Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, but can also be a daunting prospect for students. It’s perfectly natural to have mixed feelings about your new home and about settling into life in Galway. You may be anxious about overcoming language barriers, or moving away from your family and friends for the first time. While there will be challenges, ultimately your time abroad will make you more mature. You’ll leave Galway with memories of a lifetime! (Or, like many of our students, you may decide to make Galway your forever home!)
What are Galwegians like?
Galwegians are known for their friendliness and openness to newcomers. Galway is regularly voted one of the friendliest cities in the world, so you will soon feel right at home. Plus, the city always has a buzzing atmosphere thanks to all the festivals and cultural events during the year. These events offer great opportunities not only to attend entertaining shows but to also get involved as a volunteer. Keep an eye on our blog for more information to come about volunteering!
One of the best things about moving abroad is that it allows you to make a fresh start. You can decide to be whoever you want to be, because nobody from your country is here to influence you. This is a time to foster a capacity to think for yourself. It’s the perfect opportunity to try new things that you were too shy or too busy to do at home. Why not start a new sport or sign up for volunteering?
Improving your English
To improve your English and create fun memories, it’s important that you socialise with your school friends and your co-workers. If you’re studying with your partner or friend, make an effort to meet new people so you don’t speak your native language all the time. We have a social activities programme so you can encounter students from different countries to practise your English with.
Forging new friendships is important for the development of your spoken English skills. Don’t be shy about making mistakes in front of other students or native speakers. Making mistakes is how we learn! Most Irish people don’t speak any foreign languages so they are probably very thankful that you are speaking their language!
Always keep in mind how you feel when non – native speakers communicate with you in your own country. You would be patient and understand that they are immersed in a new culture and learning new things every day. The most important thing is that you communicate your message, not that you say everything perfectly. If you encounter someone who is impatient, don’t be disheartened. Just focus on the progress that you have made so far. Sometimes you won’t even fully appreciate how much your English has improved until you leave Ireland!
Taking Advantage of New Opportunities
You can make your time as a student in Galway a time of reflection and personal growth. You can take this time to re-evaluate your goals, both academic and personal. With willpower, determination and help from teachers and school staff, you can take manageable and effective steps towards your goals. It’s important to share your worries and concerns with other students because they are in the exact same situation and can offer advice. We are always here in the office if you have any doubts about which path you should take. Our student support officer is here any time you need to consult them about your course or visa.
Really take advantage of this time in Galway to consider how you want to proceed. During their time with us, students often discover new passions or explore options for further study in Ireland or even further afield. You have the time to dedicate considerable thought, time, and effort to designing some goals that truly mean something to you. Remember to remain open to previously unknown options and allow your path to meander.
If you ever doubt your decision to start your new life in Galway, just remember that it’s perfectly natural to have ups and downs. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to move there in the first place. We are going to share plenty of tips for thriving in Galway in future blog posts. Remember to keep an eye on Facebook for updates, especially our upcoming post about how to deal with homesickness!