Case Study 3

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Lucy Jago is a final year student studying for a BA (International) in Arts – specialising in Anthropology and Philosophy – at NUI Maynooth and has just returned from an ERASMUS year studying at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Here she describes her experience. ‘The first semester was difficult as I was adjusting to life in the Netherlands. I was living alone but when I approached the university and told them about it they were very supportive and they arranged for me to move house after Christmas. Then I was living with other people and I made lots of new friends quite quickly. Academically, it was very successful too. The academic system in the Netherlands is structured very differently to what I was used to in Ireland. But there were many advantages to experiencing this new system. I had about 100 module options to choose from and I got to do some fabulous things not necessarily directly associated with my degree in Maynooth but which broadened my perspective in other academic areas and which have proved very beneficial secondary sources for my degree. Lectures in the Netherlands were 3 to 4 hours long and we had to do a lot of reading and take part in discussions which was all very intense but good for motivating you to do your work properly and thoroughly. There were also very strict attendance requirements. I absolutely think that such structure to my studies has helped me academically now.
Personally, the experience has really broadened my horizons. It has also given me the drive and incentive to want to travel more, see the world and experience different cultures and ways of life. I am hoping to go to Japan next year on the Japan Exchange Programme too. The experience helped me enhance my social skills too. Though I can’t speak Dutch I can now understand it and I also practised my French with a French girl I became good friends with while I was there. I am so used to being in an international environment that since I have returned to Maynooth I have actually sought out the international students here!’Lucy clearly had the time of her life on her ERASMUS year and encourages other students to jump at the chance: ‘the whole experience has totally broadened my perspectives. It was an absolutely amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity. It was a wonderful year away and I thoroughly enjoyed it. ’ is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
Employment & Lifelong Learning


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