Aoife gives freshers at DCU a quick guide to life at the college

Dublin City University (DCU) is located just enough on the outskirts of Ballymun for it not to be in Ballymun. The college specialises in science and business courses, with the odd humanities course thrown in for good measure.

But it’s not in Ballymun, okay? Good.

How do I make the most of my time here?

The best way to find new friends and really make your mark on DCU is to join one of its hundreds of clubs and societies. When I say that there’s something for everyone. I’m not exaggerating: TeaSoc, Harry Potter Society and Foodie Soc were among the new societies last year. These have found a home along with the old timers such as Media Production Society (they won Best Society at the national awards about three years ago and haven’t stopped talking about it since), Drama Soc, Redbrick and the LGBT. Even if something seems like it wouldn’t be your thing, just give it a go. You might surprise yourself.

Where will I live?

When looking for a place near DCU, you have three options: on-campus accommodation, student accommodation and a house. If you’re in the market for a house, keep an eye on the Whitehall, Ballymun, Santry and Glasnevin areas on property sites.

There are also several student accommodation sites within walking distance from the college. Shanowen Square and Shanowen Hall are but a five minute walk away, Gateway is on the edge of Ballymun town, and Hazelwood is a bit further out (but just beside Aldi).

DCU also has three areas of accommodation on-campus, ideal for 9am lectures. Larkfield is specifically for first years and has two bedrooms. Hampstead and College Park house students from second year up, and College Park is notoriously known as the digs given to those attending DCU on sports scholarships.

Where should I hang out?

Students have been flocking to the NuBar in its droves since it opened. There are pool tables, couches, and the food is reasonably priced too, with deals on different mains every day for just a fiver.

The couches in the SU are also a popular spot, where one can sit and eat their Spar-bought chicken fillet roll (just €3.50) and watch the SU exec do their bit for the students.

On (rare) sunny days, you can throw yourself down on the grass in Albert College Park, opposite the smoking area to the NuBar, and make daisy chains.

How do I get there?

The Dublin Bus routes 4, 9, 11 and 13 all stop outside the Ballymun Road entrance. The road leading up to college, The Avenue, is a three minute walk that feels like an Olympic marathon when you’re lugging suitcases back after a weekend with Mammy.