Hello, my name is Van and I started attending in Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland in 2016. Now after three years I just graduated with Distinction and earned myself a Bachelor degree in Culinary Arts. This year I plan on doing one add-on extra year of Honors, a necessary stage if I decide to obtain a Master degree later on.
In 3 years living in Ireland I have experienced a lot. I applied to DKIT because they offered me a scholarship due to my high score in IELTs and great results back in high school. They also offer free accomodation within the scholarship, but if you choose to not stay there, they will support you some money every year to rent outside.
Irish people are very helpful, I have made a lot of friends and lecturers have been helping me a lot along the way. I have done countless presentations and group work, and overcome my fear of socializing as an international student. Now whenever if there is a hard task people will gladly come to me and ask for help and I know I can do the same the other way. To help me acommodate better, there are a lot of societies I can join to make more friends with the same interests. Student life in Ireland is not boring at all, there are so many opportunites and events every week for socializing and to de-stress from all the deadlines. There is also a free gym with excellent facilities for students who are attending.
Apple cake made by Van in a class at DkIT
Made by Van
The college also cares about international student and make sure we got engaged in a lot of events. I participated in a few interviews with the marketing office before as an ambassador because they are curious about Vietnamese students and our lifestyles in Ireland since we are only a minority group here. One thing is also very good is the college has a group of student counselors that will help you through the tough time, they guide you and give you solid advice.
One of the best choices I have made during the time I’m here is when I chose to go to America to spend my intership there. I worked for a 5 stars 4 diamonds resort in Cape Cod and because the college and lecturers helped me a lot along the way, everything turned out to be easy with all the paperwork and procedures. They also were very trustworthy to count on if I ever had any problems with the host company. During 3 years I have always worked part-time outside academic hours to be able to help my parents with finances. Now I am working for Crowne Plaza 4 star hotel franchise and also got promoted recently to a higher rank at work.
A dessert prepared and decorated by Van
Overall I think Ireland, or DKIT specifically is a very promising choice to consider if you are going abroad, and also it is an English speaking country and shares a border with the United Kingdom, everything that I have experienced here meets both EU and UK standard. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunites to expand my career in the EU or UK since I equipped myself with an Irish degree.
Van in her internship in the USA
(*) All photos and the article credit to Nguyen Hong Van.