A grand exchange to be sure
Every country and culture has its own unique characteristic and way of speaking and this is one of the many aspects UTS Law student Lachlan Woods is enjoying about his study exchange in Ireland.
In his 4th year of a combined Law and Communications degree, Lachlan chose the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIGalway) because it has a strong reputation in his areas of interest – human rights law and technology law.
He says it’s also a fascinating time to be in this part of the world:
It is an opportune time to be learning about the European Union whilst Ireland's neighbour - the United Kingdom - makes preparations to leave the EU and with their general election looming.
Lachlan has chosen subjects which align with his interests including European Law and IT Law but he admits it’s been a bit of an adjustment because, unlike UTS Law which has a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials, the Galway Uni Law system is completely lecture based:
Also, each subject has only one assessment: a closed-book exam worth the entire marks of the class, which is again a bit of a learning curve.
UTS Law encourages students to take part in an international study exchange to further their knowledge and understanding of the Law and to gain valuable experience and contacts outside of Australia.
Lachlan is already taking advantage of the opportunity to make friends with a broad cross section of students and to travel in Europe.
He says the only downside has been the occasional bout of homesickness:
There are some moments where you think about what your family is up to back home, or when there are big events happening like birthdays that you're missing – but I'm lucky that I received care packages full of Vegemite and Tim Tams from friends, which definitely helps.
Galway is unashamedly a university town. NUI Galway is just a short walk from the city centre and a large proportion of the local population is involved with the university in some capacity. This makes for a vibrant culture.
Often referred to as the 'Capital of Irish culture', Lachlan says it’s certainly living up to its reputation:
It’s very different from other cities in Ireland, including Dublin, because of its emphasis on traditional music, dance, singing and more. There are quaint small pubs where some nights, a band will appear out of nowhere and start playing traditional music – as the locals say, ‘It’s Grand’.
Lachlan returns to UTS early next year.