There is only one university town in Ireland. You guessed it: it’s Maynooth! And Maynooth University was also voted the friendliest college (in a country that’s already well-known for its kindness), so you’re sure to receive a warm welcome here. The town itself is small, which makes it easy to connect with locals, and 90% of students are Irish, so you’ll be able to learn about and experience Irish culture all around you. The other 10% of students represent 90 different countries, so there’s also a wonderful mix of diverse backgrounds on campus.
Read on to find out more about what it’s like to live and study at Maynooth University, from the housing, to all of the facilities available within the campus gates, to the many clubs and events that will help you make new friends, to the student support services, and some bonus CAPA inclusions, as well as a few notes on accessibility.
As a CAPA Maynooth student, you’ll be guaranteed a single ensuite room in an apartment-style setting with a communal kitchen in one of the residence halls on campus, about a five minute walk from classes.
Most apartments will host five students. You’ll have an fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, oven, fridge/freezer, toaster, and kettle as well as a shared dining and lounge area. There’s WiFi in all of the apartments, an iron and ironing board, and laundry rooms located throughout. You’ll have 24/7 security.
Be prepared to provide your own bed linen (a bedding pack can be purchased on campus), cutlery, crockery, pots, pans, and utensils, towels, and a vacuum cleaner. Once you meet the others sharing your apartment, you’ll be able to team up and split any costs for shared items.
Residents in the apartments reflect the diversity of the campus, so you can expect to live with people of any gender, nationality or origin, age (except minors), course, or year. You’ll likely be living with other international students, but students in neighboring apartments may be Irish.
Alternatively, you can choose to stay in a local homestay within a short commute of campus.
ON CAMPUS FACILITIES
On campus, you’ll find eight cafes and restaurants. Meal plans aren’t very popular in Ireland, but they are an option. You’ll save money and learn an essential life skill when you take on the cooking for yourself though, and it can be a great way to socialize.
There’s a library with over 450,000 books and e-books and 42,000 electronic journals. There’s an independent bookshop where you can buy your academic books, but also novels, stationery, and Maynooth merchandise. If there’s a book you’re interested in that you can’t find, they’ll likely be able to source it for you.
Additionally, there’s a chapel on campus, as well as a photocopying room and postal service. There’s also an on-campus fitness center and facilities which are free to use, with treadmills, free-weights, bicycles, rowing machines, changing rooms, and lockers.
The best way to meet local Irish students is to join clubs and societies. Most of these groups will meet during the week because many Irish students head home on weekends. At the beginning of the semester, there will be a clubs and societies fair day to see what interests you.
There are 150 to choose from, like the “Tea Society”, the International Society (which organizes movie nights, cultural events, fun activities like bowling), and Debate Society. There are many sports clubs like Aikido, American Football, Fencing, Power lifting, and Trampolining. There are academic societies, cultural societies, political societies, and religious societies. Some that are a bit more out-of-the-ordinary include Circus Club, Disney Society, and Froebel Society (whose motto is “play doesn’t need to stop when you’re an adult”) which organizes nights and days out, fundraisers, and the much anticipated annual Froebel ball.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
There are many events and activities that happen at Maynooth beyond the clubs and societies. There are public lectures and talks, open workshops, conferences, exhibitions, masterclasses, book launches, and sports events. Keep an eye on the calendar throughout the semester.
Student support is a point of pride at Maynooth. We’ve already talked about the academic support available, but you’ll also be supported in other areas of life beyond the classroom. For example, you can sign up for Maynooth’s buddy system, where you’ll be matched with a local student.
The International Office will be your first point of contact when you need general support. They can help with visas, on-campus-services, advice about the local area, and more. There’s also a student support hub and student officer on duty for personal and practical guidance. Students support services offer budgeting advice and even a short term loan facility.
If you’re unwell or need to speak to someone, you’re in good hands; Maynooth is the only university in Ireland with free access to doctors and nurses during the week. There are counselling services and a health center where you can have doctor or nurse consultations. There are nurse-led clinics for students who are sick, a sexual health clinic, smoking cessation consultations, and weight management and healthy lifestyle advice.
Check out the International Students blog for posts on dealing with homesickness and other useful topics from the perspective of current and past study abroad students.
THE CAPA INCLUSIONS
As a CAPA student, you’ll have access to extra benefits and inclusions, like a CAPA orientation; welcome and farewell events; and access to CAPA emergency services, including the CAPA Guardian App.
You’ll also be able to join in on My Global City events in and around Dublin. These change depending on the term, but some examples include visiting the National Museum of Ireland, touring medieval castles, celebrating the “dark side” at the Bram Stoker festival, visiting Croke Park, and exploring the tech hub of “Googletown”.
There’s a lot of emphasis placed on inclusivity at Maynooth, through the way their classes are conducted to the high levels of support for students with disabilities. In fact, over 6% of the student body comprises students with disabilities, and they’re proud to see that number continue to grow.
If you have a disability, you’ll be supported through the Disability Office where you’ll be allocated a Disability Advisor. They offer learning support programs, other assistance, and resources. There’s also a dedicated person in each academic department, called the MAP Academic Advisor, to help with course-related concerns. Student Central offers academic support for students with significant learning needs. Note-takers or sign-language interpreters can be allocated if required. You’ll be accommodated as necessary for examinations with extra time, use of technology, or a smaller room, for example.
If you have a disability, you can sign up for accessible accommodation on campus. Maynooth’s campus grounds, lecture halls, and buildings are accessible, and assistive technology is available all across the campus.
Wondering what lies just beyond the Maynooth University campus? We’ll be exploring the local town in a coming post. Stay tuned.