My journey from Dublin to Limerick.

I can clearly remember my arrival to Ireland; it was a cold and rainy night in April 2015. But our adventure started even before then, to be more specific, 4 years ago when my cousin (Elisa, 26) and I had decided to study abroad: to improve our English, travel and be more independent.

The first thing we did was to seek professional help, we went to several exchange agencies, our main option was Australia, but in all of these agencies they showed us the advantages of living and studying in Ireland. Our destination was now Ireland, more specifically, Dublin.

Why Dublin?

We were introduced to a universe of culture, history and art, full of people from everywhere around the world, opportunities and low cost of living. In fact, Dublin is a very lively city that offers great entertainment and fun. But we wanted more…

Why not Dublin?

In Dublin we faced some unexpected problems. The first was finding a house, one of the most stressful moments in our lives. When we finally found it, the price was €700 for a room plus bills (internet and electricity).This meant, we wouldn’t have had money to travel, or enjoy the leisure’s that Dublin had to offer, even our personal expenses would be reduced.

But at least, I could find a job, couldn’t I? I tried incessantly, sending CV’s to hotels, cleaning companies, restaurants and coffee shops, but I didn’t have so much as one interview.

For six month we lived in several different places, including a hostel, we couldn’t find a job and we spent almost all our money. What about the English? We had no complaints about the school, Elisa and I had improved. But with a mind full of worries, we didn’t really give it our best to learn English.

The result; we didn’t have much money left, we didn’t enjoy our exchange program and, our English wasn’t as we had expected. So, what to do next?

A new beginning in Limerick

As I mentioned before, I lived in a hostel and there I met a guy who was the first person to tell me about Limerick, his brother was living here. No doubts that would be our next destination.

On January 18th, another cold and rainy night we arrived in Limerick. For five months, we lived in a student accommodation, individual rooms and bathrooms, finally!

Then we decided to move to the city centre, big apartment with a beautiful view of the Shannon River (price? €650 — THE ENTIRE APARTMENT). Life here was only beginning. In the first week i got a job interview, I didn’t get the job, but many more followed.

Now, eight months later; I’m proud of my English, i have two jobs, a good apartment, friends, and a low cost of living.

Not everything is easy,I am still getting used to the Irish weather, the language barrier and the difficulties of living with different people. Everyday is a new challenge, but I’m glad for all the opportunities that living in Limerick has given to me.

by Denise Rocha

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