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QU’s Ireland program will never be the same
I was one of the lucky Quinnipiac students that had the opportunity to enjoy the university’s program in Tralee, CO. Kerry Ireland during this past spring semester. At the end of the spring 2006 semester, the Quinnipiac’s program in Ireland will be switching cities from Tralee to the larger Cork.
Tralee is a small city of about 22,000 residents and the capital of County Kerry. Cork is a much larger city with a population of over 120,000 and is also the capital of its respective county of the same name, Cork. The reason for this move is that Quinnipiac has outgrown Tralee and Kilteely House, where students took classes and lived. Quinnipiac is aligning itself with University College Cork (UCC), where students will take any classes offered by the university, and students will live in UCC’s residence halls.
This move now allows all students at Quinnipiac to be able to join the Ireland program. While at Kilteely House, students in health sciences could not go, but with this change they will have the opportunity. All of this is well and good, but moving from Tralee to Cork is going to give students a completely different experience.
The experience students had in Tralee was a completely unique and could only have happened in a small city like Tralee. Students became a part of Tralee and immersed in the way of life there. Living in Tralee for the semester would be comparable to an Irish student living in the suburbs of America. It was an amazing experience becoming a part of the community.
While living at Kilteely House I felt like I became a member of Tralee. I made friends with locals in the community. The moment I knew that I was a part of the community was when I was out at a pub and one of the friends I made spotted me and called me over. That was an amazing feeling, being in a different country and people actually knew who I was.
Tralee is a one of a kind Irish city. As recently as fifteen years ago, Tralee was considered a backcountry meaningless city. It has now become a small metropolitan city unlike any other in Ireland. It is the prefect city for students who want to become a part of a community. That small-city charm will be lost in the move to Cork.
It will be more difficult to feel like a member the community in Cork. I love big cities, but students were not signing up for the Quinnipiac in Ireland program to go to a big city. If they wanted to go to a big city like Cork, Galway or Dublin, students can go independently of the university. The individuality of the program is now lost.
Very few universities are able to offer their students an opportunity to become a member of a community in another country. Now with the changing of venues, Quinnipiac has lost that outlet and can only offer an experience that a student could get independently of the university.
That said, I would still encourage all students to join the program, or any program for that matter. Being in college, and being able to live and study in a foreign country, is an amazing opportunity that no student should pass up.