This Saint Patrick's Day we're celebrating Harper Ireland and all things Irish with our students and alumni telling us how Harper Ireland and Harper Adams boosted their studies and social life.
Sarah McBride, BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Production Science:
“Going to the Harper Ireland meetings and having the familiarity of the accent and having people know where you’re from, silly wee things I know, but in the first couple of weeks of being here it was comforting.”
Katherine Walker, MSc International Agri-Business and Food Chain Management:
"Harper Ireland makes it so much easier to settle in as there is so many people in the same boat – especially as quite a few students tend to go home at the weekend.
"It’s an easy way to make friends. I’m the only person from my school who went to Harper when you go to somewhere where you know people are going to be like you, it’s so much easier."
Laura Stewart, BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Nutrition:
“For me, Harper Ireland was more than a club, it was a home from home. As everyone was from the island of Ireland, you immediately have that shared bond with people and it doesn't take long to make strong friendships.
"Being a member of Harper Ireland was an integral part of my university life and it is where I made some of my fondest Harper memories and gained lifelong friendships.”
Sam McIntyre, Outgoing Harper Ireland Chairman, BSc (Hons) Agriculture:
“I love Harper Ireland because in my first year, it was very difficult, being an Irish student living away from home – and I really enjoyed coming over to meet all the students from home and to have something in common to talk about!”
Niamh Molloy, Harper Adams Graduate:
“There were people in the same boat as you who could relate to the sometimes loneliness felt of being so far from home.
"We were able to arrange a wide range of social activities when others had gone home for reading week. It was a massive support group who had fun at the same time, organising dinners and balls.”
Kerry Given, Trusdale Award Winner, BSc (Hons):
“Harper Ireland was a really important element in helping me settle into university life when I came across to Shropshire. As a bit of a home-bird, it was important for me to make connections with those from Ireland who were experiencing the same feelings of missing home in those first few weeks - as a lot of English students went home for the weekends and we didn’t have the same opportunities.
"The Irish have been a great support network for one another and it’s been great to have outings and hold events together and share in those experiences whenever we could.
"I’ve made some great friends through the club and look forward to keeping in touch with them when we return home again too.”
Chris Megarry, Head of GP Farming Operations, Aviagen UK, BSc (Hons) Agriculture graduate
"I enjoyed my time at Harper Adams because it was like a small village and the majority of people knew each other. The Harper Cymru, Ireland and Scotland clubs were strong together and there was always a great sense of comradery, especially at this time of the year when the Six Nations was on.
"On a Friday night there would always be football on the astroturf for the Irish cohort and then on Sunday some boys even got involved in sports they wouldn’t normally do back in Northern Ireland - so it really was very diverse."
Joseph Compton, Incoming Chairman of Harper Ireland, BSc (Hons) Agriculture.
"One of the many reasons I enjoy studying at Harper is due to the great course provided here, with a wide range of modules that give you a great variety of topics in the agricultural industry, from crops and animals to the farm as a business.
"Also, the opportunities are endless, and you have the chance to meet a wide variety of great people with similar interests. The countryside location is fantastic, and the campus has a great range of facilities and buildings. I would highly recommend Harper to anyone."