Irish voices aren’t exactly the most expected things to hear when tuning into the Mediterranean airwaves, but Maltese residents have had to get used to it in the last few weeks as two Ballyfermot students have been working with Malta’s biggest radio station, Bay Radio.
Tara Walsh (20) and Shireen Langan (23), both Radio Production students in BCFE, have spent the last six weeks on the island state furthering their craft as part of the college’s Erasmus programme.
“We’re working with 89.7 Bay,” says Walsh, who also presents for the digital radio station FRQ.FM back in Ireland, “they’re a top 40 hit music station in Malta (and) currently number 1 in the rankings.”
Every year Irish students leave not only to study abroad, but to gain life experience in foreign cultures. The EU Erasmus programme has been running since 1987, with well over 3 million participants having expanded their horizons across the continent in the following three decades.
Walsh certainly seems to have enjoyed the culture shock. “The most exciting part of the trip is of course living in a different country … we’ve made a lot of great memories so far.
“Obviously we came here to learn more about radio, how a station operates and everything from behind the scenes to behind the mic…” she continues, “…there’s no doubt we’ll come home with some amazing skills.”
The presenter, a Navan native, has nothing but kind words for her temporary colleagues.
“Everyone we work with here has been so helpful and welcoming. I believe we were very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such a talented, dedicated and helpful team of people.”
Of course, as a bitter cold has enveloped Ireland throughout a particularly rough winter season, a few weeks in the Mediterranean seems like its own reward.
“It’s very windy over here so even though it might be 14 degrees, it doesn’t feel like it so it’s not as warm as you’d think. Beautiful country though.”
There’s no pleasing some people.
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