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Advice requested for parent visiting student

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Illinois
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Advice requested for parent visiting student

Our daughter will be attending UCC this fall for study abroad. My wife and I are planning on one of us visiting her at some point. Our daughter’s schedule is such that the best times for visiting her would be mid-October when a weekend is free of excursions or mid-December when she’d be done and planning on returning stateside. I’m currently thinking of going in December using award miles on United to fly from Chicago to Cork via Heathrow. I’m reaching out to TA nation to see if answers to the following questions might come up with a better plan.

Cooler weather is not a problem but would expected weather in December be drastically worse than weather in October?

United offers direct flights to Dublin and also flights to Shannon via Newark. Are there any advantages or disadvantages for any of these routes?

How difficult would car rental and driving be from either Shannon or Dublin to Cork for an uninitiated yank?

I’d likely stay in a B&B near the school and enjoy walking around so does one really need a car if I were to fly direct to Cork?

And lastly, does anyone have an idea on the easiest way to set up a local student bank account and transfer/convert funds? Chase bank here has no idea.

Thank you TA Nation

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

December is mostly a problem as the days are shorter for excursions out of town, scenery isn't very interesting in the dark.

Your daughter should be able to open a bank account in Ireland when she gets a student card or letter of admission from her university.

Edited: 7:14 pm, August 25, 2013
Florida
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2. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

Bounding foradventure,

We stayed at the fantastic Fernroyd House in Cork Owners were so helpful with everything, and we walked past about 4 houses on a quiet street right into the UCC GATE and onto the campus -- which we loved

We stayed in their separate house--annex--- a few houses down from the main B & B Only 4 bedrooms in the annex, 3 upstairs-- hall bathroom down stairs Was like having our own private place huge downstairs lounge with kitchen, big couches and a table and 6 chairs--plus sliding glass door out to hte back yard.

We could bring back take out and eat there --and the WIFI was very strong This could be a perfect place for your daughter to join you for meals or just to hang out with the big tv

Avril makes delicious scones for breakfast, and Tony brought tulips down for the table, and drove us to his favorite restaurant The Liberty Grill

We felt like family there Tony seemed like a new friend --helpful when needed-- gave us privacy when we wanted that

Fernroyd House gets well deserved excellent reviews here on Trip Advisor

Ellen

Saginaw, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Western Ireland
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3. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

University College Cork International Students:

http://www.ucc.ie/en/international//

See under: Student Information and Services: On Arrival: Opening a Bank Account:

www.ucc.ie/en/international/student-info/

However, have a read of this recent post, explaining that opening an account in Ireland may not be necessary in the case of an International Student:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186605-i90-k67255…

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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4. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

A short video here of a US student studying in UCC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TnSSlDMkcM

And, this is person from UCC who was mentioned as being particularly helpful - in a longer Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFmSHgi0sFs

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

My daughter did a semester of study abroad in Dublin and did not need to open a bank account in Ireland. She simply used her credit card for larger purchases and her ATM card for cash. The Irish banks don't charge for ATM withdrawals and her bank charged only a 1% conversion charge--no charge for withdrawals. The credit card also charged 1% for currency conversion.

This option may actually be easier and less expensive than the procedures set out in the link provided by Uasal. I would think transfering money into a foreign bank account would probably be a pretty expensive option. And if you send her checks denominated in dollars to deposit, then there's going to be a currency conversion fee for that--and likely more than the 1% my daughter paid.

So, you might want to check the various fees charged by your bank and/or look for a bank that charges either a small (1%) or no fee for currency conversion on ATMs and credit cards.

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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6. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

Bryno is the Cork expert but I have a daughter studying in UCC :o) Cork is a lovely city with a great buzz about it. There are good bus services and you can get trains to various places - however Kent Station is across the river from the main city area and IMHO can be difficult to get to .

Driving from Shannon to Cork is generally easy. The roads are a mix of motorway, dual carriageway and narrow roads. Drive from Shannon towards Limerick and then take the Shannon Tunnel (toll €1.90 and worth it). When you come out of the tunnel, keep an eye out for signs on the left. I think its the first exit is the exit for Cork (it will be signposted Cork, Tralee, Killarney not necessarily in that order). Keep following the signs for Cork, Tralee Killarney and on your new element of motorway there will also be signs for Limerick Racecourse. Shortly after the Limerick Racecourse exit there will be a sign for Cork, Croom, Regional Orthopaedic Hospital actually it might be changed to University of Limerick Orthopaedic Hospital !!(not necessarily in that order). All of the roads to now are motorway or motorway equivalent. The roads narrow down here but you are still fine. They are still fairly wide. You bypass Croom but travel through some interesting towns. Keep an eye out for Ballyhea. If you're travelling on a Sunday there is often a protest against the EU approach to our financial affairs. The Ballyhea group have even been to Brussels with their protest. You will come to Charleville after a short while. Watch out for the corrugated iron cow on the outskirts of Charleville. I think her name is Charmaine (kids are in bed, they know her name better!!). There is a shortcut through Charleville but I'm afraid you'd get lost so just enjoy the town as you drive through it slowly. Charleville to Mallow includes the Buttevant section. This is a very windy (twisting not gale force!!) piece of road cut through a hill. It is very scenic but should be taken slowly. Once you get to Mallow, the roads become wider again and you have dual carriageway style road most of the way to Cork.

Will your daughter be staying in Victoria Lodge? Or somewhere else? Our daughter has stayed in university accommodations for all bar 1 (bad) year and we're very happy with them.

Cork, Ireland
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7. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

I would probably opt for a flight via Heathrow to Cork in preference to an indirect flight to Shannon or a direct flight to Dublin.

If you're hiring a car though, Shannon is close enough to Cork that it could make sense, especially if there was a time or cost benefit in flying to Shannon.

If you were to fly to Dublin and didn't feel that you needed a car, there are buses direct from Dublin Airport to Cork (GoBE and Aircoach). These are a better option than taking a bus into Dublin and a train down.

Whether you need a car in Cork would depend on how long you were staying. The city itself certainly warrants a couple of days and there are a number of attractions in Blarney, Cobh, Kinsale and Midleton, which are all easily accessible by train and bus. Similarly, Killarney is easily reached by train or bus, although it is a bit further (if you go by public transport, I would recommend hiring bicycles when you get there). So, as long as you are in Cork for less than a week, it's probably not necessary. You could, of course, just hire on the days that you need a car, but be mindful that most hire car companies are based at the airport.

If you'd like any advice on what to do in those places, please don't hesitate to ask.

Regarding the weather, October in Cork is actually marginally wetter than December. However, as others have noted previously, the argument against December is the number of hours of daylight (roughly 8:30am to 5pm on December 21st). Of course, if you were late enough in December, there could be some advantages, as there will be events on in the run up to Christmas.

Edited: 4:38 am, August 26, 2013
Waterford, Ireland
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8. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

I think I saw something the other day to the effect that Victoria Lodge was to be alcohol free from this year. I did not pay too much attention as my daughter is finished there a couple of years ago. The college accommodation is a good idea for new students. In fact landlords usually want a 9 month sign on so getting accommodation just till Christmas may be a bit of an issue. It is quite possible they have arrangements for students staying just one semester.

Edited: 6:20 am, August 26, 2013
Waterford, Ireland
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9. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

'they' in the above post being the college, not the landlords!

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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10. Re: Advice requested for parent visiting student

Doneraile, its only just one block of Vic lodge :o) Thats normally where the first years go (our lady was there in 1st year too). Its nice accommodation but the fire alarms appear to be super sensitive compared to other accommodations. The fire brigade were almost honourary residents in our daughter's year, despite the fact that there were no fires. It was all burned toast and dinners and the odd illicit cigarette lol!!