Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 9 - U of L

After a fun night out on the town, we all got some sleep and were up for breakfast by 8:30.  We headed out to the bus stop that was non existent for the bus we needed.  A nice Irish woman directed us to the right stop.  Once on the bus, it was about a 15-20 min drive to the University of Limerick. U of L was founded in 1972 so not too long ago and especially young when compared to Marietta College. About 14,000 students attend U of L.

The first stop on campus was to the International office to meet up with Gemma.  Gemma is an intern and she took us on our campus tour.  The campus is rather large but very beautiful.  The weather was super nice out too.  Along the tour, we stopped at the U of L Boathouse which houses the mens and womens crew teams.  The boathouse was really aweome and it had an indoor rowing pool!  The dock outside was also really nice and very peaceful.  After finishing up the tour, we headed to the Plassey house which is the original building from the start of the campus.  This building houses the presidents office. 

We had a nice lunch in the Plassey House which include potato lentil soup and various sandwiches.  We also had the normal coffee and tea.  Jayla tried tea for the first time on the trip and won't be tryinig it anymore.

After lunch we had about and hour and a half until our next meeting.  Most crashed in the visitor center and took naps which were much needed.  Others looked around and passed the time playing the game Buzz.

Gemma collected us at about 2:15 to take us to the sports sciences building to meet with Jaime a professor in the PE department.  Jaime along with another lady are originally from the states and have been working at U of L for 2.  They are on a 5 year contract.  Jaime started the talk by mentioning differences in the education systems between the US and Ireland.  One major one that stuck out is that  students in each class may only have 1 paper and 1 exam that determines their entire grade.  Students are finishing exams now and won't graduate until August!  Jaime also talked about the different research that she and her colleagues are doing and the different graduate programs they offer.  

We then took a tour of the building and we were able to see the different posters of current and past research that has been done in the department.  We met up with DJ who is the master lab guy making sure the labs are setup and giving access to different people.  We viewed several of the labs which could be either instructional or research based.  Some of the labs we saw were physiology and biomechanics. It was really cool to see what they use in their undergaduate labs.  We were able to get a few group pics along the way.  Jaime and DJ did a great job showing us what U of L sports sciences has to offer.

Our last stop was to the student union to learn about the clubs and societies. Unlike in the states, sports are not a varisty sport instead it is a club.  We were given some information and learned a lot about what students can be involved in. The students are given a lot of responsibility and get to do a lot of really cool things like skydiving in Italy or going to Morocco for surfing.  

Our day ended there with a bus ride back into city centre.  The students were dragging a lot by this point and needed food and sleep.  Later in the evening cards were played and the last night in Limerick was low key for the students to recharge for the Cliffs of Moher tomorrow!  All in all it was a full good day and we all have really enjoyed Limerick! Heading to Galway tomorrow!!  

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