College News

A student guide to online resources

College is a totally new ball game, and while Fresher's Week will be a blast, it's important to be prepared for your first semester in third-level as no one will be chasing you for homework anymore, it's entirely up to you to get it done! Scary I know. But not to worry, because have compiled a list of Online Resources just for Freshers, some of which are useful, others are essential.

Here's our list of online tools that will make your adapting to college that bit smoother.


USI Plus Card

This brand new card is being introduced to colleges during your Induction week, and will contain exclusive discounts for many retail outlets and services. For students on a budget, discounts are essential! The Card will also act as a form of ID, serving as a common national student card for students abroad.



Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your notable life using your computer, phone, and the web. Use Evernote to take notes, save interesting webpages, create to-tos and shopping lists, attach images and PDFs, and so much more. Then, watch as it all instantly synchronises from your Mac to your smartphone, tablet and the Web. Get it here.



iStudiez is a comprehensive course management app for the iPhone. The app does all from cataloging semesters and courses, to lecturers, taks and grades. Take advantage of iStudiez Pro easy navigation and never miss another lecturer, lab or tutorial, track tasks and deadlines, plan homework, arrange assignments and much more! 

iStudiez Pro is available for Free at the Apple Education Store at!

Applying for a grant or the student assistance fund? This website gives you all the information you need to complete the application process smoothly. Visit the site here and learn more about the financial assistance that might be available to you during your college terms.


College Database/ Online Journals

Most third-level colleges in Ireland have their own database, which can give you access to thousands of online resources. These journals can be accessed from home with your student ID and password. If your college has this valuable resource, be sure to use it, as well as the the library!



The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or Gimp for short, is the free alternative to Photoshop, and works on any computer operating system. It is particularly useful for media students, or anyone interested in visual arts. Download it here. Do anything from designing your own logo to putting your friend's head on a woman's body.


Google Chrome/Firefox/Internet Explorer

It's the battle of the web browsers to get you started. And for us, Google Chrome comes out on top. With Google's search engine automatically formatted into the address bar, Chrome is the best web browser of the three mentioned. Firefox still remains highly popular, but its latest versions lag behind the efficiency of Chrome. Download Chrome for free here. Download Firefox here. Download Internet Explorer, if you have to.

On eBay, you might find graduates of your course looking to offload textbooks at cut prices. It's definitely worth keeping an eye on, big savings can be made here. For example, get a collection of 200 eBooks on Medicine here for just €3.99.



This is another established website where cheap textbooks can be found, in new, second hand and in electronic version. This website is also great for feeding your personal reading habits, with an extensive range of fiction at a discounted price. Search here for the book you need.  


Project Gutenberg

The world's oldest digital library offers thousands of free eBooks. You might find some free material here that's relative to your course. Get anything from your favourite movie books to materials that were banned at some stage of their existence.


Online PDF Converter

You never know when you might need it in college. Handing up projects in PDF format makes your work look professional and clean, and sometimes this format is compulsory.  Click here for the online converter, or download for free here


Google Scholar/Books

These Google-powered academic tools offer millions of journals, books and articles free of charge, with an endless range of subjects to choose from. The only downside to this online resource is that copyrighted books and journals have limited access, some with only synopsis viewing. Nevertheless, if you're in need of a certain textbook and the library is out of stock, Google Books and Scholar are always worth a try.


Harvard Referencing

NB this one. This is a major downfall for many students writing academic essays, all years included. Most Irish colleges follow the Harvard Referencing system. This may seem incomphendable at first glance, but it's a great system once you get the hang of it. For a simple explanation of each step of Harvard Referencing, click here.

Wit Ireland's spellin standrdz supposedly on da decrease, der isn't a handier site dan It really adds 2 da case of online bukz n toolz over da physical form, lettin you serch a term witout havn to flick thru da 100s of pgs.

Just as useful as, provides you with a comprehensive collection of synonyms and antonyms on any word in the English language. Handy for anyone studying English, literature or journalism.

Although you generally can't reference this website in academic essays, Wikipedia provides great introductions, explanations and summaries of every topic under the sun, the sun inclusive. It also serves as a gateway to more academically credible sources, available in the cited references section at the bottom of every article on the website.