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Erasmus experience in Limerick, Ireland

Why did you choose to go to Limerick, Ireland?

I wanted to go to an English speaking country and there was no possibility to study in the UK because of Brexit so I chose Ireland. I chose Limerick because the campus looked pretty modern and it was promoted as a student city.

How long was the grant? How much financial aid did you receive?

I received my grant from the EU for 3.5 months. It was 520 € / month. It was covering approximately 60 % of my total expenses. 

What is the student lifestyle like in Limerick?

The student lifestyle is the best what I experienced in my life. Limerick is a typical college city with many students. There are many house parties, a really good atmosphere in pubs. Locations as Castletroy, College Court or any of UL (on or off campus) student villages are pretty busy, noisy and rough packed with students. For me, the best neighbourhood was definitely Annacotty (a 20-minute walk from campus).

Would you recommend the city and the University of Limerick to other students?

I would say that the city is not that interesting. Of course, it has some really nice spots and the atmosphere in the city centre, Castletroy or near Shannon is really nice. I would say if you will find your group of friends then it will be a really memorable term abroad. UL is really modern and it has everything you need. The campus is modern and really huge. It includes more buildings and there is a Costa, Starbucks, Subway and other places where you can eat cheaper than in the city. The library is cosy and huge as well. 

Do you like the food?

The food wasn't the best thing in Ireland. For me, it was really monotonous and not healthy. We tried many restaurants or takeaways but it was mainly Italian cuisine or Asian food. I ate many times from Dominos and Just Pizza too (they have great student deals). On-campus, the best food was in Eden, Paddocks or in the Library Cafeteria (the women there were always so nice). 

The main dishes were Chicken Goujons, Potato Wedges, Chicken Curry, Lasagne or wraps and sandwiches with different ingredients. They also have really nice vegetable soups. 

The cheapest supermarkets in Limerick are Lidl, Tesco. They have always some really good discounts and deals. The best thing was cooking together some dishes with my friends. It was a really nice experience to eat dishes from different countries. 

Did it cost you to find accommodation in Limerick?

I will be honest: It is really hard to find accommodation in Limerick. The university is not really promoting this issue because it is a negative thing but my advice would be to start to search for your accommodation as soon as possible. If you are going for the autumn semester it is not enough to search for accommodation in May. Also, join some groups on Facebook for example ''(Your nationality) in Limerick/Ireland'' they are really helpful. 

I was living in an off-campus accommodation in Castletroy for 450 € / month. The prices of off-campus accommodations are fluctuating between 400 and 700 €. On-campus accommodations are a bit more expensive (it is starting at 600 €). The best neighbourhood for living off-campus is Castletroy and Annacotty. You have a Lidl, shopping centre, Dominos, cinema, Starbucks or McDonald's there as well. The bus connections are really good in this area too.

How much does it cost to live in Limerick?

As I said I spend 450 € monthly on accommodation. The living costs are higher than in other European countries. I spend around 30 € on my weekly grocery shopping and 30 € on food, nights out or for transport. The groceries are pretty cheap but be careful with eating out or with buses. It is more expensive than in other countries too. Alcohol is expensive as well (American or non-Irish beers are for 5.5€ in pubs, Guinness is 5€)

Was it easy to get to grips with the language? Did you do a language course with the university?

I didn't have problems with the language. At first, the Irish accent was harder to understand but then I just got too used to it. I wasn't attending any courses connected with English but I'm quite sure that there were some. 

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Limerick?

In the city centre, there are many pubs and clubs worth visiting. My favourite nightclub was Molly's. Usually, these nightclubs are above 16+ or 18+ so keep it in mind. The best pub in the city centre is definitely the Red Hen for me. It has a really good atmosphere and a wide selection of beers. I want to mention also the Hurlers in Castletroy which is a typical Irish pub for students near the campus. 

Do you recommend eating out in Limerick? Can you tell us your favourite places?

There are many opportunities to eat out in the city. My favourite restaurant was Locke Bar which is located close to the City Centre and to the Castle. Also, many restaurants are offering brunches which are really popular especially on Sunday. Places to eat brunch: Hook & Ladder, Story Cafe. For ordering or takeaway, we used Dominos, Just Pizza or Top Pizza which have really nice student deals and discounts. I would also mention a really good Italian Café called Rift. 

Do you have any recommendations of cultural attractions?

In Limerick, there is not as much to see regarding cultural attractions. I would recommend King John's Castle, The Art Gallery, Milk Market or People's Park.

In Ireland, there are many places worth visiting as Galway, Dublin, Aran islands or the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara National Park or Northern Ireland (including Belfast and the Giant Causeway).

Is there any advice that you would like to give future students heading to Limerick?

1) Choose wisely and in time your accommodation. The bus connections are not the best and there can be the case that you are living 1 hour from the Campus which can be really tight and stressful. Neighbourhoods worth living in are Castletroy, Annacotty, Monaleen or UL on-campus student villages. Neighbourhoods better to avoid are College Court (because of constant parties), City Centre, Dooradoyle and Raheen (because of the distance), Moyross and the parts on the other side of Shannon (it can be dangerous). 

2) Use the TFI GO app or Leap Card for travelling by bus. It is definitely cheaper. 

3) Do your groceries in Lidl or Tesco to save money.

4) Go on as many trips as you can. It is definitely worth it to see Ireland's cities and national parks. 

5) Socialise on the first days even if you are not that extrovert. You will find the people who are really similar to you and then with this circle of friends you can travel and gain experiences for the whole semester. 

P.S. The weather in Ireland is not that bad at all! There were many warm days during autumn too. When I arrived it was 25 degrees. In winter, there can be some wind storms which can be dangerous (I experienced one). Winters are mainly warmer than in my country.

Share your Erasmus Experience in Limerick!

If you know Limerick as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Limerick! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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