'In Australia, farming can be easier because it doesn't rain all the time'
When Aisling Neville opened her Leaving Cert results, she didn't think she would find herself in Australia three years later pursuing her dream of becoming a dairy farmer.
The former student at Sacred Heart School, Tullamore, Co Offaly, was a mere five points shy of her top CAO choice, the BAgrSc Dairy Business in UCD.
Aisling's second choice was the BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science in WIT. But because she had always thought that she would get her place in Dublin, which had the benefit of being closer to home, she "hadn't considered it as much".
She decided to go to an open day in Waterford IT which was being held after the CAO first round.
During the visit to Waterford, she had the opportunity to chat to other students who were doing the course and felt it would work for her.
Now she is delighted, as it opened the door to Australia.
The course offered a third year placement of 15 weeks, with the opportunity to go abroad. "A lecturer suggested Australia to me as there are many good farms here," says Aisling (21).
She went to Australia in January, to work on a farm in Victoria, run by a Northern Irish couple, Harper and Oonagh Kilpatrick, who take Irish students on a regular basis.