The 21-year-old has only been in Ireland nine months to improve her English and college principal Fr Pat Moran described her as remarkably diligent.
Maria wants to become an interpreter of English, Italian, French and Spanish. “I wrote 10 pages and I am well pleased,” she said.
Her final exam, coincidentally Spanish, is next Tuesday and she will be returning home the next day to await the results on August 18.
The day provided as searching a test of mental and physical strength as academic prowess for JJ Devine from Cappoquin.
He spent many hours on Monday evening tagging calves and as many hours again chasing around a field when one of them escaped. But he was at his desk yesterday morning for the French exam and again in the afternoon for the higher level History paper.
“A student of lesser resolve would have been fatigued but JJ went home at the end of the day very happy,” said Fr Moran.
Mark Foley from Ballinacourty, said the higher level paper was challenging and long, and it took him every minute of the 200 available to complete it.
“It was a struggle in terms of time but I got there,” he said. He said the question on Bismarck made him very happy because he had researched it, but he was less happy with the failure of the Blueshirts to make it into the exam paper.
Overall however, he said the paper was decent and he had no serious complaints.
Sharon Devereux from Dungarvan was equally happy and was particularly delighted that Bismarck appeared on the paper.
“On the other hand, I was disappointed Mussolini didn’t come up by way of a full question in section D but overall the paper was grand,” she said.
She found the question about the characteristics of fascism in the same section a bit of a struggle but said she got through it in the end.