Sunday, 13 September 2015

Am I still in Palmerston North?

Limerick is so similar to Palmerston North it is like being in the same city, accept the people talk funny.

The campus is outside of the central city.  The grounds are open and green with plenty of trees and outdoor spaces which leads to inevitable jogs through the rain to get from one lecture building to another.  This seems to be a slight flaw by planners when the city, like the rest of Ireland, is known for rain.

Limerick city itself doesn't really offer much in terms of entertainment besides pubs and sport.  But from Limerick it is only a short distance to a number of awesome spots.  I feel like I haven't left the Manawatu.

So far the lectures themselves have barely contained any real content because it's only the first week.  But I have successfully found every lecture building on time so that's a win!

One of the coolest things about Limerick which Massey Palmerston North doesn't really offer is a huge range of clubs and societies that people are actually passionate about.  The recruitment drive in the sports centre was really popular with clubs and societies ranging from equestrian, rugby and hockey to tea appreciation and the international society.  I'm excited to get involved in events offered by the equestrian club and international society this semester.

On Saturday 12 September I went on a trip to the Aran Island's, specifically Inis Oirr the smallest and eastern most of the islands.  The island has been inhabited for more than 5000 years so consequently has a rich natural and cultural heritage.  If you want somewhere quiet, small and beautiful to explore Inis Oirr would be perfect for you, assuming you don't mind a rollercoaster of a ferry ride to reach the island.  The photos below show some of the amazing scenery and also showcase the tendency for the island to witness 4 seasons of weather in one day.

Thursday, 3 September 2015


Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock;
the clock struck one
and down he run;
hickory dickory dock.

It seemed appropriate to post a limerick considering my current location.  I departed New Zealand on July 14th and have finally made it to Limerick, the original reason for coming to Europe at all.  Only took a month and a half.

Compared so some of the other vibrant cities I've encountered on this adventure Limerick is a lot quieter, smaller and due to the continuous cloud cover, a lot more dull.  However the city isn't without a certain sort of charm.

Outside the Hunt Museum are two colourful horse statues. That's a winner in my books with zero effort.

I'm pretty certain every village, town and city in this part of the world is obliged to have at least one architecturally impressive church.  Limerick is no exception.  Multiple church steeples break the landscape around various parts of the city.  I went into the St Mary's Cathedral which has beautiful stained glass windows.  The church was founded in 1168.  Considering Abel Tasman didn't sight New Zealand until 1642, and James Cook didn't visit until 1769 it puts into perspective how young New Zealand really is.

King John's Castle sits alongside the River Shannon.  The site of the castle dates back to when Vikings lived on the island, but the actual castle was built during the reign of King John in the 13th century.

This semester I am living in one of the universities residential villages, Plassey Village.  Move in day made me feel a little sad because everyone was arriving with their families and unpacking their car loads of stuff, similar to how I was in first year in Wellington.  And I arrived by myself in a taxi with my suitcase and backpack. Sigh.

My room set up, ft. NZ pride

Monday of orientation started with a coffee morning with other international students.  I met two girls from the Netherlands and a girl from Canada who I spent to remainder of the day with.  In the afternoon we took the bus provided for international students to the Parkway shopping centre where I purchased a few essential items like a pillow and duvet so I could return the ones Plassey Village had lent to me.

In the evening we went to the campus bar, The Stables Club and had a few ciders to end a good first day at UL.

Orientation week is nice and relaxed here at Limerick University.  International students are given plenty of time to make friends and find their feet in a new university environment, as well as in a new city and country.  So far I've had a great experience.  The people I've been meeting are awesome!  I have roommates from across the world (Canada, Germany, Finland, America and France).  Looking forward to attending some lectures come Monday!