Food research scholarships available at UCC

Image result for food science ucc

Food Research at University College Cork, Ireland
Lauritzson Research Scholarships

UCC invites applications for the first Lauritzson Research Scholarships which have been established in honour of the late Dr Lauritzson to promote research in food science and food-related disciplines.  These scholarships aim to support students and integrate them into the academic, social and cultural aspects of University College Cork. The scholarships are targeted at high performing students proposing to undertake impactful research, possibly of an inter-disciplinary nature, at the highest level in the broad area of food science under a supervisor or supervision team with significant experience in the area.

Eligibility:

Students who have attained at least at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent) in an appropriate degree are eligible to apply for a PhD or MSc Research degree at UCC.   The scholarship consists of student stipend of €16,000 and €12,000 towards tuition fees and laboratory consumables. The scholarship is tenable for two or four years, depending on the course of study (i.e. MSc or PhD).

Applications should be inspired by the values/ethos of the sponsorship programme, which in turn reflect those of Dr Torre Lauritzson whose interest was in food research that had an impact on industry. He was passionate in his desire to increase educational standards and to see research applied for the betterment of society. Please see biography of Dr Lauritzson below. His name is synonymous with innovation and he took immense pleasure in taking an idea, developing it, improving it and successfully bringing it to the market. These successes were evident in areas of high technical demands as well as those with strong marketing requirements.

Prospective applicants are advised to consult with the Head of relevant School/Department and with the proposed supervisor to discuss their area of research prior to making an application to the Lauritzson Food Research Scholarship programme. Students should also apply for their PhD/MSc via the online Postgraduate Application Centre (www.pac.ie) prior to applying for this scholarship, as this forms part of the selection criteria.

Terms & Conditions:

Students must have attained at least at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent) in an appropriate degree, and be pursuing a research programme in a food related discipline.

The Lauritzson Research Scholarships will have a value of €28,000 per annum, tenable for two or four academic years (depending on whether the successful applicant is pursuing a MSc or PhD) and includes a student bursary of €16,000 per annum, tuition fees and a budget for laboratory consumables to support the student’s research.

Prospective scholars must have applied for their research programme via the online Postgraduate Application Centre (www.pac.ie) prior to applying for this scholarship and are advised to do so at least 2 months in advance of the desired start date of 1st October. Students must also provide written confirmation of support from a proposed supervisor.

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of their PAC and scholarship applications in the first instance, and may be called to interview, if required.  Two references, at least one academic, are also required.

Students may not be in receipt of any other scholarship funding.

For more detailed information on the regulations for UCC research degrees, please refer to: http://www.ucc.ie/academic/postgraduate/calendar/.

APPLICATION FORM

The Lauritzson Scholarship Application Form is available here.

The student selection will be at the discretion of the Lauritzson Research Scholarships Selection Committee to be established at UCC. The Committee will be comprise

  • the Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science or his/her nominee
  • a representative from the Lauritzson Foundation
  • a representative from the UCC Development Office
  • two members of the Food Strategy Group to be rotated on an annual basis and to include at least one Head of School

The committee will meet at least once a year and as deemed necessary.

Successful applicants must confirm their intention to take up the Scholarship within ten days of notification and if necessary, arrange visa requirements via the International Education Office, UCC.

Academic staff can only supervise or co-supervise one student funded under this scheme at any one time.

University College Cork will endeavour to provide teaching/demonstrating opportunities for the research student when appropriate. Should a teaching/demonstrating opportunity be arranged by the University, the recipient will provide teaching and examining (if required) in an area reasonably compatible with his/her expertise, and for a number of hours (to a maximum of three per week) as agreed by the University, the recipient and the recipient’s Supervisor at UCC.

Evaluation of applications

Evaluation of applications will take into account (a) the details provided through the PAC application and (b) the merits of the applicant with particular focus on the impact, quality, feasibility and relevance of the proposed project.

Selection of successful applicants for shortlisting on the basis of the materials supplied will be made by the Lauritzson Research Scholarships Committee. This Committee (or a subset of the Committee) will conduct interviews if required.

The award of the Lauritzson Research Scholarship will take place only if the Committee is satisfied that there is a candidate of sufficient merit.

Reporting

Recipients of the Lauritzson Scholarship and his/her supervisor at the UCC must submit reports as outlined below to the Lauritzson Research Scholarship Committee. If the progress reports are deemed unsatisfactory, the scholarship may be terminated:

MSc programme: Two reports, one after 12 months, and a second at the end of the programme

PhD programme: Four reports, at the end of each year (1-3) and on completion of PhD

Referees

Applicants are required to submit two references along with the application form and personal statement. If you graduated within the last five years, at least one of these references should be from a lecturer or tutor. Applicants who have graduated more than five years ago or who may be coming from a non-academic background should provide references from an employer or another appropriate individual who can comment on academic ability. References from relatives or friends will not be accepted.

Dr Torre Lauritzson 1913-1984

Torre Lauritzson was a man of many parts, a man with many hats. Throughout his life he donned and doffed his many hats and played his many parts as the technical need arose, as his vision dictated, as a business opportunity presented itself. The one part he never relinquished, the drive that never diminished throughout his life was his entrepreneurial core. Torre took immense pleasure in taking an idea, developing it, improving it, taking it to the market and earning profit from it. He achieved success in areas with high technical demands and in areas with strong marketing requirements both with equal facility.

Torre Lauritzson graduated from Stockholm University in 1936 with an MSc in Chemical Engineering. He joined the Swedish Sugar Co. that same year, and there donned his inventor’s hat, developing and patenting new methods for improving sugar yields. In 1941 he left the sugar industry to join Findus AB which later became part of the Nestle Group. There he donned his food chemist and innovator’s hat and developed for Findus a wide range of convenience food dishes. The need to improve quality and extend shelf life became paramount so in 1946/47 Torre went to the US on a 6 month study tour. While on that tour Torre met with Clarence Birdseye, the father of the modern frozen food industry.

During his visit to the US Torre became convinced of the essential role of the refrigerated warehouse/freezing facility in the future growth of the convenience/frozen food industry. He returned to Sweden and in 1948 left Findus, donned his pioneer’s hat and founded a company that in time became Frigoscandia AB a worldwide refrigerated warehousing group. Allied to the development of the warehousing network Torre, putting on his chemical engineering hat, founded Frigoscandia Contracting AB which became perhaps the most significant refrigeration engineering company in the world. Located in Helsingborg, Sweden the company developed many of the in-line freezers used in modern frozen food production lines all over the globe. Among the freezers developed were the FloFreeze, GyroFreeze, CartoFreeze and PelloFreeze. Frigoscandia Contracting also developed the FrigoPanel used in the building of refrigerated warehouses worldwide.

In the research laboratories in Helsingborg, with Torre’s help and guidance, was developed a comprehensive data base dealing with the chilling, freezing, thawing, conditioning, handling and storage of a wide range of food products ranging from prime raw materials to consumer ready prepared dishes.

In the 1970’s Torre again donned his innovation hat and drove the design and development of the “Mobile Freezer” concept. This enabled a freezing source to be taken directly to the point of harvesting, the field, the quayside, the orchard. Torre firmly believed that “catching” the product as early as possible was the key to reducing the yield losses, slowing down the deterioration process, improving the quality of the raw material going to the production line and thereby improving the final product going to the consumer. A mobile freezing service helped in the search for that quality.

The hat that Torre donned most often was his entrepreneur’s one. Torre was first and foremost a businessman, an ideas man. He relished the process of taking an idea, developing it through the technical phases and then successfully to market. Apart altogether from his worldwide success in the refrigeration warehousing and contracting business Torre Lauritzson owned the biggest egg producer in Sweden. He developed an apparatus to make lawn fertilizer pellets from poultry manure. He was a fruit farmer, a restaurateur, a pub owner, a meat plant owner. He developed a successful hamburger business.

Torre Lauritzson visited Ireland in the early 1960’s. He was impressed with the potential of the agri-sector and believed Ireland could develop into the “Food Larder” of Europe. In 1967 he built his first refrigerated warehouse in Midleton, Co. Cork which became the nucleus of the NCS Group. Torre died in 1984 and bequeathed his Irish assets to the Lauritzson Foundation to be used for the benefit of Ireland and in particular the improvement in job opportunities through education.

Torre Lauritzson’s contribution to the development of food freezing, handling and storage know how was remarkable. He saw the industry as a vital link in getting harvested product, vegetable, animal or marine from the point of production to the final consumer in as optimum a condition as possible. He believed in, supported and funded research which had innovative and practical applications as this brief account of his achievements demonstrates. He was truly the founding father of the modern European Temperature Controlled industry. Indeed a remarkable man.

 

 

It’s time to take a shortcut

By Anthony Kiely, PhD, UCC

Picture the scene. You’re in the pub with your friends and you’ve gotten a drink from the bar. You’re eager to get back to them but also very conscious of spilling your drink. You want to go at a goldilocks speed. Not too fast, not too slow. You don’t want to spill your drink, but you don’t want to walk at a snail’s pace and miss all the fun either.

So what do you do? You realise you could tilt the glass back and forth as you walk to counteract for the sloshing motion the liquid gets as you walk. You might look like you’ve drank more than you have, but you’ll get there much faster than a snail and won’t spill anything.

As you might have already guessed, moving drinks around isn’t exactly what I research. I work in theoretical quantum physics which describes objects at very small scales such as atoms and molecules. We find that things like atoms often behave much more like waves (like the sloshing water in the glass), than solid particles. Recently there has been a lot of interest in controlling individual atoms, which has been part of what I work on.

So what would be the most basic thing you could do with an atom? You could confine it (i.e. put it in a “glass”) and move it from one place to another. Ideally this would be done without it spilling out of the “glass” or taking a long time to get to its destination.

There are two options to achieve this. You could either move the atom very slowly (or adiabatically) so you don’t “spill” it. Alternatively you could do an analogous complicated tilting back and forth of the “glass” known as a shortcut to adiabaticity. These shortcuts were the topic of my Ph.D. research.

I used these shortcut methods to design a fast way to create an array of cold atoms which behave like vortices. In our water analogy, a vortex is a lot like the whirlpool you get when you pull the plug in a bathtub. These were created by shaking the “glass” the atoms were in back and forth in just the right way to create the circular motion of a vortex. This arrangement of atoms is useful for simulating complicated materials, such as transition metal oxides. This is because the behaviour of the atoms in an egg crate shaped “glass” can be shown to be very similar to how bound electrons in solids behave. However cold atoms are much easier to control and image.

It is predicted that many technologies which exploit the wavelike behaviour of atoms will emerge in the near future. The European Union will launch a flagship program in quantum technologies worth 1 billion euros in 2018. Companies such as Google, Microsoft and IBM are also getting in on the act, so expect to hear much more quantum physics in the news!

Link to journal article.

PhD student poster competition

POSTER COMPETITION FOR POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENTS

Prize: Win a funded workshop place (travel and accommodation).

Workshop: The Worldwide Universities Network funded collaboration ‘Exploring the health experiences of children who migrate’ is holding a workshop from 11 to 13 September 2017 in Sheffield. Enter the poster competition to win a funded place.

Deadline: Friday 28th April 2017.

Eligibility: Open to all Irish postgraduate PhD students.

Enter: Send entry as a pdf file to Jill.thompson@sheffield.ac.uk

The World University Network funded collaboration ‘Exploring the health experiences of children who migrate’ is holding a workshop 11th – 13th September 2017.

This three-day event will bring together the network partners who are International experts in the fields of migration, childhood and family studies and health services research.

We are holding a ‘poster competition’ for postgraduate researchers worldwide to showcase their work at the intersections of childhood, migration and health. The competition winner will be provided with a fully funded place at the workshop (travel and accommodation).

To enter you need to design a research poster that showcases work that you have undertaken or are currently undertaking at the intersections of childhood, migration and health. Your poster should be submitted as a PDF to Jill.thompson@sheffield.ac.uk by Friday 28th April 2017.

All entries will be included in a virtual poster display on the network website and the winning entry will be announced on Friday 12th May 2017.

Workshops for Postgraduate Research Students January 2017

Guest Workshops for Postgraduate Research Students

January 23rd and 24th 2017

The Graduate Studies Office is delighted to offer a series of workshops for research students facilitated by Hugh Kearns of Flinders University, Australia. Hugh regularly lectures at universities across the world and will join us in Cork for two days before delivering workshops at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford.

Details for the five workshops below along and early sign-up is advised as places are limited. You are encouraged to attend one or more workshops.


Monday 23rd January
9.30am to 12.30pm
The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Student
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21
           

What do research students do to finish on time, to overcome isolation, doubt and writer’s block, and to enjoy the process? And just as importantly what do they do in order to spend guilt-free time with their family and friends and perhaps even have holidays? If this sounds appealing, then this session will be of particular use to you. This workshop describes the key habits that our research and experience with thousands of students shows will make a difference to how quickly and easily you complete your thesis. Just as importantly, these habits can greatly reduce the stress and increase the pleasure involved in completing a research programme. The workshop helps you to understand how to increase your effectiveness and outcomes in the following key areas:

  • Dealing with your Supervisor
  • Structuring your study time
  • Dealing with writer’s block or having difficulty writing
  • Getting the help you need when you are stuck

To sign up to the Seven Secrets Workshop click here

Monday 23rd January
1pm to 2pm   

The Imposter Syndrome – Why successful people often feel like frauds
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

How can it be that so many clever, competent and capable people can feel that they are just one step away from being exposed as a complete fraud? Despite evidence that they are performing well they can still have that lurking fear that at any moment someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and say “We need to have a chat”. The session will explain why high performing people often doubt their abilities and find it hard to enjoy their successes. It will also show the links to perfectionism and self-handicapping strategies such as procrastination, avoidance and over-commitment. At the end of the session you will:

  • know what the latest psychological research tells us about the imposter syndrome is and how it operates
  • realise how widespread imposter feelings are and why highly successful people can feel like frauds
  • be aware of evidence-based strategies that reduce imposter feelings

To sign up to The Imposter Syndrome Workshop click here

Monday 23rd January
2.30pm to 5pm
Creative Tools You can Use
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.21

This workshop will explain how you can use a range of creative thinking tools in your research. It will cover brainstorming, idea mapping, six thinking hats, lateral thinking and more. These tools will allow you to look at problems differently, seek creative solutions and have fun. This workshop will be hands-on so you will have the chance to try out these tools and see how you could apply them in your role.

To sign up to The Creative Tools Workshop click here

Tuesday 24th January
9.30am to 12.30pm
The Balanced Researcher
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room 1.22

So you’re a researcher. Chances are then that you are pretty busy. Firstly there’s your research. Writing proposals. Getting ethics approval. Dealing with the paperwork. Meetings. Applying for grants. Getting grants and then managing the money and the people. Writing reports. And that’s all before you even get to the actual research. Then there’s papers to write, rejection letters to deal with and conferences to attend. And for most people research is just one of the things you do. You might teach or tutor, run demonstrations, or manage a unit or even have another completely different job. And that’s just work. No matter how much you enjoy your research it’s a fair bet that there are other parts to your life too. For example you probably have a family or friends, you may have social commitments and you may even have some personal interests. This workshop will describe the most useful strategies that thousands of researchers have found helpful in balancing the many demands on their time.

To sign up to The Balanced Researcher Workshop click here

Tuesday 24th January
2pm to 5pm
Turbocharge Your Writing
Brookfield Health Sciences Complex Room G.02

Would you like to know the secret to high output, low stress scholarly writing? In academia it is often assumed that writing comes naturally. However, an overwhelming body of research shows that there are very clear and practical strategies that can greatly increase your writing productivity. This workshop will help you to understand:

  • why it is hard to get started
  • how we deliberately use distractions to slow down writing
  • the principles of quick starting
  • how to deal with destructive internal beliefs
  • how to set a writing plan and stick to it
  • how to set achievable goals by writing in a silo
  • how to greatly increase the number of actual words you produce
  • how to clarify your thinking, and improve the quality of your work

To sign up to The Turbocharge Your Writing Workshop click here

 

UCC wins FIVE awards at gradireland Higher Education Awards

fivewinners

UCC is delighted to announce it received five awards at the gradireland Higher Education Awards held last night in Dublin. A huge congratulations to all staff involved In this massive success for UCC. Winners listed below with comments from the judges.

Winners

Masters in Youth Work with Community Arts and Sports Studies
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Arts & Humanities award
“Clear evidence of the effectiveness and impact of this programme on career development. Excellent interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as innovative tie-ins with relevant external communities. Creative use of music as a medium to develop key skills including communication, all backed up with good stats.”

MSc Corporate Finance
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Business, Finance & Management award
100% employment rate – very strong. The consultancy project is an excellent way to build industry relationships and get real work experience. Equally the mentor week is invaluable to get industry insights and build networks.”

MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance (ISBP)
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Computer Science & IT award
“This course has remarkable career progression statistics and an enviable track record in securing national and international funding for research. The high demand for graduates of the course from industry makes it a compelling offering!”

MEngSc Information technology in Architecture, Engineering and Construction Postgraduate Course of the Year – Engineering award
“The strong national and international reputation of this course among both students and employers is striking. Over 10 years the course has developed numerous innovative characteristics, particularly in teaching and learning methodologies.”

MSc in Clinical Pharmacy
Postgraduate Course of the Year – Health Sciences award
“This is a very well designed course with strong feedback, clear outputs and an excellent employment record. Good to see innovation in course design to acknowledge the need for work/life balance, providing training in time-management and stress management.”

 

UCC Graduate, Saba Loftus, Director Head of International Policy & Stockholm Food Forum speaks at UCC

Image copyright http://eatforum.org/

Image copyright http://eatforum.org/

What: MSc International Public policy and Diplomacy lecture series

When: 13:00-15:00 on Monday, the 28th of November 2016

Who: Ms Saba Loftus  (Director Head of International Policy & Stockholm Food Forum)

Where: C_CONN_C (Connolly Building UCC – campus map)

Saba started her career working for the private sector (Amazon.com) before moving to Guyana as ONF International’s Chargée de Mission for a REDD+ technical cooperation project in the Guiana Shield EcoRegion. After her time with ONF International, as an Associate Programme Officer for the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) facilitating civil society engagement with the UN and a Programme Officer for Global Policy Watch. Her achievements include contributing to publications such as “Fit for whose purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations” and editing UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook 5 for Youth.

In parallel with her career, Saba also held a number of youth leadership roles including as Communications Director for the International Youth Council (elected) and Rio+Twenties (Belgium based NGO). She also served as Organising Partner for the UN Major Group of Children and Youth constituency, coordinating policy advocacy capacity building and engagement with Rio+20 / & the Post-2015 negotiation processes leading to Agenda 2030.

Why I came back to UCC to do my Postgrad

By: Tara Horgan who starts the MSc Information Systems Risk Management this September.

 

What did I like best about being an undergrad at UCC?

Imagine it’s a hot summer’s day, you’re sweating, in an uncomfortable suit, looking out the window longingly at the people passing by the office window with an ice cream in their hands. Drip. Drip. Drip. You look back at your computer screen at the excel spreadsheets sprawled across the pixelated piece of technology in front you, when all you want to do is reach out and catch, even an individual drop of, melted, ice cream on your tongue so as not to let it go to waste. You look around the office and see what your future holds. So many people that have been sucked into the corporate lifestyle of glitz, glam and suits on false promises that all your dreams will come true. But how can they guarantee that? There are no guarantees in life.

Being an undergraduate student in UCC gave me the freedom to do what I want, when I want and how I want. I had the choice of what way in life I wanted to go and the help surrounding me at times was overwhelming. It wasn’t a question of “do I have someone to ask for help?”, it was a question of “who will I ask for help first?”. Whether it was my mom, a lecturer, a tutor, a friend or another student from my class, there was always someone to turn to when a problem arose. UCC enabled me to go into the world after university with choices, not a single, determined, path.

I chose a path after my undergraduate degree that may be the right one for me later in life, but not right now. It wasn’t the right choice at the right time. UCC was willing to take me back and embrace me upon my return. UCC is a land of endless opportunities. All you have to do is jump. If it doesn’t work out, someone will catch you.

Everyone in life needs a leg up every once in a while. Whether UCC was where you chose to study your undergraduate degree or not, UCC will help you get to where you want to get to next. Who knows where I’ll end up after my Masters, I may, or may not, go on to do a Doctorate, if UCC will have me, but right now I’m not in the least bit worried about it!

 

UCC and the full meaning of the present life

By: Úna Hennessy who starts the MA in Creative Writing this September.

American thinker John Dewey once wrote:

“Cease conceiving of education as mere preparation for later life, and make it the full meaning of the present life.'”

UCC for me embodies this. When studying English and French for my undergrad, I not only received a top-class education in the traditional sense, but grew, learned and matured in ways that I didn’t expect. From reading mind-blowing novels recommended by class-mates in the President’s garden, to experiencing the warmth of community of the music societies at open-mic nights, there were endless opportunities to exploit during my college years.

I had lecturers who had open-door policies for students, welcoming all to chat or debate, despite their busy schedules, and whose enthusiasm was contagious. I met fascinating students from around the world, and made friends for life. Although I had a huge amount of fun in college, it was of course daunting and challenging, especially coming straight from secondary school, where rote-learning is key to success. Luckily there were supports for students to make the transition to thinking critically, and to writing well-researched essays and annotating correctly etc.

I was delighted to be accepted onto the Creative Writing MA programme this year. It was easy to choose UCC for my postgrad, having heard great things about the course, and having experienced first-hand the expertise of its lecturers in the school of English. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the coursework, as well as making use of the membership to the Mardyke pool (and sauna!) as well as meeting the other MA students. College is such a social place, and UCC is big enough that you can meet loads of people, but at the same time small enough that it still feels like a community.

Over the years, Cork has become home. I love the people, the ease of accessing the city and campus, the food, the pubs, the galleries and venues. UCC holds a lot of memories for me, and I can’t wait to be back there!

 

Back to UCC, back to self-improvement

By: Daniel Lynch who starts the MA in Irish Writing and Film this September.

When I first entered the grounds of University College Cork as an undergraduate, I could not help but feel elated and perhaps somewhat overwhelmed at the buzzing potential. I questioned whether I could adapt from secondary education to tertiary and whether I would ever find my way around the ORB! Three years later I would be happy to confirm my gut feeling that day; attending UCC was the best decision I ever made.

First and foremost you are attending university for your piece of paper, and at UCC you will receive a stellar standard of education. I primarily decided to return for my MA in Irish Writing and Film because of the impression left upon me by superb lecturers. This trend carries across different disciplines, and the friends I made along the way from Engineering to Medicine will attest the same.

The facilities available to students in UCC are second to none. If you are at crunch time for essay deadlines there are a multitude of computer rooms available. UCC’s library is exceptional with a helpful staff and also doubles as a wonderful study location. Everyone has ‘their spot’ in UCC, and I cannot wait to return to mine this semester!

Perhaps the biggest memory from my undergraduate degree however belongs to the friends I made along the way. I recently attended the wedding of two friends I made in UCC, and returning to the Honan Chapel last year gave me a wonderful sense of joy and pride in my alma mater.

There is no shortage of friendliness on campus and joining a society or club is the quickest way of meeting new people. Everyone who graduates UCC will have their own special memories of a play they acted in for Dramat, an article they wrote for the Express or even the nice cups of tea they had with the Tea Society!

Personally, as an undergraduate I became Editor-in-chief of the college paper and can attest it had a huge effect on my career choice. To this day some of my closest friendships were forged over frayed nerves editing at two in the morning to meet a deadline!

For budding athletes who go on to represent their country or plucky amateurs who like the idea of trying their hand at fencing, UCC’s Clubs have something for everyone. The Mardyke Arena offers world-class training facilities, and as someone who went in completely ignorant of how to use the equipment, I appreciated greatly the staff’s patience!

Why return to UCC? The defining quality of UCC is self-improvement, a continued search for knowledge, and new experiences. Addressing the proud students when I first graduated, President Dr. Michael Murphy stated he hoped that it was not the end of our education. He stressed the need to seize opportunities and always try to improve oneself, as education is a lifelong goal and one that should never end.

UCC here I come! Let the adventure begin!

By: Nadia Eckmann who starts the MA in Contemporary Religions this September.

I really can´t believe it. I will start my postgraduate course at UCC soon and I feel that my whole life is changing again massively. Changing again? You may find yourself asking: Why? Well, in the last year I´ve been working with the Irish organization, Friends of the Elderly, doing a European Voluntary Service in Dublin. Originally I’m from overseas, my home country is Germany. During this one year living and working in Dublin I got to know and love Ireland, the culture and the people. Working with the elderly for a year meant a lot to me and after finishing my undergraduate studies in Germany it was great to take a break from university for a year and to support elderly people in need. Due to this experience, new opportunities opened up for me. And I was sure: I wanted to stay and I wanted to study. But I also wanted to explore a new part of Ireland and meet new people. So I applied at UCC and here I am, starting my MA in a few weeks’ time. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been saying lots of “Goodbyes” to different people and to the elderly I worked with for a year. This really wasn’t easy for me. Now I’m back in Germany for a couple of weeks, meeting friends and family and then saying “Goodbye” again. In fact coming home to Germany is like making holidays for me and my “real” life is waiting for me… in Ireland. Being home also means a lot of preparing and organizing to start my studies at UCC. So at the moment, in a way, my life takes place in two countries and that makes it even harder to think about which items from home will be making the journey with me. Well, of course there will be lots of small items like clothes, books, lots of German bread (even after living in Ireland for a year I really can´t get used to the sandwich bread the Irish use) and of course I will take with me all the good memories from my previous experiences in Dublin and from family and friends here in Germany. But also there is going to be one really big object with me: my car will be brought over with the ferry.

This will allow me to get to and from the college, driving around Cork City and (that’s what I’m so much looking forward to) exploring the beautiful coastline of County Cork. So studying and traveling – that’s going to be my main goals for the upcoming year and I’m already preparing for both: reading the Book of Modules, making my mind up about a focus within my studies and also printing out different routes, “Must-Sees”, attractions and beautiful places of County Cork! I think the adventure can begin – as soon as I get used to driving my car on the left side of the road of course 😉