I am often asked the question: Why did you choose to study at National University of Ireland, Maynooth? Honestly, the answer is process of elimination. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to study abroad through IFSA-Butler in an English speaking country in Europe. This narrowed down my choices to England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The next decision I had to make was when I wanted to return to school. Butler’s winter break officially began December 21, which was a week later than in previous years. Some of the universities that I was interested in started their spring semester as early as December 31. I felt I wouldn’t have enough time to adequately prepare to study abroad in ten days (the extended winter break was also an added bonus!), so the start date of the program influenced my decision as well . The last and most important thing I needed to consider was the required classes I needed to take this semester for my major, Physician Assistant. Ultimately, NUIM ended up being the only university that would transfer the credits I needed back to Butler. This is how I decided to study abroad at NUIM and I am glad I did!
NUIM has a remarkable reputation for academic excellence, excelling in the sciences and humanities. Additionally, this university is in the perfect location. NUIM is located in a charming university town that is only 15 miles west of Dublin. Everything is very accessible in Maynooth and within walking distance, which is great for those who don’t have access to a car (like me!). However, when you want to go into the big city, it’s only a 45 minute bus ride away. NUIM is split into North Campus and South Campus, which combines the contemporary with the historical. North Campus has state of the art teaching facilities and modern research institutes, while South Campus houses the beautiful historic buildings that date back to the eighteenth century.
However, my favorite thing about NUIM is the social life. Even though Maynooth is a relatively small town, there is always something going on. I joined several clubs and societies at NUIM. I am in Banter, Rovers, Kickboxing and International society, which keeps me plenty busy. Last Tuesday I went to BJ’s in your PJ’s (don’t worry, BJ stands for Ben and Jerry’s), which was hosted by Banter society. Several international students and I walked to the event in our pajamas. I was initially planning on spending an hour at the event, but I ended up chatting with other members in the society and eating ice cream for four hours. It is the little things like that that are making my college experience here truly amazing.
The people are so friendly and welcoming, which makes the atmosphere uniquely personal here. One moment somebody is a stranger and the next moment you’re talking like you have known each other for years. Maynooth is a home away from home.