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Antoine Chavany
My Expat' to Dublin

Antoine, Master in Management student on expatriation to Dublin

Would you please introduce yourself ?

Antoine: I am currently in M1 of the Master in Management, specialising in entrepreneurship.

In my associative career, I was part of the EM'bassadors, an association in which I was very involved on the Caen campus. In my third year, I created an association for sports events on the same campus. We organised baseball tournaments on the beach in Ouistreham in Normandy.

I was also part of the Admissible Team to welcome new students at the beginning of the year. My last project in this sense was to organise the integration of new students on campus. This was one of the most beautiful projects I have ever undertaken. It was a great experience.

I am currently on expatriate status on the Dublin campus after having gone to Norway in my second year.

Was going to Dublin your first choice?

Initially, I had chosen to go to Finland because I fell in love with the Scandinavian countries but due to Covid, some partner universities were not able to welcome us. EM Normandie did everything possible to allow us to go on an expatriation, and I finally chose the Dublin campus.

I would have been disappointed not to go abroad because I chose an initial course and not a work-study course this year precisely to be able to go abroad. I am very happy to be in Dublin this year.

Are the courses in Dublin similar to those available at other School campuses?

Antoine: The courses remain in continuity with those taught in Caen. We have classes in computer science, geopolitics, marketing... The teachers and lecturers are really specialists in their field. One of our professors, for example, works at Facebook, which brings a real concrete aspect to the course, in addition to knowledge. It's a real plus to be in contact with these professionals.

When you leave the classroom, you only have to walk 10 minutes to see the companies LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Dell, Capgemini... all the big digital behemoths. The campus is really ideally located, right in Dublin city centre, which is also not far from the bar district.

Dublin is a capital city on a human scale. It is an advantage to be able to do everything on foot. Besides, the city is also very well served by bus lines. Dublin is a small city.

Will you tell us about the rents?

Antoine: The rents are comparable to those in Paris. For my part, I am housed in a student residence. I have a room to myself and I share the kitchen and a living room with other residents. I pay a high price for this comfort but the advantage is that we are located in the centre of town and benefit from all the city's assets.

There are also other solutions to pay less, such as sharing a flat or living with a local, which can greatly reduce costs.

What do you do in your spare time?

Antoine: I'm a big baseball fan. I play for the Dublin team and play this sport 12 hours a week. I travel regularly around the Dublin area. It's super important for me to feel "in my world". It has also allowed me, during the period of lockdown, to have a good time and socialise.

Sport has been a good way for me to meet people other than at school or in the street, people with whom I share the same passion. Outside of baseball, I go out to bars. This is where I got to taste the Irish specialty, Guinness.

Bars are an integral part of Irish culture, are there any places you should definitely go to?

Antoine: Of course there's Temple Bar which is not just a street but a "thirsty street", the atmosphere is huge, it's really all about the typical Irish pubs and streets and all the hyper friendly and festive people.

What are the things to do in Dublin?

Antoine: In Dublin itself, there are a huge number of museums like the Whisky distilleries. It's embedded in Irish culture. There are also art museums and emigration museums.

There are also typical English-speaking universities. There are a lot of parks that are very popular for hanging out with friends. It was really cool during the lockdown to meet up there when the bars were closed.

Outside the city of Dublin, there is some beautiful scenery to admire, Lake Connemara but also the city of Belfast. All of these destinations are very easy to get to.

How was your reception by the Irish?

Antoine: It's not a legend, the Irish are incredibly kind and caring.

What is your fondest memory of Dublin?

Antoine: I think it's when there was the Euro football tournament and the bars reopened at the same time, we got to experience a typical Irish evening watching sports matches and experiencing that fervour. There is real cohesion. We met up with students from our class but also with people we met on site. It was really a magical and unforgettable moment.

Did you travel to the surrounding countries?

Antoine: Personally I stayed mostly in Dublin as baseball took up a lot of my time.

Other people I know have been to Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. Everything is very well served by bus and train. Car rentals are not very expensive. You can even go by boat. It's quite easy to travel around.

Have you made any progress in English?

Antoine: Yes of course, I am constantly bathed in the English language. It's the language we use in class and even as a means of communication in general.

Personally with sport, I only speak in English and my flatmates are internationals so we only communicate in that language. Being in an English speaking country, it's impossible not to progress as long as you communicate a minimum with others.

Is student life in Dublin different from student life in France?

Antoine : No, for me student life is about sharing good times with other students. It's something universal. It doesn't matter where you come from, your age, your gender, if you want to have a good time with others, you will always find a way to do it. Plus, the atmosphere in Dublin is unique.

How is the weather in Ireland?

Antoine: The cliché that the weather is always bad in Ireland is false, it doesn't rain all the time and it's even less bad there than in Normandy.

Do you recommend this expatriation?

Antoine: First of all, I totally recommend doing an expatriation, and that, no matter where you go. It's a great experience!

To choose your destination, it depends on what you are looking for and what you want to explore further. For example, in Dublin, if you are looking to develop more in marketing and digital, it is the perfect place as the trainers come directly from big companies. In addition, the campus will, from next year, offer a Master's degree in this field in partnership with large companies in the region.

How is life on campus in Covid time?

Antoine: It doesn't change much. We have our face-to-face classes as usual, even if it's a bit arranged. We also have distance learning classes, although it's really good to be back in the classroom.

Do you have any advice to give before you go to Dublin?

Antoine: The most important thing is the adapter for the sockets, for all your devices but especially for your computer in class.

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