2018 Irish Aid Fellows Welcomed to Ireland
On September 15, the newly-arrived Irish Aid fellows were welcomed to the Fellowship Orientation Day 2018 in the Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge. We were delighted to be joined by Irish Aid’s Director General, Ruairí de Búrca, who formally opened proceedings welcoming all of the fellows to Ireland and congratulating them on their achievement of receiving a fellowship award. He also spoke of the importance of education in Ireland’s international development policies and programmes.
Mr de Búrca was followed by ICOS’ Emma Dwyer, who facilitated a session on culture, which explained some aspects of Irish culture and engaged with fellows on topics such as culture shock and intercultural communications.
Dr Padraig Wims of University College Dublin addressed fellows next, and introduced them to what they can expect in terms of the academic culture in Ireland. Dr Wims has supported the fellowship programme for many years and his presentation was well-received by the fellows, who found his insight and advice very useful.
The final speakers of the day were three of the 2017 fellows who are finishing their studies in the coming days and weeks: Ms Van Thi Minh Hien (Vietnam), Mr Dejen Kuma Gonfa (Ethiopia), and Ms Silungile Nompilo Mgabi (South Africa). The incoming fellows particularly appreciated their contributions, and were able to glean additional practical information from them in the workshops that followed.
The day concluded with a welcome reception before everyone returned to their respective universities throughout Ireland.
Thanks to everyone who helped to make the day a success and we wish all of the 2018 Irish Aid fellows great success in their studies in the year ahead!