1. When do I register for classes?
This was my biggest concern when leaving for my exchange. The answer is that registration opens the morning of the first day of classes. This was quite the shock to me and definitely caused me a lot of stress, but don’t worry it all works out. The first two weeks you have the opportunity to attend any class that interests you and “shop around” before finalizing your schedule. Also, classes also don’t fill up the way they do at Drexel, so no need to worry about that unless you plan on taking a seminar.
2. Where will I live?
There is a housing crisis in Ireland, so when you get accepted into the program at the University of Galway begin looking for accommodation immediately. I was lucky enough to secure on-campus accommodation at Corrib Village and it has been great. There are also two other on-campus apartment buildings, Dunlin Village and Goldcrest Village, that I have heard good things about. The university also provides recommendations for off-campus housing in their pre-arrival guide for visiting students, so make sure to check that out and get on this as soon as possible.
3. Are there clubs to join at the university?
Yes! There are so many societies and clubs that you can join when studying at the University of Galway. No matter your interests there is definitely a society here for you. I have been to events for the Swiftie Society, Women in STEM Society, Witches Society, Dance Society, and so many more. They are all free to join (however some events may be ticketed) and are a great way to meet new people, explore new interests, and learn more about Irish culture.
4. What are the exams and course loads like?
This definitely depends on the courses you take, but overall I would say the course loads are less intense than my classes at home. Most classes have weekly readings, but no homework that must be submitted for grading. Only one of my courses has continuous assessment, the rest consist of one or two essays, or one comprehensive final exam that makes up the entirety of your grade.
5. How is the public transportation in Galway?
I’ll be honest in saying that the transportation around Galway is okay. Most of the time the bus ride is just as long as if you just plan on walking to your destination. However, being in Galway is great because there are buses that go places outside of the city that run regularly. From Galway you can visits places like Dublin, Limerick, Connemara, and Cork. Also, make sure to get a Student Leap card as soon as you can so you can get half-off all bus fares!