An Insider’s Look at Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland - Chandna Sharma
History, culture, diversity, and excellent academic standards – AIT has it all.
Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) is located on the River Shannon and has over 6,000 students enrolled from 53 different countries. The friendly and diverse community provides a welcoming environment to new students where they can easily explore the great country of Ireland while receiving a world-class education.
SchoolApply had the opportunity to interview international student Chandna Sharma from India, a senior at AIT and an aspiring engineer.
ATHLONE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Location: Athlone, Ireland
Student Name: Chandna Sharma
Favourite Class: My favourite class is Maths because I love solving problems and I also had the best maths professor who was very polite and understanding.
Favourite Activity: My favourite activities while at Athlone were my numerous trips across Ireland where I got to explore the beautiful country.
Words that best describe Athlone IT: Nice campus, Best staff, Excellent facilities
I learned to voice my questions to clear any doubts I may have, be it socially or in the classroom.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you chose to study at Athlone IT?
I grew up in India and completed all my schooling there until I came to Ireland for university. I participated in a lot of sports activities while I was a student in India, such as roller skating, karate, badminton, and swimming.
I decided to study in Ireland because my uncle had been living there for 16 years. He advised me to pursue my higher studies in Ireland and specifically at Athlone IT because he knew it was a great college with amazing staff, excellent reviews, many student services, and a wide choice of classes.
What are you studying at Athlone IT?
In High School, I had a keen interest in electronics and physics, which is why I decided to pursue a degree in Electronics & Wireless Communications through the Athlone School of Engineering. While studying this, I developed a love for software and programming which is why I undertook a second major in Software.
What were your first impressions of Athlone Institute of Technology?
One of the first things I noticed was that the campus was very big, clean, and nicely designed. All of the classrooms are very well maintained with state-of-the-art technology, and the canteen is huge with many different varieties of food on offer.
Did you have any problems adjusting to life in Ireland or at Athlone IT?
Yes, I did have some problems getting used to college life here in Ireland. At first, I had difficulty communicating in English and I suffered from homesickness. I am a bit shy, so getting to know new people was difficult for me. I also held a part-time job, so I had to learn how to manage my studies and work in an efficient manner. I overcame all these problems with the help of some of my lecturers and the International Office staff. They always motivated and helped me with any hurdles and issues I faced.
Tell us a little about your experience as an international student at Athlone IT?
AIT is located in a town called Athlone, right in the centre of Ireland. It is very close to the major cities of Dublin and Galway and it has great public transportation networks and motorway links. I took advantage of this by making a point of exploring different cities around the country on the weekends. Also, the International Office organised many trips across Ireland for international students to enjoy.
The town of Athlone has very nice shopping centres and it is also located next to the beautiful River Shannon, where people go to relax, play sports, and explore nature. Athlone is home to the famous Athlone Castle, the multi-million euro contemporary Luan Art Gallery, the renowned monastery of Clonmacnoise, and Ireland’s oldest bar - Sean’s Bar.
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Did you take part in any extracurricular activities?
I joined many clubs and societies while at Athlone IT. For example, I was part of the Movie Society which regularly screened movies, the Book Society where we read and discussed a new book every month, the International Society, and the Chess Society.
I also worked part-time, 20 hours a week, in an Indian Restaurant in Athlone. The experience was very good for me as I learned how to work under pressure, how to multitask, and I also improved my communications skills a lot.
What would you say to international students who are considering studying at Athlone Institute of Technology?
I would say if you are thinking about applying to schools in Ireland, then definitely go for AIT! The faculty and staff are incredibly nice and helpful – they make you feel comfortable in your new environment. They give students personal time to help them with their classes, ensure you are doing well at university, and they will also expose you all the facilities and services on campus that students can avail.
How has Athlone Institute of Technology prepared you for life after college?
My experience at AIT has helped me overcome my shyness – the International Office staff arranged a meeting with a lovely local student to help me integrate in my new Irish home. I learned to voice my questions to clear any doubts I may have, be it socially or in the classroom. As far as education goes, my professors were all excellent and I am confident that I understood all the concepts taught to me and that I will be a successful engineer in the future.