So, this week was orientation week at UCD, and I already love it! The orientation for my course didn’t start until Thursday, but I went in on Monday to help the Student Union and I met a bunch of other first years. Wednesday night was the “first college night out” in Dublin city centre which I went to with a group of amazing people and had the best time!
On Thursday morning, my proper orientation started and we started the morning by meeting our Peer Mentors – second year students who volunteer to show us first years what’s what! My peer mentor joined up with another, so we have a group of six first years and two second years. I may be a little biased, but I definitely think that we got the best peer mentors! They’re so much fun and they showed us around not just the “official campus” but also all of the back passages and other little useful tidbits. We also had talks by some of the important people in the vet school and to round the day off, a sports induction which included fencing, lacrosse, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee and trampolining! Seriously, UCD is the best place – it has an insane amount to offer and the campus is decked out with pretty much everything you need to try whatever you want. I shot competitively for years when I lived abroad but I haven’t been able to find anywhere easily accessible since moving to Ireland. UCD has it’s own shooting range, so I’m super excited to join that! On Thursday night, I went out with some other first year vets and their peer mentors, which was really lovely as we got to know each other a little more than when we were being shown around. The vet school has a real community feel – a proper family.
Friday started with a huge assembly in the O’Reilly Hall where the President of the college welcomed us, as did some other important faculty members. This was also where the “Scarving Ceremony” took place – basically, when first years start at UCD, we get a scarf in UCD colours. We tend not to wear them around campus – in fact, my peer mentor’s exact words were “just don’t wear it, that’s how we identify international students” – but it’s the official induction into UCD! Once all of the people in colourful robes had filed back out, we went back to the vet building where each peer mentor group was given a bag of stuff – a paper plate, some balloons, pipe cleaners… – and told to make “an animal with a backstory”. Our group made a pig with wings called Rupert, and even though Rupert was a little scary looking, we actually won second place and a box of Maltesers! The day rounded off with IT induction and then we went to get our student cards – classes start on Monday and we need those to get into the lectures halls and the gym.
Things to get before starting vet in UCD:
- PhysioEx book (newest version)
- Two pairs of steel toe-capped rubber boots
- Two lab coats
- A locker! (rent one on SISweb)
- A laptop/tablet
This is just a very basic list, but I’m going to do another, more comprehensive one at the end of the semester when I know exactly what I need!
See you next week!