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Irish Aid welcomes 2017 fellows at Dublin Castle event

On September 16, the Irish Aid fellows were welcomed to the Fellowship Orientation Day 2017 in Dublin Castle. Irish Aid's Africa Director, Fionnuala Gilsenan, formally opened proceedings welcoming all of the newly-arrived fellows to Ireland and congratulating them on their achievement of receiving a fellowship award.

Ms Gilsenan was followed by Dr Deirdre O'Connor of University College Dublin, who introduced fellows to what they can expect in terms of the academic culture in Ireland. Dr O'Connor has supported the fellowship programme for many years and, as usual, her presentation was well-received and fellows found her advice very useful.

A session on culture followed this and was hosted by ICOS' Emma Dwyer, who explained some aspects of Irish culture and engaged with fellows on topics such as culture shock and intercultural communications.

The final speakers of the day, then, were three of the 2016 fellows who are finishing their studies in the coming weeks: Duth Kimsru (Cambodia), Edward Mboyonga (Zambia) and Lorna Born (South Africa). The incoming fellows particularly appreciated their contributions, and were able to glean even more information from them in the workshops that followed, for which two more 2016 fellows also joined in: Thabo Sibiya and James Banda.

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 2017 Irish Aid fellows great success in their studies in the year ahead!