"As a BA Hons Culinary Arts student, International Fresh Business Management in Fontys University Venlo was a unique and exciting opportunity for me for our study semester abroad.
Little did I know my time in Venlo would prove to be the best 6 months of my life. Four of us from SETU Waterford went together and almost immediately settled in. Fontys University boasts a small but modern campus with helpful lecturers and interesting lessons. The university attracts hundreds of international students, so studying in Venlo offers the quintessential Erasmus experience.
The Netherlands is a wonderful country to travel around, there is so much more to it than Amsterdam. Being based in Venlo is also the perfect spot to travel to and from, as it is on the German border and a train ride away from many other cities and countries.
There is a strange sense of home in a place of many nationalities. Some of the best memories of my life and most amazing people were met during my time in Venlo. IFBM is also a great course to consider as there is nothing quite like it in any university or college in Ireland. I would encourage anybody considering Fontys as their university of choice to just go for it!"
Ciara Power, BA (Hons) Culinary Arts, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Venlo, The Netherlands
"When I packed my bags for my Erasmus year in The Netherlands I had absolutely no idea what to expect as I had never even been there before and knew very little about the culture or the people. However, my experience studying at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime! Hanze University has amazing facilities and focuses strongly on international students with over 25 English taught Bachelor and Master programmes. I ended up doing two separate programmes, very foreign from English & Psychology, meaning I was immediately out of my comfort zone so I made sure to get to know my classmates ensuring we could all help each other out. Every fifth person in Groningen is a student, so the atmosphere is pretty incredible! When you arrive you automatically feel welcome amongst the thousands of other international, young, excited people roaming the streets. Thanks to my Erasmus experience I have friends from all over the world. I didn’t only gain friends for life; I gained a new language, new perspective on life and of course a new outlook on education, shaping plans for my future and without doubt bettering my present self"
Kayleigh-Ann Myle, BA (Hons) Arts International, (English and Pyscology),
Groningen Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands
My destination of choice for my semester abroad was Johnson and Wales University in Miami, one of the best known culinary colleges in the world. The college classes were very practically based which I thoroughly enjoyed. It didn’t take me to long to settle in to life in Miami - with the good weather every day felt like a holiday even though I was still learning loads in college!
One of the great things about Miami is its diverse culture, with so many different nationalities from Central and South America it was great to experience the vibrancy that these cultures bring to this fantastic city. During my time there I was lucky enough to visit the Bahamian island of Freeport - and what an amazing place it is, a truly magical island! For any moment of free time, I was out and about, fishing or just relaxing on the beach!
You really have to make the most of your time studying abroad because it really is a once in a life time opportunity! I don’t think that you fully appreciate how great an experience you’ve had until you’re finally back at home!
Conor Nolan, BA (Hons) Culinary Arts, Johnson and Wales University, Miami, USA
"During my year in France I did all my classes through French and had the opportunity to take on French literature and history classes that she didn’t get a chance to take part in when in Ireland. I had the opportunity to experience the French culture and lifestyle and spent my time experiencing the culture, what it was like to live in France, how French people live. If I was to give any advice I would say to definitely go on Erasmus because it’s just such a fantastic opportunity that you don’t really get unless you’re in college!” After enjoying such a great experience in France, Sibeal intends to go back after her masters."
Sibeal Power BA (Hons) International – French
Universite de Montpellier 3, France
When studying on the BA (Hons) Culinary Arts programme, it is compulsory to fly the nest of SETU Waterford to study abroad. Studying overseas is such an exciting opportunity that I would now honestly recommend to everybody! My choice happened to be a 7 hour flight away in the city of Toronto at Humber College. Humber College has a large international student population and everybody is happy to help you and make you feel at right at home!
Studying abroad is much more of a life experience than just attending the classes you’ve signed up for (but it’s important to attend those too!). You get to experience new cultures, visit new destinations and make new friends. Studying and living abroad has helped me broaden my horizons and gain a new perspective on life. Canada has truly left a mark on me and I am really eager to travel and visit more of the country in the not too distant future.
Sinead O’Sullivan, BA (Hons) Culinary Arts, Humber College, Toronto, Canada
"When I went to the talk for the year abroad, I had no idea I’d end up going ahead with it! I was a bit nervous, as it was my first time away from home. But when I arrived in Utrecht, The Netherlands for a year, I almost forgot about Ireland! I instantly fell in love with the city, its beautiful canals and the Dom tower. The people I met made my time abroad, there were so many opportunities to meet locals or others on Erasmus, experience their culture and make great friendships. The study was easy going, assignments and exams are smaller and spread out over the semesters so it’s easy to manage. This left loads of time for travelling! Being on mainland Europe made it so much easier; I was able to visit Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, France just by getting a bus or train. I was going on a trip somewhere new every 6-8 weeks, it was brilliant. In the end, Utrecht made such an impression on me that I decided to come back and do my masters here. Just deciding to go the talk was the beginning of an adventure I’m very much still living and enjoying!"
Daisy Wiggin, BA (Hons) in Psychology Arts International
HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands
When I set off for the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Co. Derry, at first, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I am so glad for the opportunity I had!
At the international student induction week, I met some really nice people from all over the world as well as Ireland. We toured the campus and also enjoyed trips to Derry and Belfast in that first week.
Along other students from SETU Waterford and many international students, we lived in Maple Wood student accommodation. My classes were all hospitality based. I also did a research and development project as part of the 'Food Innovation' module where I worked with Lir Chocolates.
Life in Coleraine was very affordable in every way, including travel, accommodation and leisure. I had a really great time at the University of Ulster and would definitely recommend it for your Erasmus experience!
Luke McLeod, BA (Hons) Culinary Arts, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Co Derry, Northern Ireland
Choosing where to go for my Erasmus study was difficult; I chose to study at Institut Paul Bocuse (IPB) in Lyon, France.
When faced with a varied selection of colleges and courses, you have to choose carefully. You only get one shot at this once in a life time opportunity. My semester studying at IPB was incredible! Having the opportunity to study at a world renowned college set up by one of the world’s most famous culinary maestros was truly a humbling experience. However, it was also the hardest four months of work I’ve ever had to do but the experience has given me an edge for my future career and the ability to say that I have done it and I can do it in the future.
Living in Lyon was incredible; getting to experience such a diverse and culturally rich city will always be in my memories. Lyon is also like a small heaven for foodie lovers with food markets every day of the week offering up an amazing selection of fresh produce. Spending a semester at IPB will be different from other colleges due to the practical nature of their programme, but I urge you to consider IPB for a truly once in a life time experience!
Derek McClelland, BA (Hons) Culinary Arts, Institut Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France