lecturers and my classmates were all wonderful to me and the facilities around the campus, such as the library and computer rooms, were first class as well.
The plan was to finish my course and go back to Greece... but love got in the way of those plans so I decided to stay in Ireland. After finishing my course in UCC, I moved to Dublin for a year and then to Wexford, where I live to this day. I worked for various financial services and climbed the corporate ladder in an Insurance company, becoming Project Leader and Direct Sales Manager for the whole of Ireland. In 2010 I got a degree in Business from Carlow IT and the same year I was awarded Team Leader of the year at the CCMAS (Customer Contact Management Association), a very prestigious accolade, as it meant that I was chosen amongst colleagues coming from all major companies in the Republic.
A lot has changed in my life since I came to Ireland- I am now happily married and living in Enniscorthy in a lovely house with our three children. My decision to come to Ireland gave me access to a different world full of opportunities and I will always have the fondest of memories from my time in UCC. I sincerely thank you for making me feel part of the community and giving me the support I needed to achieve my goals."
this decision had a meaningful impact in my life and my career.
Felipe's story in his own words
"My name is Felipe Pastor and I would like to describe how UCC and its Language Center will forever be connected to my life journey in several ways… allow me to share my story with you!
In early 2001 I was a young electronic engineer working for a successful Spanish company with solid experience in electronic design and technical marketing, but with a big handicap: my English was terrible! In order to fix the problem, I decided to quit my dream job in Spain, landed a good job in Cork and started to get settled. In October my girlfriend joined me, and we rented a place in Wellington Road. By early Sept 2002 I came across the Language Center, the decision to sign-up was easy: the slightly higher cost than a private school was clearly justified by the backing of UCC, this decision had a meaningful impact in my life and my career.
For the following 2 years I attended the Language Center and Mr. Joe French was my teacher, he was able to make students feel comfortable in class no matter the topic of the day and his classes were always fun. The group was extraordinarily diverse, even for Cork in 2002! Solid friendships developed out of this experience: I am still in touch with Halvor from Norway and Caty from Spain as well as with Mr. French himself who became my good friend Joe.
By 2003 I obtained an Advanced English Degree from the University of Cambridge, testimony to the quality offered by UCC Language Center. This degree helped me to solve my language problems and opened up new opportunities: in 2004 I joined a multinational company in Shannon where we lived for 5 years. Life moved on and we relocated to the Greater New York area 3 years ago where I live with my wife and 2 kids."
I went for the first time to Cork during the summer school 2010
Roberto's story in his own words
"First of all I would like to thank you for including me in your project for the 25th Anniversary of the language centre.
I went for the first time to Cork during the summer school 2010 where I had the chance to meet wonderful people and start the application for my Master's Degree.
The preparation I undertook was very brief and concise, as I was applying for my master's and needed certain level of English, to be precise 6.5 (IELTS) and 10 weeks was more than enough to get it done. I am very thankful with all the teachers that took part in my success during the summer school period such as Joe French, Noreen O’Mahony, Brandon, Moreen and of course the administrative staff.
I graduated from MSc Food Business under the supervision of my tutor Joe Bogue and got a very nice work placement at Kepak Group and at The Cork Meat Company. After that, I stayed under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme for a year and developed many different managerial tasks within the Food Industry in Ireland.
Now in Mexico I develop activities regarding Food Industry Projects (from farm to fork) including construction, operational and managerial leadership, continuous improvements, etc.
As a summary, I could tell there is no words to explain the happiness I received from such nice people as you, and by you, I refer to Irish people. Thank God I got the chance to share a piece of my life at the Language Centre and get to know ye all."
Professional English Suite
Main Office, G36, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland