Belfast

Algemene Informatie

Uitwisselingsperiode

Januari- Mei.

Invulling

De student kan kiezen uit een aantal vakken die de hogeschool aanbiedt voor internationale studenten. Dit zijn voornamelijk cultuurvakken waarbij de geschiedenis van Ierland centraal staat en je volgt deze vakken samen met de Ierse studenten. Je kan ook specifiek vakken kiezen in functie van je eigen vakkencombinatie. Hiervoor kan je best meteen afspraken maken met de verantwoordelijke op de hogeschool om te kijken of deze vakken ingepland kunnen worden tussen je andere vakken. In maart is het “teaching practice”: deze vijf weken durende stage is verplicht op te nemen voor alle studenten. Binnen deze stage ga je zowel observeren als zelf lesgeven. Erasmus studenten komen tijdens deze stage meestal terecht in een lagere school, zelfs als je een leerkracht secundair onderwijs bent. Vakken uit de lerarenopleiding vallen in deze periode weg, vakken van andere richtingen gaan gewoon door.

Evaluatie

Evaluatie gebeurt via zelfstandig werk (schriftelijke taken), projectwerk en een reflectie op de onderwijspraktijk. Indien een contactexamen vereist is, kunnen studenten opteren voor een mondeling of schriftelijk examen.

Kostprijs

De instelling helpt bij het zoeken naar accommodatie. De prijzen zitten hierbij rond de 160-230 pond per maand voor huur plus een waarborg van 150 pond. De kosten voor elektriciteit bedragen ongeveer 40 pond per maand (deelbaar door het aantal huisgenoten). De verwarming komt ongeveer op 80 pond per persoon voor 2 maanden. Voorzie in het budget zeker voldoende geld per week voor eten. Het leven in Belfast is duurder dan bij ons. Vervoer in Belfast zelf is best goedkoop.

Bereikbaarheid

Er zijn twee mogelijke vliegroutes: naar Belfast International Airport vanuit Schiphol of naar Dublin Airport in Ierland en vandaar met de bus/trein naar Belfast (2u 30 min met de express bus). Je kan goedkoop naar Dublin vliegen met Air Lingus en Ryainair vanuit Brussel.


 

Nuttige informatie

Partner Institution

St. Mary’s University College Belfast
191 Falls Road
Belfast BT12 6FE (N-Ireland)
Tel. 00 44 28 9032 7678; Fax. 00 44 28 9033 3719
website: http://www.stmarys-belfast.ac.uk
e-mail internationale coördinator: d.robson@smucb.ac.uk
e-mail secretariaat (alle vragen): b.ellis@stmarys-belfast.ac.uk
contactpersoon voor KHLeuven-DLO : mevrouw Mieke Achtergaele
e-mail: mieke.achtergaele@khleuven.be

Tip

Breng eigen handdoeken mee en een internationale adapter voor je radio of haardroger.

Breng een eigen stekkerdoos mee. Op deze manier kan je meerdere Europese stekker insteken op hetzelfde moment.

Voorzie eigen lakens.

Voorzie ook meer verzorgde kledij (o.a. das) voor observaties en stage in de scholen. Het dragen van jeans op een stage wordt meestal niet geapprecieerd.

Documentatiemateriaal over België en je eigen regio kan nuttig zijn voor stagelessen. Er is in de hogeschool toegang tot het internet en mogelijkheid tot e-mailen.

Voorzie een maandelijks budget voor een telefoon abonnement in Belfast. Er is geen internet voorzien in de huurhuizen en via je abonnement kan je een smartphone gebruiken als internet hotspot.

Breng vooral niet te veel mee. Lokale winkels zoals Primark verkopen tegen goedkope prijzen als wat je nodig hebt.

OPGELET: 
De lerarenopleiding in Belfast eist een bewijs van goed gedrag en zeden, thans uittreksel uit het strafregister genoemd om in de scholen te gaan observeren en les te geven. Dit bewijs moet worden afgehaald op het politiebureau. Je persoonlijk aanbieden is vaak noodzakelijk. De KHLeuven zorgt voor de vertaling van het attest in het Engels door een beëdigd vertaler wanneer je jouw attest tijdig bezorgt. Dit wanneer de gemeente geen attest in het Engels aflevert. Deze vertaling naar het Engels brengt geen kosten mee voor de student. Voor vertalingen naar andere talen (b.v. het Frans) worden er wel onkosten aangerekend.

Checklist

  • Housing
    • The housing will be arranged by Saint Mary’s, so you don’t have to worry about that. Briege will make a facebook group for the Erasmus students, so you can choose who you would like to live with and pick housemates. In each house there are some duvets and pillows, so you don’t have to bring them. If you have problems with your housemates or you don’t feel comfortable in your house, let Briege know and she will help you find another house or switch houses.
  • Travel and traveling around (host town and country)
    • Cabs: First cabs, Peter Pan, Eagle and Broadway cabs are the cheapest taxis. If you have to be somewhere on time, you better take value cabs, they are more reliable. During teaching practice you better take a bus membership. You can always walk if your school is not that far or you can take a cab if you can share it with other Erasmus students. If you would like to travel around Ireland, you better rent a car ( Europcar is the cheapest car rental company). Black cabs are also very cheap and pass by every 10 minutes. You just have to signal the driver that you want to join. When you have arrived at your destination you knock on the glass and pay the driver.
    • Busses: Translink will get you anywhere you need to go. You can buy tickets on the bus and ask the driver to give you a heads up when you need to get off. For short distances a cab might be cheaper, but not for long distances. You can also buy a monthly subscription at the tourist information centre. A monthly unlimited subscription for Belfast will cost you around 70 euros. 
    • Aircoach: You can take the Aircoach to Dublin. You have to pre-book a seat, which will cost you 8 pounds. There is one aircoach every hour.
  • Social life (drinks and going out)
    • Go to ‘That wee café’ to have breakfast/lunch. It’s just next to Saint Mary’s and not expensive. They also have delicious milkshakes ( oreo Is the best one!) . Also ‘Failte’, further down the road is a very good restaurant.
    • Go to 'Culturlann' at Falls Road for breakfast/lunch and meet the Irish speaking community
    • Bowling in the Odysee arena only is 3 pounds on Tuesday and is fun to do with the Erasmus group. 
    • Cinema at Dublin Road Movie Theatre on Tuesday is 3.5 pounds.
    • Have a Guinness while watching a live band in Kelly’s Cellars.
    • Have a pint at Madden's on Monday evenings and listen to the local music
    • Have an Irish stew or a pie at the Crown Bar. It is a beautiful old bar which still has the separated areas. This was really nice to see, just like in the old days.
    • Going out
      • Monday: The scratch, also known as ‘The fly’ is the place to be. It is the student club of Saint Mary’s.
      • Tuesday: Ollies! There is a nice terrace, where you can sit and enjoy some live music. The box, next to the bowling in the odyssey , is also popular on Tuesday’s and they sell cheap alcohol there.
      • Wednesday: Thompsons.
      • Thursday: The botanic in, also known as ‘the bot’. The pub is always crowded and it’s nice to listen to the live bands . The club is nice ass well, but you have to pay five pounds to get in. Opposite the bot you have the egg, where you can have a cheap predrink.
      • Friday: Have a Guinness and enjoy the live music in Kelly’s cellars, the most popular pub in Belfast.
      • Saturday: Lavery's is the place to be for great music and a night of dancing.
  • Money / banking
    • In our house we had to pay the rent each month, 180 pounds plus 20 pounds each month for the electricity. A visa card is always handy.
    • Check the Euro-Pound rate at several banks before going to the ATM for cash. Danske Bank always had the most reasonable rates.
  • Communicate (phone and internet)
    • There isn't any internet in most of the houses so you will have to fix this with your landlord. We  could use the internet of the neighbours, so we didn’t have to pay anything. I recommend  future students to do that as well. All the houses are close to Saint Mary’s so you can use the computers at Saint Mary’s. In the weekends Saint Mary’s is closed in the afternoon.
    • Paying 15 pounds for a monthly all-you-can-eat-data subscription from Three was well worth its money. You can turn your mobile into a hotspot and link it to your laptop at home. You will also always have unlimited internet wherever you go. This subscription works everywhere within the UK.
  • How to improve your integration
    • Play a team sport with the local students. Don’t always hang out with the Erasmus students, but go out with the local students as well.
    • At 'Culturlann' at the Falls Road you can follow a ten week long Irish course for beginners where you meet local people. Culturlann also offers other courses such as traditional dancing, singing, yoga, etc. 
    • Try to join a St. Mary's social club. 
    • Don't be afraid to take up a course that other Erasmus students are not following. The local students will help you out and make you feel right at home.
    • When you are in a pub don't be afraid to talk to random people. Most Irish people go to pubs to talk and will gladly have a conversation with you about any topic.
  • Intercultural differences with your home country
    • College: The atmosphere around the college and relationship between the teachers and students in the college is totally different than it is in Belgium. All the things are much more easy going.
    • Teaching practice: The biggest difference between Northern Ireland and Belgium is that they never let a pupil do one year of primary twice. Almost every class has a class assistant, who takes care of the weaker children. . Even the learning environment is adjusted to the individual necessities of children with special needs. Another difference with Belgium is that the Catholic background of the school is reflected throughout the prayers and holy songs. Although I’ve always been in a Catholic school we never prayed that much. They have a different prayer in the morning, at lunchtime and at the end of the day. The school even has his own chapel. Moreover, from P4 onwards they get Spanish lessons from a native speaker who comes in the different classes and teaches for half an hour.
    • Strong focus on religion everywhere in the country.
    • They have different holidays: St. Patrick's day, Bank holiday, etc.
    • Irish people are one of the most friendly people you will ever meet. They will always come to your aid if you are in need of assistance or guidance.
    • Irish people are more laid back than Belgian people. Don't expect everything to happen right away, because they have their own rhythm of life, which is slower than what you are used to.
  • Things to see, to visit, to do and excursions
    • Queens University, Ulster museum and botanic gardens, political murals, Titanic Quarter, Belfast castle and cave hill, Victoria shopping center and Victorian pubs, St. George's Market, City Hall.
    • The library and the Book of Kells, Guinness storehouse, Kilmainham goal, Trinity college and not to forget temple bar.
    • Drive the causeway coastal route and go to the Gaint’s causeway and walk down the rope bridge in Carrick-a-Rede.
    • Donegal: Slieve League, Glen Gesh Pass, Glenveagh Castle and national park, Poisened Glen.
    • Mourne mountains and Newcastle.
    • Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highlands.
    • Game of Thrones locations around Northern Ireland.
    • Glendalough National Park.
    • Londonderry and Ballymena.
    • Enniskillen.
    • Cliffs of Moher.
  • Do's-and-don'ts (hierarchie, politeness, rules, dress code, conversation,...)
    • Do:
      • Do sports at Queen’s PEC ( more facilities than the leisure centers and only 60 pounds).
      • Get a leisure center membership ( with your Saint Mary’s student card it is 17 pounds a month and you can use it in all the leisure centers in Belfast) The leisure centers have a swimming pool and a sauna.
      • Go to all the organized Erasmus events.
      • Organize parties/events yourself.
      • Do your groceries in Lidl and go to Iceland to buy frozen products.
      • Meet your fellow Erasmus students as much as possible and try to do many things together.
      • Do wear smart clothes during your teaching practice. Wear a dress and heels when going to a club.
      • Try to speak English as much as possible. People will appreciate your efforts.
      • Bring a waterproof coat and shoes.
      • Keep in touch with your landlord and be as polite as possible. He will help you out if you have any problems in the house.
      • Ask for clear deadlines when talking about your Erasmus assignments. Otherwhise you will end up doing them all at the end of your stay.
    • Don't
      • Walk home alone after going out!
      • Talk about the Troubles unless an Irish person starts talking to you about it.
      • Try not to speak your own language while on Erasmus.
      • Stay at home in the weekends.
      • Try to stay away from the protestant areas ( A lot of u-Union Jacks), except for Shankill ( It’s a safe area and nice to see).
      • Don’t walk through Donegal road at night.
      • No Irish flags or Catholic signs in the city center. No Union Jacks or British signs either. The city center is neutral ( both Catholics and protestants) , so don’t provoke unnecessary troubles.
      • You are living in an Irish area, so no British signs.
      • Be afraid of the weather. Northern Ireland isn't the sunniest place to visit, but it doesn't always rain!
      • Heat you house all day long. It is very expensive and not necessary.
  • Budget
    • 2500 euros  in total
    • You might receive an Erasmus grant of 1200 euros.
  • Visa
  • Medical requirements / Health
    • There is a strong focus on health in the schools around the country. During pancake Tuesday the children couldn’t have Nutella on their pancakes, because some children can be allergic to nuts. They are very careful with allergies the children may have. Not only in the schools they are careful when it comes to allergies, the hairdressers  are precautious as well. When you want to dye your hair, they first apply the product on your skin to see if you are allergic. They only dye your hair if you don’t have an allergic reaction.
    • You will live near the biggest hospital in the city (Queen Victoria Hospital) and there is a pharmacy, dentist and a doctor's practice in a five minute walk of your house.

Personal comments

  • Why are you going to this country and city?

I chose to go on Erasmus to Belfast because I wanted to improve my English and learn about its culture and history. I also wanted an adventure where I could explore and discover a country and its possibilities. 

  • Do you recommend this destination and experience as an exchange student?

I most definitely recommend this destination to any exchange student who wants to go on an adventure and is ready to have the best time of his life. I had the best time there and made friends that will stay friends for life.

  • Pictures

Pictures of all my experiences in Belfast can be found on my photo album on my blog: http://stefaniekorthoudt.wix.com/erasmusbelfast2015

Blogs en verslagen

 

Voornaam Naam Contact (niet-UCLL emailadres / Facebookpagina) Blog
 Stefanie  Korthoudt  stefaniekorthoudt@hotmail.com  http://stefaniekorthoudt.wix.com/erasmusbelfast2015