Assalamualaikum w.b.t =)
Cork County is The Rebel County. So yes, we are always unique to the rest of the state.
Personally, when I first heard of it, I was like, ""Cork? What an uncool name!"" Well, indeed it is! but definitely not the people! Believe me!~ Cork has such a vibrant and positive aura, exception - on Thursday and Friday nights where the roads are busy with drunk people *sigh*. The people are friendly and we have a significant number of Muslim community here.
UCC is considered not only a respected University but also one of the nicest 'gardens' belonging to Cork as a whole. The campus is situated along a riverside garden setting, radiating a warm, personal charm, which greatly enhances the learning environment. I took this from the university website. But, I can assure you, it is not something like "indah kabar dari rupa". Needless to say more. It is better for you to experience it yourself.
Hmm.. in terms of the facilities, UCC has almost everything a student could want. We have a huge Sport Arena with first-rate sporting facilities; swimming pool, climbing-wall et cetera. And of course, it is FREE for all students. And the new Boole Library is just MASSIVE and SUPERB. Oh, our university ID is better-looking than the other uni as well. Hik hik hik..
For us, the Muslim students, the school has provided such a comfy prayer room in the Health Science Building and it even has a sink and basin for us to take wudu'. Just don't forget about the swapping every Friday between the brothers and sisters. Talk about some day-mare when you open the door to just a whole different species staring at you. @_@
Most undergraduates are studying Medicine and a small proportion are doing Dentistry. There are also Post-graduates who are studying Nursing and Engineering. In total there are roughly 120 Malaysians; so it's a much smaller community compared to Dublin, but hey, we are much more happier and friendlier than the Dubliners!
Basically, first year students will be staying in the Students' Hall, known as the (not-so-white-) Castlewhite Apartment. I hate saying this but you have no choice but to live in an apartment with local students and other international students. It was a good experience anyway staying with non-Malaysians but sometimes, you really have to be extra patient with them.
But fret not, who knows, insyaAllah you'll meet some of the coolest vegetarian Americans and non-party-drinking-Irish ever! Amin to that!!
Life as a Muslim
IT'S AWESOME!! Do I need to say how many times I'm blessed to actually be a Muslim?? Really, Islam pulls you through every single day in Medicine (and Dentistry!!) and when you get to learn Psychiatry one day, oh my...:)
UCC has our own Islamic Society called Muslim Cultural Society; it's a great society which has better themselves (or better, ourselves, insyaAllah) since its beginning. Every single Muslim Malaysian student of UCC have associated themselves wth MCS's history, so why don't you be a part of the history as well??
We also have the Cork Mosque; and the whole Muslim community always try to get together in every single event organized by either the Cork Mosque itself, the Cork Mosque Women Group and UCC MCS.
Halal food is not a problem:) Just come here and we'll show you more (or better, we'll cook for you!! One house has all the machines to become a bakery, really)
Malaysians are not the majority here (as you may have pictured); but our experience of living in a multi-cultural country will help us to adapt to new people and the new things surrounding us. Encountering new people, new dialect (oh, the Cork accent can be quite difficult to follow; be ready to speed up that speaking speed!), new buildings, new air and atmosphere can be exhausting at times, but most of the juniors who arrived here, in 3 months time will be obliged to say how happy they are to come to Cork. Oh no, not because they have the most loving and caring seniors ever (thank you¬) but Allah has blessed Cork with great people overall.
Here, we hope that all Malaysians will be able to grow into better people that can shine and contribute their best for the Ummah, Islam and our beloved Malaysia now and in the future.
What to prepare?
Passport. Haha. You need to pass the security check first!
Okay, here's a summarized list. The rest will shared more at JOM:
1. Al-Quran (with terjemahan is better)
2. Stationeries (you thought you wouldn't be needing them, won't you?)
3. Notepads (for taking down notes in lectures)
* don't buy 5-6 of them, just 1-2 is enough for the start of the term. Notepads are pretty expensive here.
4. Clothes- your usual daily clothes, socks, pants, tudung etc3.
5. Rempah makanan Malaysia that you just can't live without. Like Ruski, right? Or serunding! Or your mom's secret ingredients.
6. Medical books!!- contact your person listed below.
Okay, for coat or sweater, DON'T bring the winter thick ones from Malaysia. Because there are still time before winter when you get here and plus, they have better designs here as well. Seriously. If you have to bring one, best to bring the one that have hoodies as well. Cause if you haven't heard, Ireland rains all year round.
When you have reached this paragraph, you'll probably realized that we're trying to exaggerate, a lil bit romanticizing but not distorting or fabricating the truth about living in Cork nor studying in UCC. It's a great city to live in insyaAllah. If you're the city-person type, Ireland is not the place for you anyway; but open your heart and sooner than later you'll be missing Cork each time you went away :)
Credits : JOM! - http://www.jom2011.com/
Have you registered for this UK&Ireland pre departure program?
Just click on the JOM website to register - i't's a great opportunity to learn how life as a muslim is in overseas and to make new friends =)
Let's be part of this wonderful experience, insyaAllah =)