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 😉