CAO and college places: ‘I came to study in Ireland because I heard it was friendly’

Qistina Binti Ab Halim started her studies at the third level with a joint introductory course that allowed her to explore different areas of engineering before specializing.

Not long into the year-long taster program on the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) campus in Galway, Qistina decided what direction she wanted to take in her second year.

“Climate change is the central challenge facing the world, so it was clear to me early on that I wanted to study energy technology,” says the 22-year-old. Other choices were biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, and agricultural engineering.

She chose Galway for her university studies because she heard the Irish were “really friendly” and because Ireland is an English-speaking country.

The 22-year-old Malaysian was not disappointed and is even “getting used to the weather”.

She started with a three-year Level 7 (regular degree) course and is completing it with one more year, moving into the Level 8 (honors degree) program this month.

Qistina has already made a name for herself and was selected as the top student of her year for a scholarship from US medical technology company TE Connectivity, which employs 1,300 people locally.

Working on a project with TE Connectivity will be an important part of Qistina’s fourth year. Fellow mechanical engineering student Roy Sheridan from Castlebar, Co. Mayo was also selected for a TE Connectivity scholarship.

TE Connectivity will assign each of them a mentor to help them work on their projects.

“The scholarship will ease my financial burden and give my engineering career a boost by allowing me to fully immerse myself in my studies,” says Qistina.

She also hopes her success will inspire more women into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses and careers. “I think it’s very important that girls already know in elementary school that this is a field that’s open to them,” she says.

While Qistina came to Ireland to study, she says it’s “very likely” she’ll stay here to further her career. CAO and college places: ‘I came to study in Ireland because I heard it was friendly’

Fry Electronics Team

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