Bright lights big city - choose your destination
A city by city guide to university. Compiled by GRAINNE FALLER, LOUISE HOLDENand JOHN HOLDENCITY GUIDE: DUBLINToo big for some, perfect for others, the capital has everything you could possibly want. Reinvent yourself, stay exactly as you are, nobody will be any the wiser. Dublin is a city with colleges and students rather than a real university town like Galway but there are plenty of student promotions and places to go. You just need to know where the action is. Your choice of venue will likely depend on your college. Each scene is different. Just get out there, make friends and have fun. This time next year you’ll know it like the back of your hand.
DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY
What’s hot?Dublin City University is one of Ireland’s youngest colleges and most of the facilities are state of the art.
What’s not?Despite being located in Ireland’s capital, DCU is just that little bit too far away from the city centre. So bike, bus, car or magic carpet is necessary to get into town.
On the town:Matt Weldon’s is the local haunt while The Twisted Pepper in the City Centre is also popular.
Most played song in the college bar:Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.
Right-on credentials:DCU has always been excellent on welfare and disability issues. They are also strong on LGBT awareness campaigns, healthy eating and suicide prevention.
Event of the year:Hard to pick one out. But the Nubar and Venue in the Hub host all manner of talent throughout the year. Previous acts to perform in DCU include: 2unlimited, Abbaesque, Alabama 3, The Coronas. Plus you have the Helix venue right on campus too so you never know what might be on.
If this college was a band it would be:Daft Punk – refreshing but strangely familiar
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
What’s hot?If you like things big, UCD is Ireland’s largest university with over 25,000 students and counting. Pretty much everything you need is already on campus – books, food, accommodation. With this magnitude on its side, UCD literally has something for everyone, unless you’re agoraphobic.
What’s not?Size isn’t everything as the UCD Belfield campus is quite a sprawling monster. It’s probably a good country mile from one side to the other.
On the town:Harcourt Street’s clubs and bars have always been popular with UCD students. The street is particularly entertaining for sober anthropology or sociology students who can find excellent examples of strange human behaviour, especially late on a Thursday or Friday night.
Most played song in the college bar:Ireland’s Call.
Right-on credentials:UCD has always been very responsible about recycling and the promotion of green policies. Plus it has run several campaigns over the years banning the sale of products on campus that are known to be infringing on human rights in other parts of the world. UCD is also one of the best educational institutions for access learning.
Event of the year:The UCD Fresher’s Ball. It sells out every year and always gets the cream of international and local acts on the bill. Recent headliners have included Tinie Tempah, Simian Mobile Disco, The Blizzards.
If this college was a band it would be:New Order – the architecture may be grey and dated but it’s quickly becoming retro chic.
DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLGY
What’s hot?It used to be its location in the heart of the city, but now that the Grangegorman campus has been given the go-ahead, it will be its state-of-the-art campus outside the city.
What’s not?The spread out nature of DIT across the city centre makes it harder to build a sense of a DIT community. Your lecture could be in any one of 39 locations at the moment.
On the town:DIT doesn’t have its own bar. Students drink in the Living Room, Solas, Karma Stone and Bodkins bar.
Most played songs:Each campus plays host to very different students from business students in Aungier St to engineers in Bolton Street, so top songs range from We Are Young by Fun to Ride On by Christy Moore.
Right-on credentials?A lot of DIT’s societies are passionate about their aims. LGBT society won best society in DIT’s Society awards this year and do a lot to represent the LGBT movement. Mental Planners lead a very strong “Green” initiative and host Green Week each year.
Event of the year:This is an easy one. Last year the DIT RAG ball was hosted in the O’Connell Street complex composed of the Living Room, Murrays and Fibbers with a line-up including Dr Lektroluv and DJ Rankin.
If this college was a band it would be:The Bingo Players – house and dance music were big in DIT this year.
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
What’s hot?The coolest campus in the country. Stunning, ancient and right in the middle of things. TCD is also Ireland’s most famous university with the best international reputation.
What’s not?Its central location can also be a hindrance. Food, drink and accommodation are expensive in the areas surrounding Trinity.
On the town:The student bar, The Pav, is a popular spot among students of Trinity, and hosts regular live gigs and themed nights. City centre nightclubs such as Coppers, Doyles and The Village are also frequented.
Most played song in the college bar:Angels by Robbie Williams, apparently. We’re surprised too.
Right-on credentials?Considerable. This year Trinity is pursuing a green flag campaign for the college. Trinity also has a vast network of volunteering initiatives and the Student Union bans the sale of Nestle products in its campus shops, in response to alleged ethical abuses by that company in Africa. Until recently, the sale of Coca Cola was forbidden in SU shops, in response to alleged human rights abuses in South America.
Event of the year: TheTrinity Ball. It’s one of Europe’s largest private parties. In the past, acts for the ball have included Mark Ronson, Dizzie Rascal, The Streets and Jessie J.