Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ireland - My new campus, UCC



Yes, this is my new campus for this period: University College Cork, Ireland. Hold on, this is a bar. Well, indeed, this is a bar. To be precise, it is a campus bar, and it is located on the second floor of the student service center. I don't have any classes held here (would be cool if there is some sort of beer appreciation class or something like that), but this is sort of my escape area on campus. They don't play loud music, the ambience is great, and they actually serve lunch (not fancy, but I'm looking forward to a plate of chicken tikka masala). I don't drink unless I need to when I socialize, so I most probably won't drink here during the day.


The student service center (left), where the bar is located. Ironically, there is a chapel right next to it (the building on the right) LOL


Inside the chapel. The design of the floor is kind of cool :)


First impression of my campus? HOGWARTS!
The view of the campus main gate from within the campus ground

The view of the campus entrance from the main gate

Well, I know, it's not that similar to Hogwarts, but our previous university before we moved to Ireland looks totally different, with building very far apart from each other, separated by grassy fields and trees. And bicycle lanes. Both are equally great campus, but the atmospheres are totally different. 

(And I don't think any campus in Indonesia or Singapore will have this kind of Harry Potter-ish set up).

What's more, the Quadrangle (the Quad, in short) looks like a perfect place to play Quidditch. By the way, they call it a Quad although it has only 3 sides enclosed by the building. Technically, you should have 4 sides, but due to financial issues (and some say it's because there was a disease spreading out in the area at that time so the students needed some air circulation), the fourth side was not built.



And when we entered a visitor's shop inside the building, I saw what would be perfect as the Quidditch uniform. LOL, ok, I'll stop relating everything around this campus with Harry Potter.



I can't remember the name of this room, but this room is the old library, where portraits of the presidents of the university are displayed. This room is sometimes used as an exam hall. 




Kinda cool and classic, huh? :D

Speaking of which, I just explored the library about two days ago. It's rather fancy: automatic gate at the entrance. Tap your student ID card and the gate will open. I often see this ID-card exclusive automated school gates in Japanese manga/anime futuristic school stories back in the 90s and early 2000s (of course in the stories there are also additional functions such as intruder alert system, face recognition system and such - I think it's a little too much security to be used in schools haha). Sorry, I kind of dragged this post into some sort of fantasy stories again, but I think it's amazing that what people thought in the past is being implemented in the present.




I found my mini headquarter on the third level of the library, around the multimedia area. There are cubicles installed with PCs equipped with SONY Bravia monitors (ooh la la!). I'm not sure about the monitor size but it's certainly big, and it has high resolution and good audio system. What's great is that you have your own space (people can still see you from the outside but it's better than sitting directly side-by-side in a computer lab) and the desk is pretty large. Such a great place to take a rest during lunch break: quiet and comfortable with a little bit of personal space.



And speaking of libraries, there is also a library called the Boole Library. If you are familiar with computer technical terms, then you would have guessed that it has something to do with the Boolean numbers. Indeed, the concept of Boolean numbers was invented in this university!




This campus also has an observatory, although the telescope can't be used any longer. Still, it was impressive.



What else am I missing? Oh, of course, the cafetaria!



When  I saw that sign, I was totally overjoyed. Why? Because when we were in the Netherlands, normal lunch means cold bread with a slice of cheese, and I'm not exaggerating it. Cold lunch is what considered normal in the Netherlands, and I am not used to that culture. By the way, unlike in the Netherlands, the locals think I'm Japanese instead of Chinese. One random man even said "You must be Japanese! You take photos everywhere!" when I took the photo above. No more stupid "ni hao" jokes (people randomly yelled nihao to you even though you're not from China) here!

There is also a stall that sells freshly made crepes, both sweet and savory types. Up on the third floor, they sell bagels and pizza. The price range is about 4 euros per meal - considerably cheap if you compare it to average student meals in the Netherlands for the same quantity (if you want to buy something that is not a cold lunch or non-authentic Chinese food).



And lastly, the sports center. Compared to UIUC's ARC (the main sports center) or even CRCE (the smaller version of the sports center), this one is still smaller. But what's cool about it is the Relaxation Spa.



The spa is free, of course ;)

Overall, I love this campus! 

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