Student Aine Watchorn fills us in on life atWaterford IT. And with one of the largest and most innovative libraries in Ireland, it looks like there’s no excuse for not studying here!
Introduce your college.
Waterford Institute of Technology is the biggest IT campus in the sunny south east with over 10,000 students and 1,000 staff. It has two main Campuses, one down in College Street and one on the Cork Road.
What’s the best thing about your college?
Our facilities are pretty impressive, there’s something for everyone. We have a new sports campus on the Waterford bypass with outstanding facilities.
On College Street we have a chapel and down in main Campus we have a medical hall and games room. It’s in a great location and it’s a great, friendly, up-beat place to be!
What’s the worst?
Parking wouldn’t be great down at main Campus. It’s quite difficult to get parking if you’re not an early bird! Spaces are limited so its best advised to leave the car at home and walk.
What’s the local area like?
Waterford is a lovely place, the good thing about it is that it’s all kept together and not too spread out. The shops are all in the one place, along with some lovely restaurants, pubs and bars. There’s public transport such as city buses, so it’s easy enough to get around.
What about accommodation? Is it expensive?
No, it’s actually not too bad. The accommodation is of a good standard and the price is actually fairly reasonable, from around €50-€85 a week.
The college accommodation is a big hit with first year students as it’s a great way to get to know new people and to make new friends. Most of the college accommodation is situated in the same area, so it’s great in the evenings as you can just walk a few doors down to visit your friends.
What’s the cost of living like?
It wouldn’t be too bad once you get your bills and accommodation out of the way. All you really need is some money for food (there’s no shortage of Tescos in Waterford, there is one around every corner!)
Alternatively, the college do lovely dinners everyday at a great price. Some change for the bus, €2 here and there, then what ever you have left for Wasted Wednesday!
Is part-time work easy to come by?
It’s like everywhere else at the moment; work is hard to come by. But since Waterford is a city, there is plenty of business around to try your luck with.
What are the campus facilities like?
The facilities in Waterford IT are of a very high standard. There is a brand new sports centre only after opening with three full sized grass pitches, top class approved all-weather GAA pitches, eight first class changing facilities, a cricket pitch and meeting rooms.
There is an AIB branch on campus which is very handy for paying bills and rent. There is also a Bank of Ireland branch just up behind the college.
There are libraries on both campuses. The Luke Wadding Library is on the main campus and is WIT’s biggest library. It is one of the largest and most innovative third level libraries in Ireland.
It is a great asset to the college as there is plenty of space in it if you have an assignment due or a test coming up and you have to go into hiding to get the work done. The only downside is the lack of computers, but with the free Wi-Fi you can work away on your own laptop.
What’s the food like? Is there a good variety? Is it expensive?
The food on college is fairly reasonable for what you get. There is a great selection available from salads, wraps, sandwiches and soup in the Gallery, to snacks and full lunch’s in the Canteen or full homemade dinners (just like mammy makes) in the Dome, the college student bar.
What kind of sports facilities are there?
Waterford IT is a very sporty college; it has a team for nearly every sport out there! We have that amazing new sports campus that just opened and the TL sports building. The facilities are amazing.
Is there a broad range of clubs and societies?
There is a HUGE range of clubs and socs in Waterford IT, from the Business Society to the ever growing GAA Society, to the Parachute Society and Kick boxing Society – there is something for people of all ages.
What’s the story with the college/local bar? Is there a good atmosphere? Is it cheap?
The college has a student bar on campus (the main campus) called the Dome. The atmosphere is always great and upbeat in there, and food is served every day till around 3.
There is a great darts set up and a pool table in the Dome too. It’s a great spot to watch the matches and have a sneaky pint or two after a tough day in college!
Every day you can catch Home and Away on the big screen (very popular in WIT and it’s taken quite seriously!) Also, I would highly recommend the Dome as the place to go for Raise and Give week as it is pretty epic!
The Dome is usually not that expensive because there is always some sort of promo going on.
Then in town, there is a good selection of pubs and clubs. The best thing about these is that they are all so close to each other, so there is no trekking around in the heels!
Waterford is renowned for having a great student night life, and I agree 100% that Wednesday nights and Monday nights are by far the best!
The Foundry was one of the popular places to go this year, and with all drinks €2.50 you couldn’t go wrong. All the pubs and clubs do have great student promos on so you never have an excuse not to go out!
What advice would you offer to new students? For example, what’s the worst thing a new student can do? What’s the best?
Firstly, I would not shy away and stay quiet. You need to join some clubs and socs and meet new people.
In college you can make lifelong friendships. It is a fantastic experience, and if you put the work in from day one and keep it going you will fly through your studies and won’t have to worry about any repeats. You will be able to have a great social life too and get the best of both worlds.
The SU in Waterford IT are fantastic, and if you have any problems they won’t hesitate to help.
Any other advice?
Raise and Give week (RAG week) in WIT is pretty epic. Don’t miss out!