Oxygen College Guides – UCC

Kris McElhinney, a 23 year-old History and Politics grad from Waterford, is currently servicing as the Students’ Union President of University College Cork. He has taken the time out from to give you a detailed, colourful account of what may await you in this exciting university-centred city on the south-coast!

What’s your city/town like?
Cork is a vibrant, young city that offers all the advantages of a modern city, but less of the drawbacks. Not too big and certainly not too small, Cork is a city built around its University, which remains the biggest employer in the area. Because of the dominance of the University,

What’s the vibe like?
The People’s Republic of Cork is very much a place for young people in the 17-25 age group, unlike Dublin where the Universities and their populations are dwarfed by the bigger city. Cork’s massive student population keeps Cork youthful and energetic:.

Is there a lot to do there?
The nightlife is Cork is one of the best things to recommend about the place with big bars, old man pubs, nightclubs, alternative club and pubs, a thriving gay scene and theatre. Cork has festivals like its Choral and Film Festivals. Cork’s sporting prowess is well known, the productive of a rich sporting culture. For those who want to get out of the city now and again, places like Kinsale, Fota, West Cork are within easy access.

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Is it easy to get around?
Very accessible, city centred and thanks to student activities like Clubs and Societies the University quickly develops a close-knit Community feeling. One of the best things about UCC is that all of the advantages of the City are within 5 minutes walk of the city due to UCC’s location as a city-centre campus, unlike most other Irish universities which are based on the outskirts of cities. The city itself is about ten minutes in every direction-making walking around the city easy for students. The Route to college is the number 5 – while it might sometimes be packed like something you’d see in Calcutta – they’re regular (coming every 15 minutes during the day).

What are campus facilities like? Is there easy access to computers, library and photocopying?
The Computer Centre maintain around 850 computers across the university for student use with additional department specific computer systems such as BIS, Computer Science, Engineering, Chemistry. Our brand new library should improve facilities no one and the Students Union are hopeful of successful lobbying for 24 hour library access.

Is there a bank on-campus?
Bank of Ireland have a dedicated student service branch and 4 campus cash points while there is an AIB just across college road.

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Is there a Student Health Centre? How good is it?
The student health centre provides a free service to students all year as well as cheap holiday jabs and physio.

What’s the college bar like?
UCC has three on campus bars- the old bar is a student favourite with its country charm while the New Bar offers a more modern alternative. The sports centre also maintains its own bar for sport occasions.

What are the canteen and campus eateries like?
The Students’ Union were this year successful in having our caterers changed. Next year the 9 campus eateries should provide huge variety from Quiznos sub to Starbucks and Bagel factory.

What kind of sports facilities are there?
The Mardyke Arena, our sports complex, was award winning even before it was newly redeveloped – combined with Sports Clubs UCC caters for every sporting and recreational outlet, from volleyball to tai chi, rugby to aerobics. The Arena offers some of the best sporting facilities anywhere in the UK or Ireland – and its FREE to our students.

What kind of clubs and societies can students join?
The 50 clubs and 80 societies providing the lifeblood of this college. UCC Societies cater for every interest under the sun – from mixing on decks to building houses in Africa or standing on your soapbox in one of our many political and debating societies.

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What are the cinemas like around your college?
The city has two multiplex cinemas with an omniplex a ten minute bus journey away.

What’s accomodation like? How expensive is it?
UCC Accomodation offer 2 different services – a great house search facility and its campus accommodation. Extremely expensive and quick to fill the 788 beds provided by Campus accommodation are overpriced at 120euro. The average private rent being 70 euro for shared dwellings.

Is it easy to find a part-time job? Are there any places with a good reputation for hiring students?
The many bars and shops are generally the mainstay of the student employment like any student city- UCC Students’ Union also provide a job finder service.

What’s the “worst thing” a new student at your college can do?
UCC is brimming with possibilities and opportunities to get involved and experience new things. Think about being Class Rep or getting involved in our Ents & Events and our huge range of Clubs and Societies. It sounds trite but most graduates will tell you – sitting at home watching ‘Home and Away’ isn’t what University is about – your years in UCC are all too short – DON’T WASTE THEM!

What’s “the best?
It has to be the SU Entertainments, Clubs and Societies I’ve already talked about. Where the smaller colleges are forced into the city for entertainment it great to have the option like in UCC. With events and entertainments almost every night the SU in UCC are focused on making sure students enjoy their time in UCC as much as possibly while costing them as little as possible. Clubs and societies are also a fantastic way to get into the swing of college life – involvement in societies is actually how I got to be the Student Union President. They give students great skills, experiences and most importantly of all great friends.

In what way do you think your college is superior to others’ in the country/its rivals?
UCCSU and our clubs and societies are the lifeblood of UCC- from paintball clubs to war gaming and role play there is something for everyone amoung our 80 societies and 70 clubs.

As Printed in the Oxygen College Guide 2008 – Link

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