Anja Sonn

Photo of Anja, author of this testimonial, sitting in the Croi garden on campus

University of Augsburg, Germany, on her semester in Galway 2023/24

My time in Galway - Mo chuid ama i nGallimh

Spending time abroad can be scary but from the moment I arrived in Ireland I felt at home. For me especially my fellow students have made my Erasmus semester special and I experienced Ireland’s beautiful landscape like the Cliffs of Moher or Connemara National Park with the people I met during my first week at student karaoke.  The student’s union and the International Office planned so many activities in the beginning of the semester that it was impossible to not make friends even before the semester started.  

At the start of term, I also got to know lots of Irish students and had the opportunity to improve my English. While the courses are interesting, they are also versatile and challenge you to think outside the box.  

Nevertheless, for me the absolute highlight of living and studying in Galway (aside from all the great friends I made) was having the ocean at your doorstep. Galway’s coastline is so beautiful and for me (living 800 km away from the beach), being able to take walks in Salthill at the promenade was absolutely unforgettable.  

Danique Freeze

Image of Danique, author of this testimonial, on a trip to the sea.

Leiden University, The Netherlands, on her semester in Galway 2023/24

I had the most incredible time in Galway during my Erasmus exchange. It is hard to believe how quickly time flew by. I remember kickstarting my Erasmus adventure with eating Irish stew at Sult. The enthusiasm of everyone during the orientation made me feel very welcome, and I met a lot of people from various nationalities through the organized activities.

The university offered a variety of modules, allowing me to try something different outside my regular course. However, university life in Galway is much more than just studying; there are numerous societies you can join. I opted for dansoc, which was something new for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Exploring different places during the weekend was also a highlight of my time in Ireland, visiting the Aran Islands, the Connemara National Park, and, of course, the Cliffs of Moher.

There is always street music echoing through the streets of Galway city. The pubs are great, and I especially love the live music! My favorite memory has to be the Student Christmas Day, everyone wore their Christmas jumpers and it was amazing craic! I really felt at home in Galway, embracing even the typical Irish weather with my raincoat :). If given the opportunity again, I would jump at it

Leo Schneele

Image of Leo, author of this testimonial, exploring Connemara

University of Augsburg, Germany, on his semester in Galway 2023/24

Let me tell you about the wonderful time I spent at the University of Galway!

Although I had some fears about living in another country, I did not need a lot of time to settle in, as there were meetings and events, where I made new friends and learned more about university-life. There were a lot of interesting courses to choose from and all my professors were very engaged and helpful. Throughout the semester there was always someone that could help me. I however still had enough time to make trips around Ireland, enjoy a few pints, or engage in one of the many societies and clubs. I chose to spend my time by hiking with the Mountaineering-society. I will never forget my experiences, memories and friends I made. Salthill promenade now has a place in my heart, and I often 
went for a swim or a walk.

To sum it all up, my Erasmus in Galway was perfect for me. Not only the charm of the city let me feel at home, but also the university made sure that I would have the best stay possible – both academically and personally. This semester gave me the chance to follow my interests and get to know Ireland and its people on a deeper level. A little part of me now will forever stay here. Be sure to not waste a moment of the time of your life.

This is definitely not my last trip to Galway

Julia Van Vliet

Image of Juliet, author of this testimonial, at the Cliffs of Moher

Leiden University, The Netherlands, on her semester in Galway 2023/24

My time at the University of Galway honestly exceeded all of my expectations. I’d never been to Ireland before, so all I pictured before going was what I could find on the internet. Let me tell you, Galway is so much more than that. Galway itself is absolutely amazing. Close to the sea with a spirited and historical city center. It is quite large for Irish standards, but still feels so small and cozy. What struck me most was the vibrancy of the city. There’s street performers on every corner and awesome musicians in every pub. I am especially glad that I was here before Christmas, because the city literally lights up around this time.

The region surrounding Galway offers some very impressive landscapes. Trips to Connemara, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands are beyond fantastic and some of the scenes we crossed absolutely dazed me. Western Ireland has such magical natural beauty which was exactly what I was looking for. Of course, I can also advise anyone to take occasional weekend trips to Dublin, Cork or Limerick, but I must admit that I always felt happy to be on the way back to Galway.

The University was extremely welcoming with countless Erasmus activities on offer and very kind staff. I have learnt so much during my time here and was accommodated so well by the University. I will never forget my time at the University of Galway and the memories will stay with me forever

Laila Arnesson

Image of Laila, author of this testimonial, on a day out exploring by the sea.

Karlstad University, Sweden, on her semester in Galway 2023/24

A woman I met here in Galway told me that this city is the graveyard of ambitions. She continued by explaining that many who come here, find it difficult to leave. Students arrive, with big aspirations of going out into the world, only for them to be enchanted by the city and forget all about those big plans, instead opting to stay in Galway after their studies. I can confirm this as I myself promptly fell in love with the city, the culture, and the Irish people.

When I saw that my university had a partnership with the University of Galway, I immediately knew that it was there I wanted to go on my Erasmus, as I had visited Dublin a few years prior and always wanted to return to explore more of Ireland. The university offers interesting courses, a lot of support for students, and many opportunities to learn something new or do something you already enjoy all the while meeting new people and finding a community by joining a society or club. There is always something to do, which is a dangerous thing when you’re also supposed to be studying, from attending interesting workshops and exciting social nights, to strolling around the Saturday market or simply enjoying a pint to the tunes of trad music at a cosy pub.

You might end up heartbroken when it’s time to leave, but I can promise that it will have been worth it, because there is no place quite like Galway

Eric Borgstrom

Author of this testimonial, Eric, by the sea during his Erasmus visit

Uppsala University, Sweden, on his semester in Galway 2023/24

From the moment I set foot in Galway, I felt welcomed. Just like all other exchange students, however, I was way out of my comfort zone. I was therefore delighted over the fact that the Erasmus team had set up multiple student events in the beginning – from pub quizzes to a trip to Cliffs of Moher – as that made it easy to get to know other students. As soon as the semester started, I also made sure to join the university’s mountaineering club. This allowed me not only to explore the stunning mountains of Connemara but also to socialise with locals at their weekly social nights, something that has been a great craic!  

Staying in Galway has also permitted me and my new friends to explore Ireland, and although I will never get used to the rain, the Irish landscapes and the friendly people are something I am going to miss. Studying at the university itself has been great too, with inspiring professors and interesting subjects. I really do feel that I have learnt a lot during my time here, despite never having studied any of my subjects before. The university’s support services have also come in handy, and I would urge everyone who has English as a second language to take “English for Academic Purposes” as that really helped my essays.  

So – in short – if you want to make friends and memories for life, I can strongly recommend an exchange at Galway University!