Tag college

Irish Colleges & Universities – Part II

Ireland is certainly known for Trinity College, but what about one of its other famous universities, Queens University in Belfast?

Gates of Queen’s College

Queens is a short train ride from Dublin to Belfast (a little over two hours). Queens University has a total enrollment of about 25,000 students and was founded in 1845. According to the QS WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS – 2018, Queens ranks in the top 1% of universities globally and is truly a global school. According to their website, they “pride ourselves on giving all students a world-class education; 32% of our full-time, first-degree entrants are from lower socio-economic groups, placing us 1st amongst the UK’s leading universities for widening participation. Our students are making an impact across Belfast, across Northern Ireland and further afield, contributing £297.1m every year to the local economy and harvesting 5,500 active community volunteers. What’s more, our 2,000 international students are helping to create a more inclusive campus and a more diverse city.”

Having visited Queens, I can say that it’s in a fabulous location, right next to the Ulster Museum, a free, accessible, well-planned museum featuring art, history and an exhibit on The Troubles, the decades-long civil conflict Belfast is known for and the inspiration behind many famous songs by U2, the Cranberries, and other Irish artists. There’s also adorable

Delicious hot chocolate at Maggie May’s Belfast Cafe

cafes and study stops dotting the streets, and easy public transit as well. Belfast is a city of history still recovering from The Troubles, but features a truly European education that’s steeped in history and growing diversity.

And, as mentioned in our previous blog post about Trinity College, housing can be a problem for many Irish schools, especially with the influx of international students. Queens is taking the initiative to fix that, recently boasting:

“We’ve added 1,237 new student rooms exclusively for Queen’s students, so you can rest easy living somewhere safe, comfortable and affordable.”

Many students are so locked into the colleges in America that they don’t consider the excellent opportunities abroad. Ireland is unique in that English is still a main language across the country, and features a UK-feel that is distinctly more, well, Irish. Don’t limit your search domestically if you are the kind of student who likes a little adventure! 

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5 Tips for Those Final Campus Visits

It’s almost time for many of you to make one of the biggest decisions of your lives thus far; Where will you decide to go to college?

This next few weeks can be a stressful time as you weigh pros and cons of each college or university to hopefully find one that will be a great fit.

For many students, this is a great time to go visit some of their top choices, either for the first time, or again.

Here are a few helpful reminders to keep in mind during those visits:

1) Making sure your visit was logged in at the admissions office – schools often look at this as a sign of demonstrated instance come application time.

2) Try to introduce yourself to your regional admissions officer and get a business card when there.

3) Ask insightful questions on the tour in a “Goldilocks” fashion: not so many that you take over rudely, not so few that you’re a wallflower, but enough that you seem engaged.

4) Try to make sure those questions are insightful and not easily “Google-able”!

5) When you return home, send a concise but thoughtful thank you note, either by hand or by email, to your regional admissions director. These are the people that are fighting for you!

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