I loved my experience at UL, and mostly because I found myself surrounded by wonderful people, from my course, my on-campus apartment, and different societies. No matter what you're studying, I would recommend trying to get involved in societies to meet people!! My personal favourite was the outdoor pursuits club, which goes on hikes and climbs around Ireland on the weekends (as well as offers weekly climbing wall sessions).
To keep it brief, I studied at both Trinity in Dublin and the University of Limerick (UL) and preferred UL for several reasons, as follows:
- More authentic Irish feel vs big city feel. You're a bus ride away from Limerick city centre so you cannot walk there, but UL is a gorgeous campus and almost feels American in the sense that it has a lot of amenities on campus such as a pizza place, SPAR, pub, bank, etc. Also great campus for sports/gym use and walks around the grounds. In Dublin, it is very easy to lose the Irish culture and feel, but Limerick is more rural and felt more authentic to me - also get a different variety of accents (and county colours... but I'll let you figure that one out yourself :))
- I found it easier to integrate into Irish culture & society and meet/befriend Irish people but also had wide community of international friends on weekends since most Irish students go home
- The on-campus pub Stables is so FUN. (also, the chicken fillet rolls are to die for!!!)
- The international team is much more supportive at UL - they plan events and make it easy to get involved and make you feel heard and included in campus life (I felt none of this at Trinity).
- Limerick provides access to most major Irish cities and is a cute city in itself, but it is harder to access mainstream Europe because the closest airport is Shannon and Dublin is a bigger airport. This is only relevant if you'd prefer to travel Europe - for me I wanted to travel Ireland and I found Limerick was better for that than say, Dublin, in many ways because it's closer to spots like the Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher, which people usually love (though my favourite was always Killaloe!!)
- Admin and wait times are slower in Ireland than in the states just in general - no matter the university - but immigration and the like tends to be easier in Limerick than in Dublin just because it is smaller and the International team is able to help you.