Discovering Myself Abroad Past Review

By (Art Education, Saint Vincent College) - abroad from 05/11/2015 to 06/05/2015 with

American College Dublin: Irish Language & Culture Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience of studying abroad in Ireland truly made me a more outgoing person with less inhibitions. I learned so much more about myself and various world cultures. I think it is a great experience to grow and explore, and certainly gives a great taste of the world of independence.

Review Photos

American College Dublin: Irish Language & Culture Program Photo American College Dublin: Irish Language & Culture Program Photo American College Dublin: Irish Language & Culture Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were intriguing with enough challenge to make you want to learn but not too much that you felt there was not enough time to explore the city and country.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the administrators and employees of ACD were kind, welcoming, and overflowing with a strong wealth of knowledge.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Positioned in a great part of Dublin, I felt safe to explore the city on my own with very little concern of getting lost. The "host-mother" who cooked for us and looked after all of us was the sweetest lady that I was happy to get to know. Also, getting to love with other young adults around my age from all over Europe was an amazing experience exposing me to a world of cultures I never could have gotten staying in a classic "dorm" style living. I felt extremely comfortable with everyone and fit right in as if it was a home away from home.

* Food:

2 meals a day were provided with our housing situation, and our "house-mother" did a wonderful job catering to all of the young adults in the house hold. Food in the city of Dublin was always delicious and a variety of cuisines were easily accessible. Although Ireland isn't necessarily praised for its cuisine, I still find myself drooling over some of the wonderful things I had like fried brie, meat and potatoes that had been soaked in Guinness, and the full Irish Breakfasts.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt entirely welcomed to the city of Dublin. Although my accent was a huge giveaway that I was not a local, I did not feel treated all to differently. If anything, there was some very lighthearted teasing but it was just the Irish way of welcoming a new person to the culture. The city has a large melting-pot of cultures present in it as well, but the diversity is incredible and a great experience. I never felt myself as being out of place in any instance of my time spent in the city of Dublin or while exploring the countrysides.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city of Dublin did not feel threatening in my opinion at all. However, like any other city there are always places that are not ideal to be walking through during the nights, but all it takes to know that is some common sense. I felt that the staff of ACD and the friends I made that had been staying in Dublin for a while already prepared myself and the other students very well for where and where not we should explore in the city. Additionally, I felt that I had a multitude of people I could reach out to if I found myself lost or in a bad situation without having to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about it. Additionally, I would say most of the locals were very willing to help with directions if you got yourself turned around on the streets of Dublin.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I don't know that I could have gotten anything else out of the program - it was already such an amazing experience that it can not be topped. If I had the opportunity to go abroad, I would choose another program solely so I could experience a different part of the world.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

The entire trip was really very affordable, especially considering the credits I was able to earn while there. Being in a foreign country however, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to explore beyond Dublin. Every weekend I made a point to take a bus day-tour trip to another part of Ireland, and I do not regret it one bit. Even these sort of attractions offered student ticket pricing which did make a difference in saving money over all. Often I was also able to gather enough people together to get us all a few more Euro off for a group discount as well. Similarly with getting lunch, it would have been easy to blow a lot of money each day on a meal, but if you look a little harder and can manage to be a little less picky on the daily, finding a good deal is not hard to do. This also allowed you to perhaps splurge a little more every once in a while when it seemed more worth it.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably about 125 Euros a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to set a weekly amount you are comfortable spending and aim to stay within those guidelines per week. If you're going out, only carry as much cash as you are willing to spend so you don't go over board. Strongly consider when you are buying souvenirs if it is worth what you are buying, if it will really help keep a memory of your travels alive, etc. Try to capture memories in photos or a journal instead and promise yourself you'll write in it a few times a week. I kept an art travel journal throughout my trip and it is one of my most prized possessions. Anyone can flip through it and get an idea of the way I spent my time and the sort of trip I had.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Location
  • The People
  • The Courses
* What could be improved?
  • --
  • --
  • --
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had just been a little more familiar with airports at the time of going on the trip. I myself am not a frequent flyer so the process I found a little overwhelming because I was not very accustomed to it. The second time around of flying home though was a bit easier however as this is something you get better at as you go through the steps

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'