You may be one of those second years who have handed in the last of the Erasmus applications, or merely an elder statesperson of UCD, longing for the heady days of yesteryear (possibly just the one year of yester). The days when you were off catching mystery illnesses and trying to describe your symptoms to a doctor with a shaky grasp of the language of your chosen country. Either way, The Siren are here to provide you with more continental cultural goodness than any “aimless wandering” around Amsterdam will ever do.
Cage the Elephant- Aberdeen
Europe is scary, full of funny languages and foreigners, so if you’re like me and hate anything new and don’t want to bother with all that cultural nonsense then the British Isle is the place for you. For those lucky enough to be selected to attend the University of Aberdeen will enjoy all of the heavenly delights that Scotland has to offer, if battered Mar bars and bottles of Buckfast in a disused industrial estate are your thing.
Vampire Weekend- Oxford Comma
Oxford, often seen as a shining example for third level education, snobbery, jousting, boating and putting away Heinekens by the crate, is next to receive my appreciation for lack of cultural exploration reasons. I often like to think all students do there is wear cravats, moccasins and those ¾ length trousers, roll hula-hoops with sticks (because that’s a thing) and play bowls. Or in other words, live out my stereotyped fantasy of life.
Beirut- Postcards from Italy
Italy is a big place, with lots of people and one language, so if you chose to go to Rome, Pisa or any other university in this cultural melting pot then you have my admiration. Highlights include the infinite Renaissance constructions, the Apennine Mountains and the Alps, which means you better like mountains because 85% of Italy is one. Another cultural hotspot is Florence, famous for the Piazza del Duomo and where they shot a season of MTV’s Jersey Shore.
“Yes, I want to study in Munich to better understand the Bavarian people, and their…err…Culture.” They have drink in Munich, quite a bit of which floats about at Oktoberfest, and if you’re not drinking in Munich then you’re not culturing… by logic it is therefore okay to drink yourself into a coma here, in the name of soaking up the culture of course.
Jay-Z & Kanye West – Paris
Like a junkie needs their fix, a tortured soul needs Paris. Or possibly Prague, they’re not too picky. Seen as the cultural capital of the world, the Louvre, Museé D’Orsay and of course who can forget the lead up to the Sacre Coeur, with hundreds of steps and the perpendicular Boulevard de Clichy, where men with far too few teeth and hair misplaced around their heads usher you into shady and dingy clubs to view ladies removing their close. A true hit for the possible voyeur in all of us.
-By Chris Becton