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2 posts from March 2018

03/20/2018

“Let’s stay further outside the city; it’ll be cheaper!”

By Madison McLaughlin 

Ah, the infamous words of a study abroad student trying to save money. Upon our arrival to Dublin, my friends and I began planning trips, both domestically and internationally, in a frenzy. We wanted to get as many weekends booked as we could to make the most of our study abroad experience. We hit the ground running and toured Ireland for our first few weekends, staying in spacious airbnbs in both Cork and Galway.

 

When initially looking at accommodation options, it is only natural that a college student’s eyes gravitate towards those with the lowest prices. However, with lower costs comes a greater distance. This may sound great at first because after all, you are saving money, right? Well, not exactly.

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We quickly learned that though nicer accommodations existed further outside city centers at a reasonable price, we would pay the price in transportation fees. Even though we could use our leap cards in other Irish cities besides Dublin, we found that bus stops outside other city centers were not as prominent, not to mention they do not always run at the most convenient times. We ended up calling several taxis because, of course, we wanted to be in the city center during the day and then once again at night. Though we had four people to split fares, our methods of transportation ended up being much pricier than we expected.

 

In retrospect, paying the extra ten or twenty euro to stay closer to city centers is DEFINITELY worth it. For what we ended up spending in both taxi and bus fares to and from our accommodations, we could have stayed in a location much closer, and saved a lot of stress running back and forth. Though we will continue to look for ways to save money, location is one thing we have come to splurge a little more on when traveling. A walk to restaurants and pubs is a much better option than pre-booking taxis and trying to schedule bus routes – save yourself the trouble (and money)!

 

Despite our slight travel frustrations, we had wonderful weekends in both Cork and Galway. Cork had many more shopping options, but nothing beats the cobblestone streets of Galway strung with lights in every direction, not to mention its proximity to the Cliffs of Moher. My friends and I were incredibly lucky on our visit to the cliffs, as it was one of the sunniest days I have yet to see in Ireland. The bar has been set pretty high!


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03/09/2018

Tips for Making your GNIB/INIS Appointment

By Elise Bauernfiend

 

If you’re studying in Ireland for more than 90 days, you’ll need to register with Irish Immigration Authorities, known as INIS. While this can seem intimidating, it’s not difficult if you know what to do. Here are the tips that helped my appointment go smoothly.

 

 

  • Make and appointment well in advance

 

I made my appointment about two and a half months before the appointment actually happened, and I still got one of the only spots left of the INIS website. Appointments are limited and can only be made on the INIS website, so make sure you get your appointment early.

 

 

  • Read the INIS website thoroughly so you know exactly what to bring

 

INIS has very specific requirements about what you need to bring to your appointment. Read the list carefully at least a couple weeks in advance of your appointment so you have time to get all the required documents.

 

 

  • Bring all the required materials with you to your appointment, ESPECIALLY YOUR PASSPORT

 

This may seem obvious, but you need all the materials with you at your appointment, especially your passport. There’s a chance they won’t look at some of the smaller pieces of material, but without your passport you cannot proceed with the appointment.

 

 

  • Don’t show up early or late

 

It seems like being early to your appointment would be a good thing, but there are so many people who all have very specific appointment times, that all being early does is clog the system and create a longer wait time for everyone. Also, it should go without saying, but don’t be late. It has the same effects as being early, but they also might not let you in. There is a Starbucks right next door. I would suggest being early, waiting there, and going into the office at the time of your appointment.

 

 

  • Be Patient

 

At my appointment, I got through both steps (first they take your passport and documents, then you wait to be fingerprinted, and then you wait to get your passport back and are done) within an hour and a half. I thought I’d get lucky and be done within two hours instead of the six hours that it took for some of my friends, but instead I waited almost another three hours just to get my passport back. It’s incredibly difficult to wait for that long, but it takes so much pressure off when the appointment is over.

 

 

  • Bring something to do while you wait

 

The INIS office has horrible service and no wifi, so I’d suggest bringing a book or downloading shows on your phone. It can be an excruciating few hours if you’re stuck with nothing to do.