The first week of modules (classes) are finished! Here they call classes modules, and it’s definitely interesting to try and navigate your way around the buildings, especially the main building. The building is split up into blocks, and this is where it doesn’t sound confusing, but it gets a bit confusing. If you have a module in Block B room B1023, enter the building doors right by the slopes (I’ll post pictures tomorrow so that you can see what I’m talking about) and walk walk up the white staircase on your right. Then go to the closest stairwell and walk up until you find the map hat shows ‘Block B’ with an arrow pointing towards the double doors. Once you see that, go up one more flight of stairs where you will reach Level 1. Once you see the map that says Level 1, you have successfully found the floor you need. Now you have to figure out which way B1023 is. Go through the double doors, turn right, then turn left down a small-ish hallway, then turn right again. You walk through 2 sets of double doors, walk through the cafeteria (Red Raisins), walk straight through the first set of double doors, then take an immediate right through those double doors, and you’re at B1023 (Jonathan Swift Theatre). If you go through Red Raisins at least three times, then you have successfully figured out how to get to room B1023. Even if you ask other people where B1023 is, some of them have no clue. So… Sometimes you just have to walk around aimlessly until you find the room you’re looking for. On top of that, you have to make sure that the module you’ve selected isn’t completely over your head. Also, some of your modules are twice a week but in different buildings and/or rooms. After you have successfully selected classes and learned where they are, you need to figure out how to schedule your tutorials and then find where those are as well. Lecturers don’t normally give you assignments to do and turn in in class, tutorials are where they are turned in and assigned.
That’s just the main building. There’s still the rest of campus you have to figure out, which I am still trying to do. Now most of your modules will be on the main campus and you won’t have to cross The Living Bridge (which is a bridge that moves up and down a bit when there are enough people walking on it) over the Shannon River, which takes you to the other part of campus where the medical and music students attend modules. The campus is magnificently bigger than McKendree and the University is in two different Counties, so you can imagine how it can be hard finding modules and such. I think I almost have it one-fourth of the way figured out.
During the weekends you’re kind of on your own. The Irish students normally go home on the weekends, and this is when most Erasmus (study abroad) students go traveling. If you’re lucky you’ll meet other Erasmus students at events (including International Night, which is every Friday on campus) and then make some travel plans with them for the weekends and Spring Break. Meeting other Erasmus students isn’t as hard as you think, either. There is at least one other person in each of your modules that is an Erasmus student. Meeting people in general isn’t too hard to do, even if you think you’re terrible at it. Now I know those of you reading this and who know me well are thinking “Hard for you to meet people? Never! You’re so personable and outgoing! You could talk to anyone!!” trust me, I know. I have had my insecurities about meeting people, but then I remember those of you who say “Morgan Roscow? Yes, she’s awesome, endearing, three-sixteenths attractive, personable, hilarious, and so easy to talk to!” and all of my insecurities instantly disappear! Mainly because in the almost two weeks that I’ve been here, I have met many people and they were all very nice to be around and talk to, and at least 3 people have laughed at my jokes. More pictures will be up soon!!