Hi Carina! Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come from.
I am from Taijin in China which is a traditional Chinese city with some European influences. It has 6 mil. Citizens so Dublin is nice and cosy in comparison. The biggest tourist attraction is the “Taijin Eye”, a 120 meter high Ferris wheel, much like the London Eye.
Why did you decide to come to Ireland?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing last year and I want to do a Master’s degree in digital marketing in Ireland. However, the language requirements are very high, so I came to Dublin to improve my English and sit the language exam. I chose Ireland over the other possible countries because there are fewer Chinese people here which means I am less tempted to speak Chinese and am motivated to improve my English instead.
How is Ireland different from your country?
The tea and coffee culture here is very different. We do drink tea at home but you would not see so many people just grabbing a cup for take-away. Also, when it comes to alcohol, you are really spoilt for choice when you go into a bar or pub in Dublin. Furthermore, I appreciate the wide variety of food you can get in Dublin. In Taijin only gourmet restaurants would serve foreign cuisines whereas here, I can find affordable – and very tasty – food from all sorts of countries. YUMMY!
Do you want to go travelling?
Yes, but it is difficult with the visa restrictions. I want to first sit my exam and then go on a road trip with my friends around Ireland. Besides that I want to visit some places in Europe such as the Netherlands or go to London to meet up with some friends.
What do you like most about Atlas?
I had some of my best moments in Ireland here in Atlas. My classmates welcomed me so openly to the class that I truly felt integrated and made some great friends. What is more, the teachers are very empathetic and encouraging, taking good care of every student even if you are a bit shy. Since I came here to practice my spoken English, I enjoyed that there are so many different opportunities both, inside the school and during the social activities.
Do you have any tips for new students?
Cherish the opportunity to speak as much as you can, push yourself out of your comfort zone and set yourself high goals. That way you will achieve higher results as well as life-changing personal growth. I would also recommend everyone join all the extracurricular activities right from the beginning. They are ideal opportunities to get to know other students and practice your English outside of the school building.
…and go and meet the deer in Phoenix Park; they are beautiful.