1. Information on the application process
Applying to the foreign university is very stress-free via your website. For me personally, the application was very “spontaneous” and was therefore initially sent by email. So I wrote an email to your website asking about vacancies. After a very short time I received an answer with a list of about 10 universities abroad and their respective prices. I was then able to narrow down my selection to the locations that were of interest to me and finally decided on the Dublin Business School (DBS) and the Certificate in Sales. I then documented this selection on an online form (in printed version) and sent it to your website along with the rest of the application documents by post and email.
Only a short time later I received the approval from the organization and the foreign university, which made me very happy. This enabled me to look forward to and prepare for my adventure semester abroad in good time.
During my semester abroad (winter semester) I was a student at the European Business School in Dublin, Ireland. At first I was confused because of the different wording, as I have now used alternately in this report. But then it became clear that the Dublin Business School is divided into different areas. One of these areas is the European Business School, which among other things offers the “Certificate in Sales”, which is mainly intended for European students.
a. Occupied courses
The “Certificate in Sales” includes courses that you no longer have to choose individually, but rather choose with the program. So if you choose this program you automatically have the following five courses:
I. Business Communication Skills
III. Sales and Selling
IV. Marketing Communication
V. Sales Management Project
VI. There is also a choice of three courses, one of which I am for Economic and Social Aspects of Irish Society.
In the following, I will briefly go into each subject in a few sentences in order to illustrate what can be imagined under the name and what I have learned from or experienced from the respective subject.
Regarding I .: I personally took the most from this subject, especially in terms of English grammar and language. In principle, it offers the English language in an intensive course. Before starting my stay abroad, I attended the preliminary English course offered free of charge, which I can expressly recommend at this point. In this preliminary course, the content is well structured and the English courses in the afternoon are much more intensive and personal (the personal English level is discussed) than the Business Communication Skills course. Even if you listen to some of the content from the two-week preliminary course twice in the first few weeks of the actual semester, it is worth arriving earlier, if only for that reason.
In terms of content, the Business Communication Skills course covers English grammar and expression, presentation exercises and methods and, in some cases, cultural backgrounds. At the end of the course you have to hand in or write five “continuous assessments” (smaller reports, presentations, etc.) and a 2-hour exam.
Regarding II .: Management is probably one of the courses that brought the least new content with it on the part of the German business students with whom I was abroad. For me personally (as only a 40% business graduate) the content was largely new, which dealt with different leadership styles and the philosophical question of a leader (in the management sense) and when someone follows another and when not . At the end of the course you give a presentation, hand in a term paper (both as group work) and write a 2-hour exam.
To III .: The subject Sales and Selling contains various topics, always with the background that something is sold in the end. But the real question is how to get to this point of sale. The event is kept very close to the bookings and is therefore very easy to follow and additional information to be obtained. In addition, there are always “Additional Readings” so that it doesn’t get boring in the time between the days … A 2-hour exam must also be written in this subject, but only one term paper (also as a group work) must be completed (without a subsequent one Presentation).
Regarding IV: The subject of Marketing Communication includes almost exactly what is taught in the basic course of marketing at German universities and colleges. However, special attention is paid to social media and the possibilities of digital marketing. In addition, as I said, basics such as the SWOT analysis are dealt with. At the end of the course, a 2-hour exam and a term paper will be written and submitted.
Regarding V .: The Sales Management Project gives the students a lot of freedom when it comes to working on the project. While there are milestones that should be achieved every or every other week, it is up to you how to achieve them. Like all other homework, the project is carried out in a group work and presented and handed in at the end in written and oral form. Personally, I really enjoyed this work.
To VI .: I chose the Economics and Social Aspects of Irish Society because I hoped that this would give me an insight into Irish culture, politics and life in Ireland. All of these expectations were met. The good structure and a very interesting lecture did their part. So the content is Irish culture, the history of the economy, as well as today’s economy and the general history of the country. At the end and for the entire duration of the course, you had to write a “Research Based Exam” and a “normal” exam (both 2 hours).
b. On-site support
The on-site support was very good and from day one you had the feeling that you could go to a DBS employee with any problems, be they organizational or personal. With organizational problems, after asking, you were usually just as smart as before, which is probably normal at Irish universities, as I later learned from my British roommate. But this is also an advantage of on-site support; By organizing independently or checking out different instances until you finally landed with the right contact person, you have become a little more independent again. All in all, the on-site support was always good and it was easy to feel good.
3. Search for accommodation
Unfortunately, I can’t really say much about the search for accommodation (especially on site). While in Germany, I checked Internet sites (structured similarly to www.wg-gesucht.de) and found an apartment in the north of Dublin with just one phone call, but several e-mails and text messages. The two pages that are definitely worth looking up are www.daft.ie and www.rent.ie.
A quick word about the location. The north is cheaper, but you can have bad luck with its residential area and apartments, as there are also very bad areas. In general, however, I think that everything that is within a 20-minute walk from the city center can be shortlisted without hesitation.
I was also able to experience what it is like to live with four people in an actual two-bed apartment, which is also not bad and you can get nice roommates. Those whose piggy banks are better filled and find a better apartment in Dublin South probably simply has less money for the not few pubs in the city.
4. Leisure and excursion possibilities
Dublin itself is worth a trip and Ireland is anyway. As the capital of the interesting island, it is very easy to travel to the nearby Wicklow Mountains or the Atlantic coast by bus or train. If you don’t want to organize the whole thing yourself, you can take advantage of the DBS offer and go on various day and weekend excursions and get to know Ireland and Dublin better. I can highly recommend these excursions, as there is always a good community and you can get to different places in the country inexpensively and with a personal tour guide. Traveling independently is also not a problem, as Ireland has a well-developed rail and bus network.
5. Do’s and Don’t’s
- Be proud to be German. Because Germans are held in high regard by the Irish, not least because of their strong position in the politically important euro area. In addition, probably every Irishman who stands in a pub can recite the German world champion team from 1954 and ’74 better than you can yourself.
- Be polite. Irish are the same and like it when you approach them with a little respect and friendliness.
- Do ask: Asking doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t hurt. Who does not ask remains stupid and as all the other proverbs are called. It is actually always more worthwhile to ask for directions than to wander around, because if you look lost, the Irish will ask you at the latest whether you still know where you are and whether you are holding the map the right way and where it is going should go.
- Do enter the bus in the front: Most of the time there is no other way. But in Ireland you always get on the bus at the front and pay directly (appropriate, because there is NO change)
My personal conclusion is consistently positive. I got to know a lot of interesting people and really enjoyed my adventures abroad. I really enjoyed my time in and outside of the university abroad (e.g. in the interior of the country) and I don’t regret going to Dublin for a moment! It was an experience that I wouldn’t want to miss anymore and that I can only recommend to everyone.