7 Reasons to Study Abroad in Cork Ireland
By Aditi Saldanha of 09/01/17
Ireland is a whole lotta craic.
If you don’t know what that word means, don’t worry, give yourself a semester in Ireland, and it’ll be part of your daily lingo. So for all the confused and clueless reading right now, ‘craic’ is the Gaelic word for fun and get’s thrown around in almost every sentence.
Initially, I was a little upset that I wasn’t going to be living in Dublin. I’ve always been a city girl and I was apprehensive about going to a smaller town that I’d never heard of. Rest assured, all those worries subsided the very first day I landed in Cork. Here’s why:
1. It’s got that Irish charm
Cork’s more a university town, even though its Ireland’s second largest city. It offers everything Dublin has to offer, but in a more cultural way. There are far less tourists and you’ll get the true Irish university experience. Not to forget the Cork accent! It is basically another language on its own. The more westward you go, the more pronounced the Irish accent gets and the more you will encounter a little bit of Gaelic. I have never listened and stared so intently to someone as I did with the elderly Irish in Cork.
2. It’s the most beautiful part of Ireland
If you’ve seen photos of Ireland, they were probably taken on the West Coast. The West Coast of Ireland is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. Cork is situated on the South West tip of the island and you’re no longer than an hour away from the stunning coastal beauty nor the Irish countryside.
3. The pub scene
Cork caters to both college students and residents, which means it has the best of both worlds, pub wise! On Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are the designated clubbing days for Irish college students, there is no shortage of clubs to choose from for a night out. On the weekends, things are a little classier – there are more traditional pubs, amazing breweries, and cocktail bars. Cork’s known for its pub scene. Well, as is basically anywhere in Ireland!
4. There are so many weekend trips possible
I didn’t leave Ireland until my third month there because there was just so much to do in Ireland itself! UCC had a mountaineering club that did hikes every Sunday that I TRIED to do. I went once and successfully climbed an Irish mountain, and I decided that that was enough mountaineering for me for a semester! When we weren’t climbing mountains, we’d take the bus to one of the nearby seaside towns and either do a coastal walk or rent a bike and make a day out of it. Or we’d spend the weekend up in Kerry or Galway exploring that part of the country. There’s just so much to see and do. I didn’t even make it up to Northern Ireland!
5. UCC is one of the top ranked Irish universities
University College Cork, is one of Ireland’s best universities and was ranked in the top 40 ‘must see’ campuses. Its main building looks like Hogwarts! UCC offers more than 70 undergraduate degrees and a ton of clubs that do cool things (like mountain trips!) It also has a surprisingly large international community.
6. It’s the culinary capital of Ireland
This should be enough to convince you! There is not a cuisine you won’t find in Cork. I had some of the best Malaysian food I’ve had in Cork. Surprising, right? The Irish love their Asian food! In addition to being the food capital, the seafood capital of Ireland, Kinsale, is less than 30 minutes away! I had THE best garlic mussels I’ve ever had there. Oh, and the chowder! You won’t be able to get enough of the Irish seafood chowder. Boston clam chowder will pale in comparison.
7. You will encounter some of the friendliest people.
They say the Irish are some of the friendliest people. They weren’t kidding. Every random person will either smile at you or trying to spark up a conversation. Especially the cashiers, the store clerks, and the taxi drivers. They will talk about anything and everything. The weather is a big topic, be prepared! Physically and verbally.
Choosing Cork was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I would choose it over and over again. It has that Irish charm, that big city Dublin, just didn’t have for me. The nightlife, the natural and wild beauty, the charm, the food, and the Irish college experience, makes it an amazing study abroad destination.
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