The University of Limerick International Society is one of the most active and welcoming societies at the University of Limerick. Comprised of energetic students from across the globe, this society aims to integrate visiting students, through a multitude of trips and social events around the Emerald Isle. This spring, we will tour the Ring of Kerry, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, explore Galway and the Aran Islands, and hike the remarkable Wicklow Mountains!
I had the pleasure of meeting our President when she came to “collect” me from the airport and “deliver” me to the UL Campus.
“I came to UL and was like this is it, this is where I’m going!” – Hannah Knittle
Hannah Knittle, President, UL International Society, has dual Irish and American citizenship. Hannah was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and is here on a Joint Honours Program, set to graduate with dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Politics in August, 2020. Hannah aspires to earn a Masters in Psychology in Ireland, and then pursue a PhD in Scotland. In addition to being a dedicated student, she is also a UL International Student Guide and volunteers to help children with autism.
Hannah’s welcoming spirit, hard-working nature, and generous heart reminded me of the essence of UMass Law, where our motto is to Pursue Justice, and we are diligently dedicated to helping others.
I am impressed with humble leaders like Hannah, and I hope you enjoy this interview!
Getting Involved with the International Society
“I got involved first as a member, and really enjoyed going on trips. Then, I met the President, and began my Committee work as Treasurer.”
Hannah’s diligence earned the society a massive budget increase, benefitting all members. I’ve personally witnessed her selfless nature when she recommended other students for awards.
Committee & Student Resources
“We always aim to help. Most of our Committee members are international students, so there is always someone who knows exactly how you feel if you’re missing home. It may seem like a small thing, but it helps to know you’re not alone.”
UL resources are abundant. Éist Student Counselling and Wellbeing provides counseling and weekly classes.
The UL Chaplaincy Service is available for reflection, comfort, support, and hospitality. The International Office, UL Student Life Welfare Officers, Academic Officers and Committee members are also available.
If you’re ever struggling or have a question, feel free to message the UL Int Soc Facebeook. Hannah genuinely reflected, “I will always try to answer questions.”
What is your favorite thing about Ireland?
“The lifestyle. Ireland is more laid back and it makes me feel at home. It’s easy to relax. I love traveling around. There’s 50 shades of green.”
Do you have a favorite Irish saying?
“There are a lot. My favorite one is ‘what’s the CRAIC?’ – it can be used as ‘what’s happening?’ or ‘how’s it going?’
‘We had good craic’ means you had a lot of fun doing something.”
Upon initial arrival, she was told, “There’ll be tea and biscuits and good craic.” Looks like Ireland delivered!
What do you wish you knew before you came to UL?
“Time management – how to prioritize studying and socializing. In high school, I’d go from classes to theatre and then home and had a lot more structure.”
Where is your favorite place in Ireland?
“I love so many places! My favorite is Ballyseede Castle in Tralee. Co. Kerry . I visited it in my first year in college and knew I wanted to get married there.
Real dogs live in the castle – it’s a real castle! The rooms are beautifully grand and there are beautiful trees along the driveway. It’s gorgeous, green, and silent. It’s amazing, I love it so much!”
Have you met anyone special here?
“I’ve met many special people. Everyone in my degree program has to do an Erasmus and I met my fiancé in Scotland.” Fun Fact: 27% of Erasmus students meet their long-term partner while on Erasmus.
Congratulations on your engagement and on recently completing your Final Year Project (FYP). What an accomplishment!
Will I get an invitation to your wedding?
“Probably,” said with an Irish wink!
Our UL Bride-to-Be already has the Ballyseede Castle booked, and only time will tell if I get to see the amazing couple tie the knot next April!
Thank you for taking the time to share some valuable UL resources and Irish insights with us, Hannah!
To learn more about the University of Limerick International Society, check out our YouTube Video, follow us on Instagram, and connect with us on Facebook.
Cheers to our amazing International Society students from around the world!
What’s Next? For our continued exploration of Ireland, I will share with you some tips for adjusting to life on the Emerald Isle as an Exchange Student. Open-mindedness is crucial, but if you are sarcastic and can appreciate humor, you will likely find yourself quite at home here.