I needed three civil classes, which meant I had to find a school on pretty much the same schedule as UNH. I needed Soil Mechanics, Structures, and Wastewater, all in the same place. Edinburgh had some, but no soil mechanics. Manchester only offered a more advanced structures class. Somewhere in Australia might have worked, but flights are so expensive and none of the schools I could find were quite right. NUI Galway wasn't quite the only option, but it was clearly the best. Now that I'm here it's hard to imagine being anywhere else.
I'm living in a student apartment complex about a 20 minute walk from the University, with three other girls from the program and a Spanish guy. Every morning I leave and head up the hill - away from the shopping center and the rotary. I walk by a field with ponies, old and new stone walls. If I look carefully between the houses across the street I can see Menlo Castle in the distance. I cut across a bit of marshy grass by the river, climb up to the road, hop the gardrail, and cross the River Corrib towards campus. It's a beautiful walk, misty or clear.