The following experience report is intended to give a brief insight into my semester abroad at Griffith College Dublin (or GCD according to abbreviationfinder). This semester in Dublin was a unique experience for me. I had the chance not only to get to know the Irish culture, but also to consolidate my knowledge of the Irish legal system (Common Law) and the English language and to make many international contacts. I can recommend this semester abroad to everyone.
Students whose university is not a partner university of the GCD can apply via MicroEDU. For the application you need a DAAD language certificate from the university (at least B) and a transcript of the credit points in addition to the application form. Once the GCD has approved, the flight and accommodation should be booked as early as possible to avoid high costs. It is also advisable to take out health insurance abroad, even though basic care is covered by the European health insurance card. The currency in Ireland is Euros, with a credit card (e. g. Student Card DKB) you can withdraw cash free of charge at most ATMs.
Griffith College is located to the west of Dublin and is around 20 minutes’ walk (ten minutes by bus) from the city center. Young people from over 50 different countries study at the GCD. This not only has the advantage that you can make many international contacts, but also that the university is well prepared for the problems of international students. At the beginning of the semester, students receive an eighty-page manual in which all the important information for foreign students is summarized. In addition, the International Office and the faculties are always available to answer questions. I also find it remarkable that the GCD provides its students with their own psychological counselor in case of homesickness and other difficulties.
The GCD is ideally suited for the business law course, as courses from the law and business faculties can be chosen. In the case of law lectures, however, it must be ensured that some lectures are only offered for the entire semester and therefore cannot be chosen by exchange students. In addition, time overlaps must be taken into account when choosing courses. But here, too, the faculties are happy to help with uncertainties.
From the economic sector, I took the sales management and international business lectures. About half of the students there are exchange students, so that the level of difficulty is also appropriate for them and the lectures are very easy to understand. The exams each consist of a term paper with a presentation and a three-hour written exam at the end. From the Law Faculty, I chose the lectures European Law and Company Law. The level of difficulty of the lectures is significantly higher here, as the majority of the lecture visitors are regular students. However, I find the legal courses particularly recommendable, because I got a deep insight into Irish law and the common law system.
Griffith Halls of Residence
Since the housing market in Dublin is very crowded and expensive, you should try to find accommodation as early as possible. The rents are very high and rooms are often shared. I therefore decided on the Griffith Halls of Residence, which is located on the GCD campus. Students for one semester can choose between twin or single rooms. The costs amount to € 3,000 – € 6,000 for one semester, whereby this price usually corresponds to the current housing market. The Living on campus has that one finds the great advantage by students living there immediately social connection. It also saves travel costs to the university, while at the same time living not far from Dublin city center.
There are two smaller supermarkets in the immediate vicinity of the GCD. However, since the cost of living is higher than in Germany, Lidl, fifteen minutes away, is an inexpensive option for shopping. Other things can be found in the city center, although it should be noted that many shops offer discounts for students. The Student Leap Card, with which all means of transport can be used cashless, is also recommended for discounted travel. In addition, the GCD, Dublin and Ireland also offer many possible leisure activities which should definitely be noticed. This includes the free sports offer of the GCD, excursions to the sights of Dublin, short trips in and through the beautiful landscape of Ireland as well as the nightlife in the Dublin pubs with live music, Guinness and cider.
The semester abroad at Griffith College was a unique and unforgettable time for me. I’ve experienced a lot and made friends with people from all over the world. I will take a lot of the lecture content with me for my further studies in Germany and, hopefully, for my later professional life. My technical language skills in the fields of law and economics have also improved significantly. I can unreservedly recommend a semester at the GCD.