Applying to the GCD was super uncomplicated with the help of liuxers. The information from Dublin was pretty sparse, but in the end everything was sent on time. Above all, I had to wait forever for the Halls of Residence to be accepted and I was afraid that I would not get a seat – but in the end it worked.
The choice of subjects took place entirely on site, although I had already filled in a provisional election form beforehand, there was enough time on site to think twice about it. Since the level of the subjects is quite different, I can only recommend that you try several subjects in the first week before you have to commit yourself. I took 4 business subjects from different courses: Organizational Behavior, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Financial Management. The content of the two accounting subjects was similar to that in Germany, but there were much smaller groups (max. 50) and an extremely large number of tasks were done in the lectures, which in my opinion is a better preparation for the exam than just theoretical lecture material! Financial accounting was the most demanding of my subjects. I took part-time students in the evening course, because otherwise it wouldn’t have fit into my schedule, but that too was definitely feasible! The professors are extremely helpful and help where they can.
As a hospitality subject, organizational behavior was relatively strongly designed in this direction, but it doesn’t matter if you had nothing to do with hospitality before, like me. The courses weren’t bad, but unfortunately not as interactive as I expected, if you don’t feel like participating, you don’t have to. In addition to the final exam in January, I had to write an assignment in three subjects, about 6-10 pages long. In Financial Accounting there was a test instead of an assignment, which is included in the final grade.
The lectures were of course, as it should be in a semester abroad, not the most important. My decision to rent a room in the Halls of Residence was the right one. Mainly internationals live in the dormitory, but you also meet some Irish people, I was even lucky enough to have an Irish woman to live with me. It is of course quite a big change to live in a double room, but I haven’t found it to be as bad as I feared. A semester abroad is so short that you are mostly on the road anyway. I mainly used my room to sleep. There is always something going on in the apartments in the dormitory and you get to know new people very quickly.
The Accommodation Office, which is responsible for looking after the dormitory, is very well organized by Irish standards. You get light bulbs, vacuum cleaner bags, etc. and only have to take care of a few things yourself!
If you do not want to share a room with someone who speaks the same language, it is best to indicate this in your application. The rooms are of course not cheap, but if you are looking for a single apartment you should really search on site and for under 400 euros a month it is very difficult to find a single room in a reasonably nice area.
Life in Dublin isn’t exactly cheap either, but if you pay a little attention to where you shop it can be. You should actually avoid the Spar directly in front of the college, for example, because it is so overpriced, Lidl and Aldi are only 20-25 minutes’ walk away and it is not much more expensive there than in Germany.
From the GCD you only need about 20 minutes to the city center (on foot) and if you don’t feel like walking there are 2 buses right in front of the college. Actually you can walk everything that is very pleasant at night, for example. The nightlife in Dublin has a lot to offer, whether you want to sit comfortably in a pub with live music or go dancing.
In addition, the Students Union regularly organizes parties that are specifically aimed at the internationals. The easiest way to get all information about parties, field trips and other events is via the GCD’s Students Union Facebook page.
I would advise anyone who spends a semester in Dublin to travel around as much as possible, preferably while the weather is still nice! As soon as there is snow in Ireland, all transport options are restricted and rental cars do not always have winter tires. By the way, to rent a car the driver has to be 23 at most rental companies, but alternatively you can either take organized bus trips or intercity buses to most places (Bus Eireann). If you have enough time, you should definitely take a look at Northern Ireland. In addition, flights to London or Scotland from Dublin are extremely cheap – weekend entertainment is definitely provided!
Overall, I enjoyed my semester in Dublin very much and I can only advise anyone who decides for the GCD to use the time as well as possible, because it goes by way too quickly!