student life
07 May 2021

Student Focus: Andrew Gallagher – Adapting to Student Life in COVID Times

Our next student focus is on Andrew Gallagher. Andrew is currently a fourth-year student in ICHAS’s Dublin cohort. He is studying the B.A. (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Here, he chats about his own experience and adapting to student life as a result of COVID.

Tell us about your experience of studying at ICHAS?

My experience of studying at ICHAS has been overall a very positive one. The course provides a strong academic grounding in the major theories of psychotherapy as well as unique opportunities for experiential growth and personal development. I found the tutors and staff to be extremely knowledgeable and personable. They also displayed an empathic understanding of the challenges facing student counsellors. These include juggling studies with occupational demands, practice placement, family responsibilities, and financial obligations. The faculty staff always appeared willing to lend support in whatever way possible.

Tell us about the impact of COVID on your studies?

In 2020, I was in my final semester of third year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It goes without saying that no organisation anywhere was perfectly equipped to deal with the staggering changes brought about by this crisis. However, looking back I feel that ICHAS responded impressively.

Classes were switched to the online format without delay. While many of us, myself very much included, missed (and, continue to miss) the physical classroom environment, the faculty made good use of technology to continue delivering a meaningful learning experience.

In December 2020, the team even rose to the arduous challenge of delivering an online graduation ceremony for those of us who were at degree level. There was, as far as I could tell, a deep appreciation among all students that the staff had found a way to mark this important academic milestone under very challenging circumstances. 

If you had to give students one bit of advice from your experience of student life in the last 12+ months what would it be?

The one piece of advice I’d give would be the following: try and find the learning in everything. Especially in the unexpected, the frustrations, and the adversity.

Learn more about our range of counselling and psychotherapy courses today.