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Study Abroad in Ireland or England?

Phoeb4Phoeb4 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited August 9 in Study Abroad
Hi everyone, I have decided to study abroad in the Fall of 2018 but I am having trouble deciding between National University of Ireland Maynooth (Maynooth, Ireland) and Saint Mary's University (Twickenham, England). I was hoping to gain some advice and perspective on this situation from anyone having experienced these two areas or even better the universities themselves. Maynooth is approximately 30-40 minutes from Dublin and Twickenham, being in South London already, is about the same distance to the centre of London.

A few factors contributing to my decision:
- Accomodation (Maynooth will provide me with a shared flat between 4-5 other students with a communal kitchen, lounge and dining area and private bedroom with an ensuite for approx $4500 AUD, whereas Saint Mary's accomodation is just a private bedroom and ensuite with no shared living areas apart from the large communal kitchennette shared between all students in the hall for approx $6500 AUD) I feel as though the Maynooth accomodation will be more beneficial for the social aspect of my experience, not to mention the drastically cheaper cost, but would love advice on this.
- Modules/Units/Classes (In order to ensure I am taking a full load of classes transferrable at my home university I would need to undertake between 4 and 6 modules/units/classes at Maynooth but only 3 at Saint Mary's) I usually take 5 units at my home university and this is already more than most Australian students and classed as an 'intensive semester' so am not too keen on upping that number and overstressing myself with no free time while abroad.
- Travel (Domestic travel within Ireland seems very accessible and beautiful while London is undeniably a gateway to Europe) I would like to spend any free weekends I have experiencing affordable travel destinations.
- Overall social/emotional wellbeing (I have heard that Dublin is a much more happy and welcoming place than London, but not sure if this is true or not) Ultimately, I will be going away from all my friends and family all by myself for 4+ months and the social/emotional experience is super important to me. I want to be able to integrate well and feel at home in my exchange university.

If anyone has attended these universities themselves I would love to hear thoughts and opinions particularly on the accomodation living situation :)

Replies to: Study Abroad in Ireland or England?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,297 Senior Member
    Dublin may not be quite as good a launching pad as London, but there are plenty of cheap flights to points all over Europe. Either place will give you lots of options for travel.

    Modules: number of units can be misleading, as they may not have equivalent workloads. I will check with the recent Maynooth grads that I know to see what the number was, but they took typical course loads and were not overwhelmed by the amount of work (ie, they had very active social lives!).

    St Mary's Twickenham has a reputation for being friendly, and is very new and modern, while Maynooth is a new-old university (it only became it's own self in the late 1990's, but was put together out of pieces that started in the early 1700s, so there are both historic and modern parts). As far as I know, academically, Maynooth is stronger than SM-T.





  • SC AnteaterSC Anteater Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    We stayed in the University of Limerick dorms last summer for vacation which had the same set up as Maynooth. It was very nice. I told my kids don't expect such nice accommodations (and your own private bath!) at U.S. colleges.
  • mysmommysmom Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    My daughter had a fantastic semester abroad at UCL in London. That said, the cost of living in London was very high. I just returned from a visit to Dublin and love it. Good luck making your decision and have a memorable semester!
  • allly079allly079 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
  • Chocolate-TacoChocolate-Taco Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    "- Overall social/emotional wellbeing (I have heard that Dublin is a much more happy and welcoming place than London, but not sure if this is true or not)"

    Perhaps, but I imagine your social life, and life in general to be based on campus, not in the city.

    Other things to consider:
    Which aspects of the culture in each country appeal to you most? I had a friend choose England over Ireland because he related more closely to their whiskey culture, and had no regrets. I had another friend much more interested in the looking in understanding social change in a mostly Catholic English-speaking country and loved his experience in Ireland.

    What kind of opportunities would you like near the school? London is a huge city offering opportunities in almost every industry and featuring ethnic groups and food from all over the world. Dublin is closer to more nature and week-end getaway options.

    If you're interested in social science or economics, London would give you a frontrow seat to the Brexit negotiations.

    If you picture yourself waking up a month or so into the experience, where do you think you'd be most excited to attend class?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @Chocolate-Taco:
    "Perhaps, but I imagine your social life, and life in general to be based on campus, not in the city."

    Only for a campus-based uni, which most of the London unis aren't (they have a collection of academic buildings here, a collection of buildings there, dorms and other residential building all over London, including for the UoL schools, with students at other UoL schools, and a bunch of commuters.
  • Chocolate-TacoChocolate-Taco Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    @PurpleTitan What advice would you give to students considering a non-campus based uni in London? How can students gain the most from the experience?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    @Chocolate-Taco: Partake of London (same advice for anyone considering short-term study at NYU and NYC).
  • AnthonyDixonAnthonyDixon Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I am planning to study in London.
  • Chocolate-TacoChocolate-Taco Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    Cool! I'll pass on advice to students who ask about it :D
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