There are classes specifically for visiting students, and I took a mixture of those with classes specifically in my major. Some of the visiting student modules include Irish (Gaelic), history, folklore, and traditional music. These modules all provide opportunities outside of the classroom in Cork City and the surrounding areas. Take advantage of it, and you’ll learn so much!
Be sure to take other classes aside from visiting students’ modules. I took a Freshwater Resources Management module which fits into my environmental studies major. The module had weekly field trips to streams, a dam, water treatment facilities, the Heineken Brewery in Cork, and the Jameson Distillery. Look for interesting modules in your major (even if you don’t need it), and it’s also a good way to meet Irish students.
Ireland has a different style of teaching than in America. Lectures are a little less formal, and they are normally posted on blackboard. Regardless, attending lectures definitely makes writing papers and taking exams much easier. There aren’t always specific textbooks for each class, but there are several suggested readings. Do make the effort to sift through them, especially the ones your professors mention during lectures! They look to see if you’ve done extra reading from class when grading your final exams. Also, the lecture portion of the term is only 12 weeks long, and some classes meet just once a week. Missing one class can mean missing a lot of material! The 12 weeks fly by, and then you are left with a 5 week study period before the month of final examinations.
- Written by Joel Rhodes '13 who studied in Cork spring 2012