Question: How do you feel now that you are at a college of your choice?
Shuvrojit: It feels great! UCC has its own brand value, it is one of the best colleges in Europe. Its computer science department in particular ranks among the top 150 colleges in the world. George Boole, the introducer of Boolean algebra and who is also considered as the founder of computer science, studied at UCC!
Q: What did you think was the most challenging part about applying to universities abroad?
S: There wasn’t any specific stage which was difficult as the Shiksha counsellors made it really easy for me. Based on my profile I was given a list of colleges where I could apply to, and all I had to do was research those universities and choose the best among them. What made it so easy was the fact that my Shiksha counsellor was available at all times and I could reach out to her whenever I had any doubt.
Even the application process wasn’t difficult as all the information was streamlined for me by the counsellor.
Q: Did you have any apprehensions when you signed up for Shiksha study abroad counselling service?
S: No, I never had any apprehensions as far as Shiksha was concerned. Before I finalized Shiksha services, I got calls from a lot of counsellors who would ask me to visit their offices and meet the counsellors. I did meet one or two of them but the experience was not very impressive. I got to know about Shiksha through a friend’s recommendation. I got in touch with the counsellor and even though all our interactions were on phone I never had any issue.
To be honest, I only had a vague idea that the universities abroad require letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. I didn’t know what was to be the content and how to write them. I received invaluable help from Shiksha editors who gave me feedback on what to include in the essays and the content structure.
Before I hire someone’s services I research about them thoroughly. I did the same with Shiksha and was satisfied to know that Naukri.com is their sister website. Since these brands are leaders in the market, it was easy to put my trust in them.
Along with that, a lot of my friends had only positive things to say about the Shiksha services. Even when you sit face-to-face with other counsellors, there will still be some confusion. They let you choose colleges depending on the fee you pay them as there are different packages for different tiers of universities. My experience with Shiksha was totally different as there was no money involved so I had the freedom to choose whichever university I wanted to apply to.
Q: How is your experience of living in Ireland so far?
S: It has only been 10 days since I reached Ireland, but the experience has been fantastic! Irish people are really helpful, and not in the least bit racist. When I had recently landed, I lost my way around while going home and a local decided to accompany me to the address rather than just showing the way. So I have only had positive experiences till now in Ireland.
The weather is a lot cooler than India, average is around 10-12 degree Celsius. Life at UCC is amazing, I’ve made lots of new friends already, there are a lot of societies to join, and so many things to do on weekends. There is an Indian society here at UCC where you can celebrate Indian festivals together and meet other Indian students. Just last week they had organized a Bollywood night, so you keep getting lots of invitations if you join them for celebrations. It keeps life interesting.
Q: How is life at college in Ireland different than that at India?
S: It is great but very different from Indian colleges. The way of delivering lectures is so different, and you need to study by yourself a lot more. During my college days in India, sometimes I would feel that college life is boring but here there is no time to get bored as so much is happening all the time. Between classes there are free hours where you could hang out with friends, go to the library or spend time at the lab, whatever you do no one cares and will not stop you.
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Q: Where are you staying and how did you search for the right accommodation?
S: The University is hardly 20-25 minutes away from my place by bus. I chose a homestay with an Indian-Irish family so food is not an issue. My rent includes utility charges and other expenses. I’m not feeling homesick at all, rather I’m enjoying Ireland a lot. Over the weekends, I can’t wait to go back to college and meet my friends.
I found out about this accommodation through the university website, as there is a list of landlords registered with the university. You can browse through the pictures of the accommodations and choose whichever one suits your needs.
Q: Do you have any advice for prospective international students?
S: Students considering going abroad need to start the preparations earlier. Take your time researching, go through all the college options, course options, and take help from Shiksha counsellors. They will help you shortlist universities, prepare your statement of purpose, letters of recommendation. Other than that, don’t be in a hurry as studying abroad is a major step and you need to choose well.
Read more Shiksha Success Stories:
- How Priyanka scored a scholarship to study in US
- P. Gopinath's journey to making to the course of his choice at Sweden
- Sourabh shares his experience of successfully applying to universities at US and Canada
- Shubhansh's journey from quitting his job to getting into NJIT
- Vaibhav on why European universities were his exclusive choice
- Why Aishvarya chose a Canadian university over American colleges
- How Ankit made it to Lakehead University's most popular course
- How Medha made the decision between pursuing MBA and MS
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