When it comes to teaching, one of the most common types of teaching in many parts of the world is “spoon-feeding” where instructors mostly teach students what to do and what to think. This kind of teaching, though usual, robs students of the chance to take responsibility for their own learning. 

In Ireland, institutions are known for different types of learning. In fact, the country’s education system is known for its culture of independence. 

Overview of Ireland as a Study Destination

Ireland, the country of famous actors such as Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, and Anna Kendrick, and writers, such as Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats is also a favorite study destination. In fact, from 2016 to 2019, the number of international students in the country increased 26%, outpacing its Irish students. 

One possible reason is due to the country’s higher educational institutions (HEI), which are some of the best in the world. In fact, in 2021, all of Ireland’s universities ranked in the QS World University Rankings. Another possible reason is due to the country’s picturesque landscapes and international student-friendly cities. 

Moreover, the country is also known for its unique way of learning, which puts strong importance on independent learning. 

Ireland’s Culture of Independent Learning

For some students, studying in Ireland might give them a culture shock. Not only due to the country’s culture itself, but because of its culture when it comes to education. 

Unlike other country’s education systems, Irish educational institutions encourage their students to learn independently. Thus, you might get a long list of reading materials you should read and academic assignments. Students in Ireland are expected to read these materials in preparation for the lectures, assignments, and exams. 

During lectures, instructors won’t give students transcripts, so students should make sure to take notes while listening. If this type of learning is the same as the one in your home country, then this will be easy to follow. However, for those who grew up with a different learning style, adjusting to this might be a bit difficult. In case international students are having a hard time with this type of learning, fear not, and do not hesitate to ask for help. You can ask many people for advice or help, including your lecturer, and other academic staff in your institution. 

The Importance of Note-Taking 

Before going to Ireland, it would help to train yourself how to take notes effectively and efficiently. It may sound easy, just writing what you have heard in your class. However, note-taking should be clear enough so you can use it again when you study and take your exams. Also, it does not mean that you should take everything down. In fact, you should focus more on the important parts. 

Discussion Groups and Tutorials 

Joining discussion groups and tutorials is common in Ireland. These are small teaching groups that are usually organized by lecturers so students would have an environment where they can discuss and debate ideas raised during lectures. In fact, you can even ask your lecturer any questions about the course they are teaching since you usually cannot do it during lectures. 

For many students, Ireland’s culture of independence may seem difficult. However, once they’ve gotten used to it, they would usually know how it helps them learn more. Also, it makes students feel more confident and empowered. To learn more about Ireland as a study destination, check out MSM Unify’s article on 3 Reasons to Study and Live in Ireland.