I attended Greenmount College in Northern Ireland. I’m from North Yorkshire and decided that I wanted to completely get away and study somewhere different and so chose to do the degree in Agriculture which is jointly run between Greenmount College and Queen’s University, Belfast.
Although I was the only person from outside of Northern Ireland on my course I absolutely loved it. The course is a three-year course with a 16-week placement in between the second and third year. The best thing about it was that the course was held for the first two years at the agric college with the final year in the middle of Belfast. This meant that you got the best of both worlds, with practical on-farm work on the college farms in the first two years and the experience of living in the middle of a capital city for a year. This not only meant that we got to meet a wide range of people and learn a wide range of topics, but also that we could have an immense social life!
There’s something strangely pleasing in being able to walk to bars, clubs, the kebab shop and then home again when normally that would include a 20 quid taxi! The Irish people are also extremely friendly and I’ve made some fantastic friends. The only bad point about going to Northern Ireland was that it could be a bit steady at the weekends. This is because most of the people on my course had family farm commitments at home, requiring them to go home at the weekends. Although I often went home with them and the free time gave me chance to catch up with work it did get a bit annoying. However, if more people from the mainland UK started to take this course, this problem would soon disappear.
So anyone wanting to get away from the usual UK Agric colleges should definitely have a look out for the Greenmount and Queen’s Uni open days. It’s far cheaper to get over there than you might think as well, if you book the flights in advance it only cost around 70 quid return. Don’t just write it off because it’s in a different country!writes Dan Stockers