A warm welcome to our new students


Last week we welcomed our new 1st year students to the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. We are particularly pleased to see so many students on our new LM002 Bachelor of Arts course, which is new for September 2017. This year, LM002 is the highest general-entry arts course in the country with 360 points. A huge amount of work has taken place in the last two years to get this course up and running, so it was wonderful to meet our new students and hear their questions.

Thursday 31st August saw all our new students meet in the University Concert Hall to hear welcome talks. This was followed by a campus tour, and course talks.


On Friday we held subject taster sessions for our LM002 Arts students, where lecturers spoke about what’s involved with studying each subject. We also welcomed Faculty from Mary Immaculate College to discuss the subjects being taught there.


Welcome to all, we hope you have a happy and productive time at UL.


Settling into Spring Semester Two

Spring-Colours-WallpaperBy Judy Sheehan

Welcome everybody!

We find that Semester Two has sprung up on us, and the Christmas break seems like a distant memory at this stage. Having just entered week three of a fourteen week semester, time seems to be flying already!The Christmas exams went really well thankfully and no repeats so far!

Lets talk business. With my course, Arts Joint Honours, in the second semester of first year you can pick different subjects to those you chose to study in semester one. For me this is a brilliant opportunity to sample new subjects and to thread unknown territory.

This semester I am studying…

  • English- Renaissance Literature
  • Early Modern Irish History
  • Culture and Language Studies
  • Introduction to Sociology 2
  • Law- Criminal Procedure

Whereas last semester I took…

  • English- Academic reading and writing
  • Sources for History
  • Legal System and Method
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Media

Certain areas of my chosen subjects over-lap, something I find makes it easier to study as you can connect your learning in all subjects. Already, deadlines are being given and groups assigned for projects so its a matter of hitting the ground running.

Last Wednesday I got a little over-excited. Why so, I hear you ask? Last Wednesday we had a meeting about the option of going on Co-operative placement abroad A.K.A Co-Op. Semester two of second year allows AHSS students to gain experience either at home or abroad. The speakers representing opportunities in Spain and Argentina were enthusiastic and informative, with further meetings planned in the next few weeks. Having the process explained was real encouragement to get involved with such fantastic opportunities. I hope to do another blog with more in depth information and updates on my Co-Op endeavours soon.

Enough academic information for now. There are already talks about the upcoming RAG week (Raise and Give or Charity week) taking place the week of February 29th. Fundraising for four very worthy charities while having great craic? What more could you want. As well as that, Student Race day is being help in April so that will be a pre-exam boost. Like I said, this semester is FLYING! Maintaining the study-socialising balance is a constant struggle. Such is college life!

Untitled design (11)My name is Judy Sheehan (most people call me Julie-really annoying), I’m twenty years old and I am in first year Arts! Hailing from the beautiful county Cork, home is only down the road. Let me tell ye a bit more, if ye are brave enough to read on…

Some useless facts about me: I am the eldest of four, with three older step siblings, have 8+ cats, am from a little town in West Cork called Bandon, LOVE animals, laugh at absolutely anything even remotely funny,drink  far too much hot chocolate and consume too much pizza and chocolate (not at the same time though).

The Basics of Japanese Writing: For Beginners, By A Beginner

blogahss1By Sinead Cryan

So, you’re thinking about learning Japanese, either by yourself, or in UL as part of your course. Or maybe you’re just a bit curious about it, because it looks like a bunch of nonsensical squiggles when you see it around. Either way, you’ve probably heard that Japanese is one of the most notoriously difficult languages to learn, because of it’s non-alphabetical writing system. I know how you feel. It can be a bit daunting taking up a new language, especially one that doesn’t use ABC’s. And I thought it was too, and everyone I know probably thinks I’m a bit crazy for doing Business with Japanese. But in all honesty, after doing it for 10 weeks now, I can assure you, it’s not actually as hard as I imagined.

First of all, you need to know what the squiggles you’re looking at actually are. Japanese is actually written using three different systems. Yes, three. Don’t panic, please. The first one you need to learn is Hiragana. It’s the most basic of the systems and is used to guide pronunciation for beginners once you start Kanji. The second, Katakana, is similar to Hiragana, except that it’s used to write foreign “imported” words from other languages, such as Television (テレビ), taken from English, and pain, (パン), the French for bread.
Kanji, the third and final system, is a lopographic system adopted from China. This is the hardest part of learning to write Japanese, because unlike the Kana systems, which only have 46 letters each, there are thousands of Kanji. But again, don’t panic! You don’t need to learn that many to be able to read and write Japanese. (In fact, you could almost get away with never learning any, although I wouldn’t recommend it, especially for numbers.) In this post, however, I won’t be discussing Kanji, as this is only the basics to writing.

So, how on Earth are you, a beginner, supposed to tackle the mountain that is learning Japanese writing? Well, the best way to go about it is obviously to start with the two “Kana” systems, Hiragana and Katakana. I managed to learn these both in about three hours, and I mean really learn them.

I’ll let you in on my secret: associate every sound with an image that relates to it or to the letter itself.
Okay, so not in any way original, but it’s the most effective method out there for learning Japanese. It applies to Kanji too, but we’re just focusing on the first two for now. If you ask around, you’ll find that this is one of the most widely used methods too, because not only does it work, but it’s kind of fun as well.

While making up a picture for every single kana yourself would be a lot of fun, a quicker method is to use some online resources. My favorite one, which I found to be the most helpful, was from Tofugu. Tofugu is full of interesting resources, both for learning the language and about the culture, but a lot of the resources, such as their own textbook, have to be paid for. However, their guides to Hiragana and Katakana are free, so that’s what I used, because not only were they useful, they made some very clever associations, and some of them actually made me laugh. And who doesn’t want to have fun while learning?
The one for learning Hiragana is here. The way I learned them all in just over an hour was by reading the article a few times, and then playing this drag-and-drop game I found on Usagi-Chan’s Genki Resources. It’s a timed drag and drop game, and it gets very addictive if you keep trying to beat your own time. I knew I’d learned them well enough when I took 1 minute and 30 seconds to match all the characters to the sounds, and that was just because I couldn’t move the mouse any faster.
Once you’ve mastered Hiragana, you can move on to Katakana. The Tofugu article can be found here, and the drag-and-drop is here!

So, go forth and learn yourself some Kana! Words can’t describe how accomplished you’ll feel, being able to read comprehensions in Japanese after such a short amount of time! So, if you’re struggling to learn Japanese, or just want to try it out, give those resources a go and see what you think! I promise you won’t find Japanese as daunting once you’re done!


Untitled design (5)My name is Sinead Cryan, and I’m a first year student here in the University of Limerick. I study Business and Japanese, as well as an extra German module, so I’m actually a student of the Kemmy Business School, but it’s the languages I’m here to talk about.

My time at UL

By Fay Langley

99089315-76f8-433e-9f54-e0dee2501c43-991-000000e2a72b0b25Well, hello there! My name is Fay and I come from a little Gaeltacht island , the most southern part of Ireland called Cape Clear (Oileáin Chléire) in Co.Cork and THANKFULLY I survived the leaving cert blues last year and made it to UL to study my dream course: Applied Languages! I’m studying Irish, French and beginners Spanish along with Irish literature.

I must admit that I didn’t exactly know what to expect before I came to UL but honestly, UL has exceeded all my expectations. The wide range of clubs and societies, volunteering opportunities to the madness of randomness around campus of people dressed up in Onesys ( how does one even spell that?? Who knows?) is only a few things to name that UL has to offer!

I honestly never felt nervous about starting in UL because I firmly believed college life was what I’d been waiting for all my life ( well 19 years of my life, that is!) And although it sounds quite bizarre but I couldn’t wait to cook my own meals !! Although I’ve had to become considerably independent in various ways such as never having the mother wake me up for those godforsaken 9am starts and of course, the one thing I’ve learned I’ve taken for granted all my life, buying toilet paper.

My time in UL has been a blast so far and I’ve made countless friends for life already!

Slán go fóilin!