Posted on

Visiting UCC

Nicholas visiting UCC 1 blog Natalie Buske ThomasUCC campus, Cork, Ireland

*Did you miss the previous posts about our move to Ireland? Start here.

One of our purposes for being in Ireland is for our college age children to go to school here. Cassie has already graduated college, but if she pursues graduate school, UCC (University College Cork, Ireland) is her college of choice. Notice I said “if”. Since we’ve been here, she’s been tempted by tantalizing job opportunities for Math majors. She’d love to work for Apple–she’s applied for multiple positions there, located near Cork. She has also applied for a position at Aldi. She’s networking in these areas and making progress. (I’m rooting for whatever makes her happy!)

But, little brother Nicholas will be starting his Freshman year – with or without big sister on campus to lean on.

FYI: For those of you who are curious about how the tuition compares to U.S. schools, it’s comparable to out of state tuition for a state school, which is what we’d have to do if we wanted to move outside of the area anyway. UCC is on the list of schools eligible for federal student loans, which was how Brent and I got through school, and how Cassie did too. *SIGH* I would have loved to have paid their way, but we are doing what we can by providing food, lodging, and a warm smile every day… Anyway, it’s all up to him how he handles the tuition. We got him to Ireland – now he can take it from here. I believe in him. He can do anything he sets his heart to do!

But… How does he feel about going to college? Here’s our son Nicholas, visiting the UCC campus…not saying much…just walking.

Nicholas visiting UCC 2 blog Natalie Buske ThomasThe campus sure is beautiful! Even on a dark rainy day, in the dead of winter, the grounds are impressive…very! I saw Nicholas studying every tree, every building. Hmm… is he inspired to go to school? Will he finally finish the essay for his application?

Nicholas visiting UCC 4 blog Natalie Buske ThomasMeanwhile, I left him alone and enjoyed the campus… Beautiful! I can’t believe that flowers are growing in JANUARY! The patch that isn’t blooming yet is a rose garden. I look forward to seeing the roses this spring (see the optimism in what I said? I’m assuming we get permission to stay beyond our 90 day stamp).

Nicholas visiting UCC 5 blog Natalie Buske ThomasLook how gorgeous the colors are! IN JANUARY! I’m in Heaven!

Nicholas visiting UCC 6 blog Natalie Buske ThomasThis is classic Nicholas, waving whenever he sees me taking a picture of him. He looks like my little boy here – is he really ready for college? Let’s give him more time to look around…

Nicholas visiting UCC 8 blog Natalie Buske ThomasI can’t believe we’re really here! This campus existed only through photos on the school website, and now it’s REAL!

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 blog Natalie Buske ThomasWOW, just WOW! What does Nicholas think now? Doesn’t it remind you of a scene from Harry Potter? Pure magic.

I love this series of photos I took from afar. There’s my son, staring at the quad area of the UCC campus, all alone…looking so small in such a great space. It was a big moment for him. And as I tried to capture it, I felt like I was letting him go. (I will not cry, this will not be like the sand in our eyes when Brent and I watched Toy Story 3!)

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 b blog Natalie Buske Thomas

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 c blog Natalie Buske Thomas

Nicholas visiting UCC blog 9 d Natalie Buske ThomasAnd, the moment was over…. He was quickly joined by other visitors on campus. The spell had been cast – he was now a future college student!

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 e blog Natalie Buske ThomasHe looks quite natural walking on campus, doesn’t he?

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 g blog Natalie Buske ThomasI love this shot! Nicholas was amused by something a student penned on that banner. I don’t remember now what it was, but he agreed with the sentiment of the poster and the added graffiti. I say he’s ready for college!

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 f blog Natalie Buske ThomasLOVE this one – father and son visiting campus for the first time. I’m noticing how much bigger my son is and how much smaller my husband is. Look at them, they have the same walk. We girls notice this all the time – it’s funny, and it’s nice. Nicholas may wear a bigger shoe size than Brent now, but he still walks in his Daddy’s footsteps – except now they walk together.

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 h blog Natalie Buske ThomasJust a reminder that this school is in IRELAND – the green, oh the green! Even in JANUARY!

Nicholas visiting UCC 9 i blog Natalie Buske ThomasAww, this shot makes me tear up a little… there’s baby girl, the little sister – not saying much. She’s not ready for big brother to go to school.

UCC Campus MapI pointed out all of the sign posts and I took a picture of the campus map to help Nicholas find his way. That pretty much sums up how I’ve been as his mother all along – I give him the road map. It’s up to him to decide which path to take.